Read However Long the Night: Molly Melching's Journey to Help Millions of African Women and Girls Triumph by Aimee Molloy Molly Melching Online


In However Long the Night, Aimee Molloy tells the unlikely and inspiring story of Molly Melching, an American woman whose experience as an exchange student in Senegal led her to found Tostan and dedicate almost four decades of her life to the girls and women of Africa.This moving biography details Melching's beginnings at the University of Dakar and follows her journey ofIn However Long the Night, Aimee Molloy tells the unlikely and inspiring story of Molly Melching, an American woman whose experience as an exchange student in Senegal led her to found Tostan and dedicate almost four decades of her life to the girls and women of Africa.This moving biography details Melching's beginnings at the University of Dakar and follows her journey of 40 years in Africa, where she became a social entrepreneur and one of humanity's strongest voices for the rights of girls and women.Inspirational and beautifully written, However Long the Night: Molly Melching's Journey to Help Millions of African Women and Girls Triumph is a passionate entreaty for all global citizens. This book is published in partnership with the Skoll Foundation, dedicated to accelerating innovations from organizations like Tostan that address the world's most pressing problems....

Title : However Long the Night: Molly Melching's Journey to Help Millions of African Women and Girls Triumph
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780062132765
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 272 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

However Long the Night: Molly Melching's Journey to Help Millions of African Women and Girls Triumph Reviews

  • Vilo
    2019-06-18 00:53

    If you are only going to read one book this year (other than scriptural texts) make it this one. This is the true and fascinating story of how an American woman ended up in the middle of a sea change in opinion on female genital cutting in Senegal, spreading into other areas of Africa. This is not, as some blurbs seem to indicate, the story of a Westerner who managed to persuade another culture to do what is right. It is the story of a Westerner who deeply loved the people of Senegal, lived among them and responded to what she saw as a need (education for children). As she pursued his goal, she made sure to listen carefully to what villagers wanted to learn, because she had seen so many aid groups that did not listen to or even involve the local people. She made many mistakes, but was open to learning from them and had created an environment where the people had enough trust to assume it was a mistake and communicate with her so that she could correct it. However, Molly Melching herself would say that it is not her story, although she was privileged to be part of it. It is a testament to the power of what an understanding of one's worth and "God-given human rights" can do for a people. With that understanding, the women themselves were open to learning about possibilities for their lives and used new information they had received from a trusted source to make a change. I may have given too many spoilers. But read it anyway, because you will meet people you will be so grateful to know, people I personally thought the most unlikely on earth to receive my admiration. This book has implications far beyond the ending of one horrific tradition.

  • Jeannette
    2019-06-26 06:41

    One of those books that one reads, however long it takes to get through it. Yes, it was a bit overdone and tedious, too many descriptions of what Molly did and where and when and with whom. And yes, the work is worthy and helped many but somehow, the White Woman Victorious is too often the theme in books about developing, changing cultures. I want more Black, Colored, Underclass books about how these people cope and change themselves and their cultures.

  • Andrew
    2019-06-10 01:48

    I did not want to read However Long the Night because its subtitle hinted at another grim book about developing countries – a story I’d encountered, sadly, too many times.This is why we don’t judge books by their cover (or subtitle). However Long the Night illuminates a development aid success story. It also subtly criticizes today’s often failed approaches to development. It describes how infectious progress is when aid programs tap into existing social networks. Molly Melching found herself drawn into these networks when she arrived as an exchange student in Senegal in 1974. And she never left. Eventually she founded Tostan, an educational network dedicated to defending human rights and, today, ending female genital cutting. She did this with a complete dedication to respecting local circumstances and culture, winning the trust of many traditional tribes often hostile to western aid organizations (thus her insistence on the less judgemental “cutting” instead of “mutilation”). Today Tostan is the organization others in the region emulate. So However Long the Night turned out to be a book I did want to read. It ended up as a good news story that offers proven ways to support developing countries.Follow me on Twitter:@Dr_A_Taubman

  • Alyssa Peterson
    2019-06-18 00:41

    Shouldn’t have read this on vacation because now I’m ready to go back to work. Very motivating. Another great story that proves how important dignity is in development work.

