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Since we began, our human rights-based education program has reached more than three million people, resulting in:
women have been selected into leadership positions in their communities
people live in communities that publicly declared an end to female genital cutting
communities that have publicly declared their daughters will not marry before they are 18
people, mostly women, have improved their reading skills thanks to our innovative training on mobile phones
villages have established their own community funds that help people save, invest, and grow
people have learned about democracy and how to make decision-making equitable

The Tostan Model

Our three-year nonformal education program puts rural communities in charge of their own futures. We help communities develop their own vision for development using an approach that is:

Human Rights-Based

Knowledge of human rights and responsibilities is the foundation for learning

Respectful & Inclusive

Information is shared in a non-judgmental way

Holistic & Sustainable

Program covers five key impact areas and has sustainability at its core

Where We Work

We partner with communities in six countries in Africa.

What’s New


“We won’t stop here.” - International Women’s Day in solidarity with prison detainees

Relaxed discussion, popular songs blasting from speakers, a cheerful atmosphere in a sea of matching outfits: my first impressions of the place I had just entered did not align with the perceptions I held about prisons. It was International Women’s Day, at La Maison d’Arrêt et de Correction in Thiès, Senegal--a prison for both male and female detainees that has partnered with Tostan’s Prison Project since 2003.

Women's Empowerment in Mali

This International Women’s Day, we’re celebrating the incredible ways women across Mali have applied their new knowledge and skills learned during the Community Empowerment Program (CEP) to fit their unique lives.


Overcoming discrimination and finding one’s voice

Using community-hosted radio programs to spread human rights messages

In honor of World Radio Day, here’s a look at how Tostan partner communities use radio programs as an effective way to spread knowledge about human rights and other important issues. One of the main factors for success is that the shows are for the community, by the community, making the information relevant and credible to listeners.


Celebrating the International Day for FGC Abandonment

February 6 was International FGC Abandonment Day. We are proud to support the 8000+ communities across eight countries who have publicly declared to abandon FGC.

The following graphics celebrate the 358 communities who declared to abandon FGC and other harmful practices in December 2016. This human rights movement in West Africa is building momentum and is rapidly approaching critical mass thanks to brave leaders taking a stand to protect their young girls.

Spotlight on Mauritania


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You Can Help Create Generational Change in Three Years!

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