It’s almost sunset here in Dakar and the weather is perfect – a cool 78 with a breeze off the ocean and clear blue skies. Senegal is still embracing us with open arms.
We are waiting to eat dinner with Alioune Kebe and his young family. The group is travel weary but still in great spirits. There is so much to wring out. We are doing as much as we can with our limited remaining time.
This morning was the highlight of our day. We visited with Godfrey, one of the regional directors of Tostan. Tostan is an NGO that focuses on bringing dignity and human rights to communities throughout Africa. Their efforts work against practices like female genital cutting and child marriage. These are lingering cultural practices that have little place in Senegal’s safe and tolerant society. They are using the values of the people and their norms of respect and tolerance to bring awareness to these issues. People are declaring an end to this practice because Tostan helps them realize the need to love and to understand from the inside. The organization learns from the communities it works with and does little from the top down. It’s amazing to hear stories from their field work and success throughout the region. I encourage everyone to read more about them through their website.
We learned about Tostan through Reagan Stilwell’s grandparents. Relationships really are the core of what we do!!