A story from Fanta Diarra, Mali


What is your link with Tostan?

I am the president of the rural women of Dioila and I was a participant at the Tostan Training Center (TTC) during the seminar on the promotion of community well-being. I am very supportive of the Community Management Committees that exist in the Dioila district for issues related to women’s and girls’ rights.

How did you first hear about Tostan?

I first heard about Tostan in Koulikoro when I was on a mission: the person who told me about it told me that it is a program that promotes the abandonment of female genital cutting. Over time, I discovered the other aspects to which Tostan contributes to support communities in unleashing their potential for local and global development.


Share a special moment that you have experienced since you have known Tostan.

This moment is related to the learning in Tostan centers through the Community Empowerment Program, the respect of one’s neighbor, the importance of dialogue in the management of the family and also the different steps related to a successful pregnancy. There have been many special moments that I have experienced since I have known Tostan, but one of the latest is the approach that Tostan uses to get communities to abandon harmful practices. Really hats off to Tostan’s approach.


Share a story, memory or situation that illustrates your experience with Tostan.

The inter-community and zonal meetings held in Dioila bringing together all the local development actors to share their experiences in order to draw lessons for the benefit of the communities. This reminded me of the regular meetings that were held at the time of independence until the coming of democracy which had ceased. With these meetings, a strong memory of unity and social cohesion has awakened in me. Of course also my stay at the TTC.


What do you wish to Tostan for the next 30 years?

I imagine that these thirty years of existence have brought the light of hope to many rural communities in Africa… For the next 30 years, I wish Tostan to shine in all African communities.



This story has been created in the framework of Tostan’s 30th Anniversary. 30 stories will be published in 2021, celebrating the amazing Tostan’s Family. This is a way for us to honor communities and local leaders as well as our teams, partners, networks, donors and anyone who has joined us on this journey.