However Long the Night: Molly Melching's Journey to Help Millions of African Women and Girls Triumph
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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 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.
the exchange program’s first year, thrilled about the prospect of spending six months in Africa. She was far less thrilled to be told, just hours after arriving at the Dakar airport, her brain still cloudy with jet lag, that the exchange program had unexpectedly been canceled. The university representative on the other end of the phone argued with her, explaining that they had sent a telegram to her American address notifying her of this development. “I didn’t get a telegram,” she said. It would
“Has something happened? is there a funeral today we weren’t told of?” she asked. Maimouna shook her head in confusion and looked at Molly for a possible explanation, but she was as bewildered as the rest of the group. She had, of course, called ahead to give notice that the women were coming to discuss their recent decision. “I distinctly remember the sinking feeling I had at that point,” Molly says. “I’d expected a celebration and much joy from people, happy to see their relatives, who’d made
national, and even international level. “At the outset of the movement, whether in foot-binding or FGC, you don’t suddenly find 100 percent abandonment across a country or region,” Mackie says. “Rather, abandonment proceeds through clusters in social networks and often follows very predictable patterns. It is then, at the end of the process—when most people know that others are ending a practice—that you find more comprehensive abandonment. That is how the neighborhood-to-neighborhood model
worked in China and why you see declarations leading to other declarations in Senegal and beyond; for the host village it is an end, but for some of the invited guests it means their work has just begun.” At the end of the three days, the team could not help but focus on one specific point that Mackie had returned to again and again: what was happening in Senegal could very well be like the change that led to the abandonment of foot-binding in China within a single generation. If things
appreciate the view—the very same view she’d first encountered thirty-five years ago at the age of twenty-four—and tried to absorb the news she’d just received from a staff member in Hargeisa. Two public declarations were going to take place in Somaliland and Puntland. The first was scheduled in a few weeks’ time, on October 6, 2009; the second, just a few weeks later. Molly’s cell phone rang, startling her. It was her sister, Diane. She was preparing to come to Senegal and was calling to see