  • Sue
    2019-06-03 03:52

    Molly Melching spent six months in Senegal on a graduate school semester abroad program. That experience was life-changing and resulted in her staying for the next 40 years. She founded Tostan which is a human rights based program enabling women to learn health care and empowering them in their communities. It doesn’t come in and say “you need to change”. It presents the information and allows the women to dialog and make the decisions as a community. Part of the program speaks to the issue of Female Genital Cutting – a deeply entrenched tradition. As a result, at the time the book was written in 2013, over 5,000 villages had made declarations to end the practice. The program has spread to neighboring countries and other parts of Africa with tremendous success. Found this on Amazon because of my having read/rated *The Blue Sweater*. Both are books about NGO work done in Africa from the perspective of empowering the locals and working with the infrastructure already in place. Neither books goes in with a heavy-handed "what you're doing is all wrong, you should be doing this instead" and I appreciate that. This one addresses a much more sensitive issue, and yes, it does explain exactly what is done in the FGC procedure. But what's amazing is the results. According to the book, this tradition is so deeply a part of the local culture that it is taboo to even talk about it. Molly's team found a way to present the health risks (believed by the locals to be the result of evil spirits) and then allow the women to dialog over time. Molly never pushed for the declaration - that came from the village women themselves. The program format has been expanded to address literacy and child development. This is a well-written book that shows there is good being done in the world by individuals with no sense of seeking the glory for their efforts.

  • Christina Dudley
    2019-06-01 00:49

    Wow! A really inspiring, moving book about a woman finding a home in Senegal and kicking off a movement that has changed thousands of communities through the communities' initiative. Tostan comes to villages offering educational modules for women: literacy, human rights declarations, infant health, and women's health. By doing so, they give women the words to address their own culture and traditions, with surprising results for longtime practices like child marriages, Female Genital Cutting, and wife beating. Brava to Molly Melching for her single-mindedness (must have been very tough to be her daughter Zoe) and lifelong dedication, and to the brave Senegalese women who spoke up in the face of opposition from women and men alike, including family members.The principles Tostan espouses apply to any cultural practices that ultimately do more harm than good: if one person decides to change, she faces ostracism, but if the social network together resists it, the cultural change has a chance.Nice companion read to HALF THE SKY.

  • MA
    2019-05-27 01:39

    I thoroughly enjoyed this uplifting, inspirational story about Molly Melching's work in Africa and the creation of Tostan, an NGO. Tostan's mission is to empowering African communities by leveraging human-rights based education to drive sustainable development and positive social transformation. Melching’s work in partnership with key African mentors and colleagues has created a better future for millions of girls and women in Africa. Tostan’s most famous accomplishment is the work that led to nearly 5,000 Senegalese village councils to declare their abandonment of the deeply entrenched, centuries-old tradition of female genital cutting. Melching has shown the world that patience, commitment and partnership can drive transformational change. I am in awe of Melching and her African counterparts for their determination and courage. Their success in Senegal has allowed Tostan to expand to other countries in Africa. This is such an amazing success story!

  • Herta Feely
    2019-06-21 03:44

    I can't say enough good things about this book and about Molly Melching. Reading this, I was inspired to do more in the world. In the 1980s I co-founded a non-profit dedicated to saving children from "accidental" injuries, work that was fulfilling in large part because it was making a difference in the world. Now I'm a writer and I often don't get that same lift. However, Aimee Molloy's book pushed me to consider what else I might do. Not only is this a fascinating story, but a reminder that we all need to do our part.

  • Shona
    2019-06-09 02:44

    Interesting story, not very well written.

  • Dej
    2019-05-28 01:58

    Inspiring. An NGO that seems to make sense.

  • Caitlin
    2019-06-19 01:46

    LOVED it! Time to go out into the world and make a difference!

  • Jennifer Conroy
    2019-06-12 01:48

    Fascinating book!

