Jasmine's Place Issue No. 12 - July/August 2014 - Page 41

they believe it is good, is not the way to bring about deep and lasting change. I believe the way to help people find their path forward is through really listening to them, understanding them and working alongside them rather than for them. This approach helps in building respectful collaboration that creates a more positive future. So much of what we do today at Tostan is based on very subtle things - insights we had after listening to all members of the communities, breakthroughs using knowledge we gained through thoughtful and lengthy discussions in classes or sitting under the neem trees or around a fire late into the night. What would be your advice to social entrepreneurs who are trying to make a change in the world? As the Wolof proverb says, "It's better to find a way out than to stand and scream at the forest." It is not always easy to find the way out, but rushing and aggressiveness will never help. I think as a social entrepreneur, messaging and telling people that what they are doing is bad, when If you talk to people who work with Tostan, they will tell you that we are constantly adapting our program - making changes, adjustments, ongoing shifts as we get new information from or for our community members. This careful listening and asking practice that leads to program evolution seems to me to be a hallmark of many of the wonderful entrepreneurs I meet at places like the Skoll World Forum. Many thanks to Molly Melching for her time – Puaichie Badejo Find out more about Tostan at www.tostan.org, and on social media: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Tostan/21482158469 https://twitter.com/Tostan https://www.linkedin.com/company/977908?trk=tyah&trkInfo=tarId%3A1 404144511833%2Ctas%3Atostan%2Cidx%3A2-1-6 http://www.youtube.com/user/TostanInternational https://www.flickr.com/photos/tostan/ JASMINE'S PLACE 41