Community Empowerment Program

Tostan’s flagship program is the Community Empowerment Program (CEP). The CEP is a three-year, non-formal education program that facilitates community-led development and social progress. The CEP is rooted in developing awareness of and respect for human rights, and it has been successful in transforming the lives of hundreds of thousands of villagers in Western Africa.

How it works

The CEP puts rural communities in charge of their own futures. Tostan helps communities develop their own vision for development using an approach that is human-rights based, respectful and inclusive, holistic and sustainable.

What the CEP accomplishes

  • Focuses on health and hygiene early in the 30-month program
  • Teaches literacy, numeracy and business skills
  • Encourages families to keep their daughters in school
  • Encourages collaboration among men and women, youth and adults from different castes and different socio-economic groups
  • Increases the involvement of women in civic activities
  • Fosters the establishment of small community health centres
  • Initiates community–managed microcredit activities
  • Leads to the abandonment of the practices of child marriage and female genital cutting (FGC) in thousands of communities

To learn more about the CEP program structure, click here. To read examples of the CEP in action, click here.