  • Suzanne Ondrus
    2019-06-14 04:52

    This book was so inspirational! Molly Melching's story of working in Senegal, founding the NGO Tostan, and spurring the end of FGM in Senegal is amazing. I loved that this woman wears boubous and speaks Wolof. Her approach was of entering into conversation with the Senegalese, versus the stiff and formal relations that dominated development work in the 1970's. In 1974 Melching came to Dakar for a study abroad and has lived in Senegal since then. Melching was inspired in her work when in 1993 the U N adopted the Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women. Noteworthy is that Senegal ratified CEDAW in 1980 and "put it into effect in 1985" (120). There is a discussion of the terminology of FGM, FGC and the UN's choice of FGM, pgs. 175-176 Melching advocated the term FGC as FGM inferred intentional harm and was offensive to villagers.] Melching asked village women what their needs were; they responded they wanted education and to know about their own health. For example, malaria was believed to come from mangoes (93). Melching educated on the transmission of germs through an ingenious lesson whereby she put perfume in a bowl of water and had everyone dip their hand in the water. She explained how one did not see anything there, but one knew something was there, just like germs. In 1995 some of the Tostan women approached Melching about the need to educate on FGM; Melching hesitated and felt conflicted as an outsider. However, she built a module on Human Rights and women's reproductive health. In 1997 a village in Thies made a public declaration against FGM. By 2002, 392 villages publicly declared ending cutting (204). As of 2013, over 5000 Senegalese villages have publicly declared against FGM.When the women learned that many women in the world do not practice FGM they were surprised. They were empowered to learn about their human rights and as a result became leaders. Also, when they learned the scientific health consequences of FGM their opinions on FGM changed. Lastly, when Imams confirmed that FGM was not written in the Koran or part of Islam, their perspectives on FGM further changed. Melching realized the strong community values and work ways. Thus, she saw it was necessary for community consensus in order for large change (i.e. ending FGM), so she encouraged the women to talk with first the men in their communities, the religious leaders, their relatives in the neighboring villages. Many men did not even know what the genital cutting entailed- how it was done- what was cut. They then learned about the health consequences. The taboo around sex meant a silence on this subject. Most inspiring was how Oureye Sall was herself a cutter (practictioner of FGM) who had cut hundreds of girls. This career was lucrative and prestigious for her; however, she could not continue in it after learning about the damages of FGM. She became one of the biggest educators and advocates against FGM for Tostan. Also Demba Diawara (a respected elderly man from Keur Simbara village) is another excellent enlightenment story. Melching had been working with him and consulting with him. However, when he heard about Tostan's work on FGM, he visited her in her office to tell her to stop. She asked him to come back to her after he did three things first: 1. talk with the women in his village about the cutting 2. talk with doctors about the health consequences 3. talk with imams. He went and did this, changed his opinion, and then came back to tell Molly he wanted to talk to villages, educating them (158-161). In January 13, 1999 Senegal made FGM illegal. Melching and Tostan staff spoke with the government before they made it illegal, urging them to hold off on legislation because they believed they were making more progress from the communities rather than top down. Indeed they were right because the day after the law was passed, 100 girls were cut in the Kedougou region in protest (200). Women's resistance to un-supportive men is also presented. In Fouta women's voices and democracy from other casts were not supported. The women were frustrated by the lack of support by the men in their community. The women in this region refused to support male relatives (as protest) in a tradition where the women usually gave money and food (209).Gerry Mackie a scholar on the ending of foot binding in China with game theory (Schelling convention) connected with Tostan and was excited to see public declarations against FGM; he foresaw the soon eradication of FGM before he even learned about Tostan's activities. Mrs. Alicia Archibald Little moved to China in 1887 and got involved with ending foot binding. By chance she stumbled upon a community that did not bind its women's or girl's feet. She was surprised. She asked the village people why they did not bind the feet and they said that they decided as community to end this suffering tradition. Mrs. Little understood how important collective decisions were and took this as a methodology. She founded a movement of reform through education around 1895. 1. She taught that women elsewhere did not bind their feet 2. taught the benefits of natural feet & the health detriments of bound feet 3. forming natural-foot societies that pledged not to bind and not to allow their sons to marry women with bound feet (179-183). By 1911 foot-binding was basically gone (182).Tostan's approach is "to approach people--always in a peaceful, nonaggressive way, determined to find solutions rather than focus on the problems"(201). Melching and Tostan have won numerous awards. The WHO chose Tostan as a model for ending FGM in 2000. Melching was called by UNICEF to work in Somalia for ending FGM. As of 2013 over 5000 Senegalese villages have publicly declared against FGM. A new Tostan project addresses literacy through countering beliefs that it is bad to speak to one's baby. Melching was puzzled over literacy problems. For example: "In 2009, in eleven regions of Senegal, a study was conducted on the reading levels of children who had attended three years of formal school. The results were highly disheartening: only 7 percent of girls and 11 percent of boys evaluated were found capable of reading at a minimum level"( 246). She continued to question and dialogue with people and learned the root of the problem to be in early childhood development. Talking to one's baby was considered "crazy" and was taboo (247). Tostan educates parents about infant brain development and how talking to one's baby spurs on brain growth and applies social norm theory (247). The Tostan model is being applied in many countries, and Tostan takes on new initiatives.

