Rose Diop is the actual National Coordinator of Tostan in Senegal. Her story with Tostan starts in 1997 and over time much has changed given all the learnings from the NGO’s work in the field. Today, Rose is sharing with you a special memory from her years working at Tostan.
“In my role, I’ve traveled two times with Mrs. Alexandra Mackenzie, Director of the Development Program and Counselor at the Canadian Embassy in Senegal to the Kolda region. In 2019, we visited Bantancountou Maoundé, a community that had finished the Community Empowerment Program (CEP) and recently completed the Peace and Security Program. In March 2020, as part of the launch of the “When She leads, Everyone Succeeds” project, we visited another community, Saré Yaya Mballo, that had just started the CEP.
It was interesting to see what the the Tostan Program contributed to the lives of participants. Comparing these two communities, the differences were enormous – at the organizational level of the community, in the way they expressed themselves, and the confidence that women and young girls showed when speaking publicly, what they shared about how to get involved and take initiative in community activities concerning good governance, education, the environment, health, and the economy, the promotion of human rights and the abandonment of harmful practices, conflict prevention, mediation and above all, the way in which men and women worked in synergy to promote collective activities.
In summary, it is more than certain that Tostan’s program enables communities to be real actors in their own development – in collaboration with local authorities, of course – and contributes greatly to their well-being.“
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.