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

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

by Aimee Molloy


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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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062132765
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 04/30/2013
Pages: 272
Product dimensions: 6.30(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Aimee Molloy is the author of the New York Times bestseller However Long the Night: Molly Melching’s Journey to Help Millions of African Women and Girls Triumph and the co-author of several non-fiction books. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two daughters. The Perfect Mother is her first novel.

Table of Contents

Author's Note ix

Book 1

1 Dogu gi (The Decision) 3

2 Xabaar bu Mag bi (Breaking the Silence) 17

3 Tawféex (Corning into Her Own) 25

4 Wàcc-bees bi (The Newcomer) 37

5 Teraanga ji (Welcome) 47

6 Tostan 55

7 Maasawu (Empathy) 61

8 Démb ak Tey (Yesterday and Today) 71

9 Njàng mu Xóot (Deep Learning) 83

10 Njàngale mi (Teaching) 91

11 Jabar ak Ndey (Wife and Mother) 101

12 Lu Guddi gi Yàgg-Yàgg (However Long the Night) 107

13 Sañ-Sañi Doom Aadama (Human Rights) 113

14 Ngir Sunuy Doom yu Jigéen (For Our Daughters) 123

15 Yeewu-Yeete (Showing the Way) 129

Book 2

16 Yewwiku (Deliverance) 139

17 Yoonu Diisoo (Choosing Dialogue) 147

18 Tànki Jàmm (Feet of Peace) 155

19 Biral gi (The Public Declaration) 167

20 Jëf, Gëstu (From Practice to Theory) 179

21 Alhamdulilaa (Thanks Be to God) 187

22 Njàmbaar (Courage) 199

23 Fajar gi (Dawn of a New Day) 213

24 Bàyyil Dex gi Daw (Let the River Flow) 225

25 Pas-pas (Perseverance) 233

26 Jant bi Dina Fenk (The Sun Will Rise) 241

Epilogue 245

Acknowledgments 251

What People are Saying About This

Lisa See

“Melching’s incredible journey from Illinois to Africa, from graduate student to great humanitarian, is paralleled by the journey of the countless women touched by her work: a journey to understanding, empowerment and human dignity.”

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However Long the Night: Molly Melching's Journey to Help Millions of African Women and Girls Triumph 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
LauraFabiani More than 1 year ago
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.
DebSimon More than 1 year ago
I applaud the grass roots movement Mollie Melching spearheaded which resulted in a social revolution ending female genitalia mutilation in Senegal. However this is not literature but rather a historical script or reference. Mollie's efforts are worthy of top humanitarian recognition and awards, but this book is both poorly written and edited in unending choppy 1st, 2nd, and 3rd person perspectives. I was never swept away or felt transported to the place and time. Mollie's legacy deserves better than this.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
An amazing, inspiring story of Molly Melching's courageous, fearless and brilliant work. She's our present day heroine!