  • Aggelos Kp
    2019-05-28 00:38

    Great story!

  • Pam
    2019-06-11 08:37

    didn't finish it. what she did was inspiring though!

  • Nadira Shahrul Baharin
    2019-06-01 01:47

    Masterpiece for humanitarian acts

  • Katie
    2019-06-02 02:01

    I was quite shocked by how much I enjoyed this book. I usually don’t go for biography or book about Africa, but this one called to me and I read it. I think it is a book everyone should read at least once in their life.The story follows the life of Molly Melching and how she brought the knowledge of human rights to numerous villages throughout rural Senegal. Molly is originally from the U.S. and moved to Africa in her early twenties. She stayed because of how welcome and at home she felt, something she had never found anywhere else. After studying and working as a translator, she became obsessed with how to get education into the rural areas of Senegal where it was gravely needed to help maintain and encourage the improvement projects that were being put in place by NGOs (Non-Governmental Organization). She had several incarnations of organizations before founding Tostan – primarily setting up a local community center through the local Peace Corps then working with her (then) husband to establish a local education program for the village of Saam Njaay. Between these two organizations, she developed a teaching model that met the needs and cultural traditions of the rural community, allowing them access to basic information such as reading, writing, and hygiene.When she finally broke out on her own and developed Tostan, she used what she had learned to develop an educational program that brought knowledge to the participants. Not only did the program teach reading and writing, but they were taught in connections with core ideas set up in modules – hygiene, basic health, leadership skills, and project development. After gaining success, she was prompted by receipt of funding to include a module on human rights and women’s health, including the dangers of FGC (female genital cutting) which was a widespread practice in Senegal. This last module was developed and presented with great care to be non-judgement and non-confrontational, simply presenting information that described the rights of women as outlined by the United Nations and gave the women information on their bodies they greatly wanted to know.This module had an unexpected result. As the women grew in their belief in their rights and themselves, the communities started to change as women demanded their rights. THe most stunning result was the decision by different villages to discontinue FGC, which caused anger and dismay with other villages. This led to the discovery of social norm connectivity and how members of a group will decide together.As an educator and a woman, I found this book highly informative. Not only did I get an overview of life in Senegal, but I learned more about my rights as a woman and innovative educational practices I hope to someday use in my classroom. I thought it did a wonderful job of not only discussing Molly’s life, but also the different things she and her assistants learned over the years and the amazing stories shared by the brave women and men in Senegal who are attempting to bring an end to FGC in the country, and to spread the knowledge across borders.I highly recommend this book to everyone, but especially women and educators. It also gives you a glimpse into a life we cannot imagine in the United States and is a great way to learn about a mindset completely foreign to us. It definitely ranks on my “needs to be read” list for someone who will take the time to appreciate what they can learn from it.

