Fatoumatta’s Tostan journey includes six years as a facilitator, sharing Tostan’s effective educational model  with partner communities and building her own public speaking skills and confidence. Unlike most of the program participants, Fatoumatta attended public school. Still, she found the topics covered in Tostan’s Community Empowerment Program (CEP) very practical and included subjects not taught in school. Through her work, Fatoumatta learned more about development issues, not only how they affected her community but also more broadly, and she was involved in decision making. As her knowledge, experience, and confidence grew, she was emboldened to run for a position on the National Women’s Council and her effective campaign secured her a position representing the Upper River Region! She was not surprised to learn the other six women elected to Council also participated in Tostan’s CEP.  Fatoumatta now serves in a leadership role on the Council and in 2022 she plans to run for a position in the National Assembly. 


“Today, I am known throughout The Gambia as a woman leader. I am seeing the National Women’s Council activities as a continuation of the advocacy for the rights and welfare of women as taught in Tostan CEP classes. To me, the Tostan program promotes social justice and peace as it empowers women, men, girls, and boys on all fundamental human rights and responsibilities that triggers confidence in oneself to stand up and speak against any form of injustice in a respectable manner through dialogue.”

Fatoumatta Jabbie

National Women Councilor for Fulladu East, Basse Upper River Region, The Gambia

Vice Chairperson of the National Women’s Council 

Tostan Facilitator (2007-2013)



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.