What is your relationship with Tostan?
Mouctar Oularé. I am the National Coordinator in Guinea. So I am a staff member.
How did you first hear about Tostan?
M.O. Through a call for tender to recruit local NGO partners of Tostan. As I was the Founder and Executive Director of CEGUIFED (Guinean Center for Training and Education for Development), I submitted my NGO’s file to Tostan Guinea, which was recruited following an institutional analysis. This is how CEGUIFED was recruited as an NGO partner of Tostan Guinea in Lower Guinea.
Share a special moment you have experienced since you have known Tostan.
M.O. It was in 2003 after a month-long training in Thiès for partner NGOs on Tostan’s Community Empowerment Program (CEP). Today, at the Tostan Guinea national office in Labé (northern Guinea), during a planning meeting with Tostan Guinea staff chaired by Mr. Malick Diagne (may he rest in peace), two partner NGOs (CAM and AJGUIDE) threatened not to continue the partnership with Tostan Guinea on the grounds that Tostan Guinea did not have the right to implement its program in Guinea. According to them, the implementation of the program was the right of the three partner NGOs trained for this purpose by Tostan in Thies. When Malick Diagne realized that CEGUIFED did not share the position of the other two partner NGOs, he called me for a meeting with them (him and me). He asked me to convince the other two NGOs to come around. I managed to convince the two partner NGOs by telling them that we cannot “plow, sow and harvest today and eat today”. In other words, I invited the two NGO partners to give themselves time to learn the skills and practices for a good implementation of the Tostan program. In Thiès, we have a good theoretical understanding of the CEP that needed to be complemented by a good programmatic understanding of the CEP. As a result, the two NGO partners agreed to continue the partnership with Tostan Guinea to the great satisfaction of Malick Diagne.
Share a story, memory or situation that illustrates your experience with Tostan.
M.O. From 2014 to 2016, we came up with a project concept with UNICEF to fund post-reporting monitoring activities in 227 villages in Upper Guinea, Middle Guinea, and Lower Guinea that had completed the CEP. The activities were aimed at building the capacity of the community-based child protection system called SyPEG (Child Protection System in Guinea).
What do you wish for Tostan over the next 30 years?
M.O. The scaling up of the Community Empowerment Program in Guinea in line with national priorities (decentralization, promotion of women’s and girls’ rights, child protection).
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.