  • Laura
    2019-06-26 05:56

    Wow, this book was such an inspirational read! There were moments when I was in tears and others when I wanted to whoop for joy. It is a book that every person, but especially women, can appreciate because it is the amazing story of Molly Melching, a fearless woman, known as one of the "most powerful women in women's rights". Through education and respect, she led African women to stand up for their rights and helped them celebrate their freedom.However Long the Night reads like a novel. It is the story of Molly, an American university student who went to Senegal in 1974 and decided to stay, loving the people of that land, their culture and their warmth. Feeling at home in a country so unlike her own, Molly saw the needs of the people. With the help of several Senegalese scholars, she opened a children's center, “where she used elements of traditional African culture to reach out-of-school children in their native Wolof language.”After experiencing life in remote African villages, Molly founded Tostan, an organization that promoted learning through education based on human rights, where villagers learned to read and write, and how to take care of themselves and their families through proper health care. This is where the topic of female genital cutting came up, a topic known as “the tradition” and never discussed, seen as a loving act to prepare a daughter for marriage.By empowering women through discussion and human rights education, Molly helped revolutionize how Africans viewed their traditions without ever judging or criticizing. Her organization succeeded where many others failed. What touched me the most is how she involved the religious leaders and the village chiefs, the men, to understand the dangers of female genital cutting. Molly understood and saw the African wisdom beneath the uneducated. She trained all her staff to respect the African way so that through dignity, perseverance and patience, the African women took a stand and made the changes that would help all their future generations to triumph.This is an important story because we can all learn from how Molly helped bring about change. This selfless woman dedicated her life to achieve what may have seemed impossible. I was inspired, uplifted and greatly touched by, not just her story, but that of all the African women and men who played a part in shaking their world for the better. A remarkable and unforgettable book—one of the best books I've read this year. Highly recommended.

  • Heather
    2019-06-14 02:45

    This was a very interesting book about an American woman who falls in love with Africa and has dedicated her life to helping Africans help themselves. First, as someone who has also visited many countries in Africa and loved them dearly, I was interested in how she made her dream of living there a reality and how she overcame obstacles to do so. She observed, as anyone can, how often NGO efforts fail in Africa because the local people are not directly involved and taking ownership of the well-intentioned but too often destined to fail foreign aid projects. She develops methods where the local people decide for themselves what they want to accomplish and the projects succeed in the long term. One of the topics that women end up raising and discussing is what we call female genital mutilation, or "cutting" and removing the clitoris and/or labia of young girls. In Senegal, as in many Africa countries, this was a common traditional practice but there were negative health consequences which were not being discussed and about which there was no education. This book goes into detail about how, one community at a time, communities decided to abandon this practice and how the movement grew. It was largely the work and decision making of the Senagalese women, and then the men of their communities, and not foreign valued being imposed, and perhaps that is why the process was so successful.Granted, there are some hard things to hear about in a book that talks so candidly about "the practice" but it is well done. Overall the process of change was fascinating, and it is ongoing. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in other cultures, Africa, nonprofit work, and/or educational methodologies.

  • Rohayati Fikra
    2019-06-14 05:53

    very most inspiring books..

  • Liralen
    2019-05-29 07:06

    If I hadn't head of Tostan before, I'd probably call this too good to be true. The founder, Molly Melching, moved to Senegal as a young woman and eventually founded an organization that works to educate and empower women. Eventually they added a teaching module on women's health and, with trepidation, included in that module information on female genital cutting. It's a difficult thing to talk about, and in places FGC is an entrenched enough tradition that it's an extremely difficult thing to get people to stop doing -- so Tostan didn't: they understood that communities had to come to that decision on their own. The movement gradually spread, first across Senegal and then to other parts of Africa.Half the Sky mentions Tostan, and for good reason -- it's been successful in large part because it operates on the assumption that outsiders don't know what is most necessary, and that what is most effective is to work with the people involved to find out.The book gets only three stars from me because I found the writing rather lacking in oomph. The author gets the story across, but in a relatively, hmm, simplistic way. It makes for a very fast read (too fast, in fact -- it was the only book I brought to work yesterday, and I had the first slow day in weeks -- which meant that I finished the book before my commute home. Woe!) but also one that could use more depth. Definitely, definitely a story worth reading, though.

