Dignity for All

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

Who We Are

Tostan Canada is a registered Canadian charity that exists to raise awareness of and support for Tostan’s transformational community work in Africa.

Tostan is an international nonprofit headquartered in Dakar, Senegal. We have spent over 20 years developing a way to put communities in charge of their own futures through our grassroots holistic education program.


What We Do

Tostan’s 3-year Community Empowerment Program helps African communities bring about sustainable development and positive social transformation based on human rights.  The CEP engages participants using familiar methods of communication such as dialogue and exchange, theater, poetry, and song, while addressing topics of high interest.


Our History

Our origins date back to 1974 when Tostan’s founder, Molly Melching, first arrived in Senegal as an exchange student from the United States.

After completing her studies, Molly stayed to work as a Peace Corps volunteer in Dakar, creating the first radio program for children in national languages. Her work soon took her to rural villages, where she found that many development efforts were not addressing the true needs and realities of the communities in ways that were relevant to their lives.


Tostan Canada Team

Tostan Canada was incorporated as a registered charity in 2012 to raise funds to support to Tostan’s transformational community work in Africa. Tostan Canada is run by a small group of volunteer directors. It has no staff and no office. One hundred percent of donations received in Canada go directly to Tostan’s programs in Africa.


Tostan International Team

Tostan is a positive, vibrant community of over 1,000 people, with its headquarters in Dakar, Senagal. It is an African-based grassroots organization led at the country level by national teams which include dedicated teams of facilitators and supervisors who work directly with our partner communities.


Awards and Recognition

Tostan and our Founder, Molly Melching have been recognized by numerous organizations and awards over the years for its transformational work.