Marième Bamba Community Empowerment Program Participant, Solar Power Engineer Marième Bamba is a pillar of her community, leading holistic, sustainable transformation in her village and beyond. She never got the chance to go to school, was married at the age of 12, and bore her first child at 13 years old. Today, her life has completely changed – she serves as a member of her village’s Community Management Committee and is a Social Mobilization Agent for the abandonment of Female Genital Cutting. This change came about as Marième participated in Tostan’s three-year Community Empowerment Program, where she learned vital skills through human rights-based empowering education, the ability to read and write, social mobilization, local democracy and income-generation and project management. Using the broad skills and knowledge she’s gained, Marième is a leader for the development and holistic well-being of her village – as it is defined by the community themselves. “Before Tostan’s program…we lacked important information because we hadn’t been to school. If you see our children going to school and attending university today, it is thanks to Tostan’s support. We learned and learned with Tostan. We overcame our problems and are passing this knowledge on to our children so they can learn too.” – Marième Bamba Several years ago, Marième spent six months in India learning to be a solar engineer and continues to install and service solar lights in her area. She has led regional women’s groups and is a successful entrepreneur. Marième is a leader and role model not only for her peers but for a whole generation of girls who see women treated with respect and dignity at home and in the community. She is passionate about sharing what she has learned and how it has transformed her life, and changed expectations and social norms of the community where she resides.