  • Jodi Escalante
    2019-06-09 02:45

    This book starts out pretty heavy by describing a culture of female genital cutting. As the book progressed, I absolutely fell in love with Molly Melching and her efforts to "make empowering education accessible to millions of people at the grassroots level, helping them achieve their full potential" (p.243). This story is one of hope, love, perseverance and sacrifice. Many inspiring people made enormous sacrifices to share their knowledge, which has put an end to FGC in nearly 4,000 villages throughout Africa (at the time the book was completed in 2013). As a side note- I absolutely love the departing blessing Molly's Senegalese fatherly figure left her before his passing away at the age of 104. (P. 111):"You are trying to accomplish great things, but nothing is going to come easy for you. You will have problems along the way, many problems in life. You will need to experience these problems in order to get to a better place, the place you are meant to be."The blessing continues: "I have blessed you many, many times, and in the end, you will find your way. Your work will be like electricity: it has a beginning, but no end. Continue to listen and learn from the people, and you will move forward together. Things will become even more difficult for you. But always remember my words and never lose hope. However long the night, the sun will rise."Overall a very uplifting and inspiring book on the efforts of Molly Melching and the "Tostan" educational organization she created in Senegal. Definitely worth the read.

  • Tracey
    2019-05-26 06:39

    I won this book through Goodreads first-reads to be honest I would not ever think to read a book like this as I don't really know that much of their culture and what I have heard saddens me but this book has book a new prospective on things it was beautifully written and the details were very easy for me to follow. Molly is an incredible and dedicated lady who didn't give up hope and don't stop till she got what she wanted done. Her passion towards stopping Female genital cutting (FGC) in Senegal was amazing and with the help of the organisation Molly funded called Tostan's an educational network defending human rights and today especially working against FGC. Molly did this by living of the lands and gathering a lot of information also by getting the trust of many traditional tribes. They had Tostan classes with the women and explaining their human rights and how FGC was not healthy or good for them. I thought these classes were a wonderful idea and without them I don't feel Molly would have achieved what she has. The story is a very moving and full of education on the suffering of these African women it is book full of information but it is written in a way that makes you feel blessed reading it. Read this book and follow Molly's incredible journey about helping others you will see for yourself how great Molly is and how brilliantly written the book is.

  • Barbara
    2019-06-18 01:06

    It's hard to convey how excited this book makes me. It's about Tostan, an organization designed to foster adult literacy in Senegal. They began with Paolo Friere-like ideas about respecting their adult learners and tailoring lessons to the context of their lives. By following where that led them, they ended up with a curriculum unit on human rights and their students ended up deciding to abolish Female Genital Mutilation in their villages, first one at a time, then a dozen at a time, so that it's been virtually eliminated in Senegal and the movement is spilling over the borders into neighboring countries. No one could have achieved this by coming in with an agenda to do so. Missionaries and the British tried and it created cultural backlashes that entrenched the practice even more in reactionary movements that carried the appeal of opposing colonialism, which is a broad appeal indeed. They proceeded with such respect and sensitivity to present what people were asking for and let them do with it what they wanted to do, and that's the beauty of the story. I'd like to see it done here. I've heard that others have the same feeling and I'll be googling to see if I can find where it's been tried.

  • Shirley
    2019-05-28 02:57

    "Molly Melching saw a deeply disturbing but deeply entrenched practice and refused to accept that it couldn't be stopped. Her relentless efforts are proof that commitment and partnership can drive transformational change." Hillary Rodham ClintonSuch a statement from Hillary Clinton, while it hints at the monumental task that one woman set out to accomplish, it also conveys the worldwide acknowledgement that Molly Melching has achieved for the accomplishments she was instrumental in bringing forth in Africa.Always intrigued by other cultures, Molly Melching loved to travel. In October of 1974 she made the journey that would change her life and the lives of many many more. Travelling to Senegal Africa as an exchange student with the intention of attending the University of Dakar for a six month program, she became friends with Ndey, who was from a small village in Africa. It was while she was visiting with Ndey and her family there that she learned of female genital cutting (FGC). This was the beginning of her real journey.See my full review on My Bookshelf: http://shirley-mybookshelf.blogspot.c...

