Tostan has been presented with an ‘Award in Action’ by the Cécilia Attias Foundation for Women, which aims to bring global attention to successful development approaches that work to improve the well-being of African women.
Highlighted as an example of best practice within the international health field, Tostan received the ‘Award in Action’ for its work on improving health systems and maternal care at the community level.  The award was announced in Gabon at the Foundation’s Dialogue for Action Africa, an international forum dedicated to promoting well-being for all women.
The Cécilia Attias Foundation for Women commented on Tostan’s impact in this area saying:

“We are inspired by Tostan’s work improving the lives of women and girls in Senegal and across Africa, promoting their health and their cultures. By recognizing [Tostan’s] mission and success, we hope this award will not only support [their] efforts, but encourage other organizations and individuals promoting comprehensive health and women’s rights across Africa and the world.”

Molly Melching, Founder and Executive Director of Tostan said:

“We are thrilled to be honored by the Cécilia Attias Foundation and Dialogue Action for Africa for our work in maternal health and our human-rights education program leading to positive change. We will use the award funds to continue supporting village women in their social mobilization efforts to promote human rights and the abandonment of FGC and child/forced marriage.”

Founded in 1991, Tostan has been implementing its 30-month Community Empowerment Program (CEP) in West Africa for over 20 years.  Thousands of community members have participated in class sessions on human rights, health and hygiene and have designed projects to support the well-being of the women and children in their communities.    


Notes to Editors

  1. Tostan is a US 501(c)(3) nongovernmental organization based Senegal. Tostan works primarily in rural regions to promote basic education and increase community engagement in projects related to health and hygiene, child welfare, human rights and democracy, the environment, literacy, and economic development.  Tostan is currently implementing its program in Djibouti, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Mali, Mauritania, Senegal, Somalia and The Gambia.
  2. Cécilia Attias Foundation for Women was founded by politician and activist Cécilia Attias, a former First Lady of France with a distinguished career in public service and a long-time activist and supporter of women’s rights. The foundation’s mission is to be a guiding force in fostering positive change for women across the globe, helping to generate sustainable solutions for today’s pressing issues. By creating and strengthening a network of NGOs, philanthropists, social entrepreneurs, policy makers, and business leaders, the foundation aims to supply the connections and tools NGOs and social entrepreneurs need to implement solutions to the challenges women face today.
  3. Dialogue for Action Africa is an international forum hosted by the Cécilia Attias Foundation for Women whose aim is to promote the well-being of all women. The 2012 forum in Libreville, Gabon brought together participants from all sectors to discuss and develop action plans for achieving equality for women.  Focusing on four key areas including: female education; women’s access to business and entrepreneurship; improving health systems and maternal health; and women as agents of peace, participants were tasked with creating a Plan for Action for Africa to be presented at the G20 Summit in Los Cabos, Mexico.  Dialogue for Action Africa takes place in conjunction with the New York Forum, an event gathering leading business, economic, and regulatory officials from across the globe.

For further information, please contact:

Amy Fairbairn, Communications Manager, Tostan


Telephone: +221 33 820 55 89 / +221 77 877 55 13

Skype: amyfairbairn_tostan