Tostan supporters play an integral role in building momentum for our community-led development programs. Our Outstanding Supporter Blog Series highlights their creative efforts to inspire support for Tostan in their communities.

It was a chance meeting through a mutual friend in 2013 that brought Anna Quick-Palmer into contact with Tostan. After meeting Gannon Gillespie in New York during the However Long the Night book tour, Anna bought her own copy and heard Molly speak. She was hooked.

Two years later, Anna is now the founder of a unique organization called Anna’s Friends. This group of passionate and engaging women started as a network to connect women who were traveling to new cities across the world. Today, the connection of women goes even deeper, embracing cross-cultural differences and working together to improve the lives of women from all walks of life.

In March 2015, Anna’s Friends held a Pop-Up Shop fundraiser in London. This ‘shop’ was the product of donated clothes, jewelry, and accessories for sale in a cozy boutique setting, plus beautifully hand-painted tote bags specially made for Anna’s Friends. After a day full of merriment and blossoming connections, the group of more than 90 women were able to raise $3,700 for Tostan and our Generational Change in Three Years campaign.

The style of the Pop-Up Shop demonstrates the work of Anna’s Friends: bringing women together to pool their resources and skills to work towards a better world for women who may have fewer opportunities.  We estimate that their generous contribution is enough to fund 20 West African women through the entire Tostan Community Empowerment Program. This personal connection between Anna’s Friends and the women of Tostan’s partner communities underscores the goal of Quick-Palmer’s efforts: engaging women from various countries and backgrounds to work toward a life free from discrimination and hardship.

We at Tostan are very proud to be named Anna’s “favorite charity” of those she supports, and the “most effective” at what we do. She hinted that supporters of Tostan and Anna’s Friends alike can look forward to more Pop-Up Shops in North America soon – and we look forward to deepening our connection with the enthusiastic network of Anna’s Friends in the future.

Story by Rosamond Kopczynski, Development Associate, Tostan

For more information on Anna’s Friends, please email