Tostan International

Tostan's mission is to empower African communities to bring about sustainable development and positive social transformation based on respect for human rights. We believe that through this mission we can ensure every person—woman, man, girl, and boy — is able to live a life of dignity.

Tostan means "breakthrough" in the Wolof language. This non-profit was started by Molly Melching in Senegal over 40 years ago. Now her program is implemented in 22 languages across six African countries and is supported at the international, national, and grassroots levels. 

It is of utmost importance to the Tostan's team that their programs to respectfully engage communities by working in the local native languages and using traditional methods of learning. Participants learn to read and write in their local languages, as well as basic math skills. Learning how to send and receive SMS text messages, through their Mobile Phone for Literacy and Development module, encourages participants to practice and share their newly acquired literacy skills.  Communities elect their own leadership, and truly are able to develop their own culture and fulfill their own potential. 

Please learn more about Tostan International here