  • John
    2019-06-15 04:00

    Writing-wise, this is very much a 3. Think very simplified with a decided lack of intricate themes or explorations beyond the basic story of Molly Melching and the journey of her non-profit. Molloy's writing was actually best when it focused on the Senegalese people for a chapter or two prior to Molly's involvement in the story. Pluses included that Molloy did not make the story all about Molly (see the chapters that began the movement in the minds of Senegalese people pivotal to Molly's journey) and focused more so on how Molly's techniques aided and pioneered a movement of education that was all about the women of Senegal understanding their human rights and making their own decisions to better their culture. As a story? This gets five stars, because it's inspiring and the kind of work that needs to be talked about more. Female Genital Cutting is something that we privileged white people know diddly-poop about, and Molly's journey gives the why's and how's of it, letting the reader understand the practice and why it needs to be zoned out of these cultures. It never demonizes it or points fingers, which is why it works as a nonprofit and as a narrative.

  • Sunya Jones
    2019-05-26 06:48

    Amazing book. There are some great quotes in this book. From the title; "However long the night, the sun will rise again". "Don't build dams in your river. Allow the water to flow and go where it takes you. If you do, you will be okay". And the story about a competition between the sun and the wind that transpires after both spot a man walking alone down a road. " I bet I can make that man take off his coat sooner than you" The wind said to the sun. " Go ahead and try", said the sun" we'll see who wins." The wind huffed and puffed with all his might, hoping to blow the man's jacket right off him, but this just made the man pull his coat more tightly around his body. " Let me try now", said the smiling sun. With much gentleness, the sun beamed warm rays of sunlight down on the man. The man loosened his grip, and soon, basking in the warm sunlight, he happily removed his coat... Some great lessons in these quotes and in this very well written book.

  • Fadillah
    2019-06-03 07:55

    I have been longing to read about female genital cutting and why this tradition is widely practice in africa for quite certain time. However, i cant find the right book that envisioned what i had in mind. When i found this book in a shop, i was skeptical. A thoughts filled in my head saying the disappointment after reading it will be in present. I was wrong. This is a story about an ordinary woman who started incrementally in changing the dangerous tradition practiced by the villagers in senegal. She started with education of human rights and in the same time, combining the value of unity in the society by dialogues and classes to raise awareness about female genital cutting. It is truly remarkable and inspiring what she accomplished in the villages of Senegal. The tostan program she worked on has now reaching to other country like Somali.

  • Sarah
    2019-06-12 07:54

    This was a really quick read, and I was on the verge of tears for most of it. After Three Cups of Tea, it's easy to be skeptical about tales of an American's do-good antics on foreign soil. That said, I haven't done any internet research to really verify anything said in this book.However, give me a tale of someone who is passionate about education and girls, and I am THERE. I really enjoy the way Molly continues to deflect praise and point the spotlight at the Senegalese women and men who have truly changed the world with her organization. Of course, Molly has accomplished a lot and sounds like an amazing woman, but it is clear it is the people she loves and worked to help who have done the hard work. This is a truly inspiring tale, and I enjoyed reading it. I look forward to checking out Tostan and looking for other works by Aimee Molloy.

  • Flannery
    2019-06-06 05:43

    Despite the potential of this subject to result in a compelling story, I felt the writing style weighed this book down a little. Then I was appalled to read one little sentence stuck in near the end that tried to distinguish female genital mutilation from male circumcision, essentially condemning the former but reinforcing and supporting the latter. That's ridiculous---a child's genitals are a child's genitals, no matter their sex, and deserve to be protected from nonconsensual cutting. Though I of course did not expect the focus of the book to include male children, I was disappointed that when the author did mention male's genital integrity, she was so dismissive of it. Her own American cultural bias showed, there, unfortunately.