Creative/Video Direction

Amplifying the voices of grassroots movements in West Africa

Who better to tell the stories of grassroots transformation in West African communities than the community members who are leading change? As an organization, Tostan’s philosophy of community empowerment was fundamental to how we created and shared stories: always featuring individual changemakers telling their stories in their own native language.

Women of West Africa: Finding the Courage to Lead

 In 2015, 63 individuals who had completed Tostan’s Community Empowerment program were officially elected into government positions in the Goudiry region of Senegal. 

41 of them were women — an unheard of statistic in a this rural area of the country. 

Fatoumata, one of the most vibrant and fascinating women I’ve had the opportunity to meet, shares her story of finding the courage to step into leadership…and her plans to run for mayor of her community. 

This video was selected for exclusive screening at the international 2015 Women Deliver conference in Copenhagen, Denmark.


Demba & Oureye: Unlikely Allies in the Movement to End FGC 

Female genital cutting (FGC) is a harmful traditional practice with deep roots in rural West African communities. Here, Oureye, a former cutter, speaks out about why she abandoned the practice and how she partnered with a respected local imam to help hundreds of communities end the practice of FGC for good. 

Senegal hopes to be one of the first countries in Africa to achieve nationwide abandonment of the practice in the next ten years.


Youth Voices: The Next Generation of Changemakers in West Africa 

18-year-old Yaya Baldé sums it up best: “The future is ours. We have to talk to each other to bring better understanding, because we are the leaders of tomorrow.”