Carlyn Ring, a long-time Tostan supporter, spent part of her summer fundraising for the organization at the annual Arts Festival in Ketchum, Idaho in July.

For three full days, Carlyn tirelessly manned a tent decorated with colorful hand-beaded necklaces hanging from clotheslines and a framed sign telling visitors about her cause. Carlyn hand-made the necklaces, registered for the fair, and sold her craft all in order to support Tostan. She even handed out flyers and shared information about Tostan’s work in Africa with each passerby.

“Hundreds of new people now know about Tostan,” she said, “and many of them told me that they thought it was a wonderful cause.”

In preparation for the fair, Carlyn spent hours beading over 135 unique creations, 60 of which she sold over the summer. “It was a time consuming project, but I was happy to donate my time to Tostan,” she said.

Since the event, Carlyn has displayed the remaining necklaces in her home, continuing to raise awareness and money for Tostan among visiting friends.

Carlyn began supporting Tostan over ten years ago, after going on safari in Kenya and learning about female genital cutting (FGC). “I decided it was time to get involved,” she explained.

After learning about Tostan through a friend, Carlyn contacted Tostan Founder and Executive Director Molly Melching to find out how she could help. She has been a member of the Tostan family ever since.

“Carlyn is one of Tostan’s most fervent and dedicated supporters,” Molly said. “Her efforts to share Tostan’s work with others is truly inspiring and I can’t thank her enough for all she’s done for Tostan over the years.”

Story by Elizabeth Clay, Development Associate

For more information about Carlyn’s necklaces, please email