The Foundation for a Healthier Senegal is excited to welcome our second class of Ambassadors who are based across four continents and bring a diverse set of experiences to the FOSHEN family.
The goal of the selected group of 10 will be to take action and tackle issues around maternal and child health inequities that face rural Senegalese communities. To make significant progress in this area, we carefully considered individuals that believe in the values of FOHSEN: Education, Equity, Empowerment and Collaboration.
The ambassadors are based in the Dominican Republic to Benin and everywhere in between. The diverse set of lived experiences that they bring will allow FOHSEN to address the challenges in an appropriate manner. The fellows will be supported by our senior team, paving the way for success. Here are your 2023 Ambassadors!
Passionate about the web & its new businesses, Fady has more than 9 years of experience in brand management and communication. She has deep expertise in creation and planning of marketing content, development of digital marketing strategies and community management. An advocate for using social media to enact large-scale change & empower women, she spent 4 years in Senegal where she was involved in social initiatives. While based in Benin, Fady looks forward to reconnecting with her Senegalese ties.
A Gambian-American, Fatima “Xalebi” Danso is the founder of the SGWA Awards Ceremony, an annual ceremony and gala that aims to celebrate SeneGambian West African culture in the United States and recognize the achievements of trailblazers in the community. She sees the ceremony as “an important way of deconstructing barriers to success and barriers of navigating two worlds — a traditional and religious community and the realities of racism, sexism, xenophobia and Islamophobia.” When asked about the intentions behind creating it, Fatima stated that too often, Black Muslim immigrants carry a number of burdens and are not provided platforms to express themselves.
A student of Baruch College’s Zicklin School of Business, Fatima is also an administrator at Volunteers of America, one of the oldest service-based organizations in the country. Through her work, she supports the organization by providing social services —including housing and employment — to low-income families, the elderly and the disabled. Furthermore, Fatima is the founder of Xalebi, a health fitness company that has facilitated dialogues of health and fitness for Black Mulim Women. She is known for her unapologetic identities — she proudly embraces her Gambian cultural identity and uses her entrepreneurial spirit and skills to support women in their journeys towards excellence.
A decorated American combat veteran, John has served two tours in Afghanistan. John is the author of Combat to College and has spoken to congress as a legislative fellow on veterans issues.He holds a B.A. in History and a M. Ed. from Harvard in international education. John has been a FOHSEN ambassador since 2021 and is passionate about fitness, travel, and education.
As a first generation Senegalese American, Fatima takes pride in engaging in the tough conversations about race, gender etc. and works closely with the Diversity & Inclusion team. Fatima Diop is an AVP, Portfolio Analyst on the High Yield Corporate Desk at AllianceBernstein. Before joining AB, Fatima worked as a Senior Rates Analyst at Bloomberg where she provided risk management support. She is the co-chair of the Black Employee Resource Group which is committed to positively impacting the firm by promoting the advancement of black professionals, through recruitment, mentorship, sponsorship, and professional development. Fatima is a graduate of UNC-Greensboro, with a Bachelor of Science in Finance.
A native of Senegal, Yacine developed a passion for medicine at an early age. She is currently a fourth year medical student at the University of Lyon. In her freetime, Yacine serves as the president of an on-campus organization charged with providing children in an orphanage with sponsors that will support their basic needs.
A native of Jackson, Mississippi, Darian is the founderApple Fried Apple Inc, a nonprofit that supports youth around Jackson to gain access to educational resources and opportunities. Darian’s passion for youth and public health led him to the classroom where he teaches middle school science. Darian’s experiences in Mississippi provide a unique perspective to addressing inequities around healthcare. He graduated with a Masters of Public Health Degree from Jackson State University.
As a Nigerian American, Praise laments the interconnectivity of nations across West Africa. Praise is passionate about empowering local African communities through medical and economic resources. She is currently studying Computer Engineering at the University of Delaware. During her time on campus, she has organized and hosted campus-wide events that have benefited a number of grassroots organizations, including FOHSEN. Praise is excited to work with FOHSEN to create sustainable change throughout rural Senegalese communities.
Born and raised in Senegal, Dakar, Assietou has spent the past 10 years working in the special education field in New Jersey. For six of those years, she ran a statewide transition program for children with developmental and intellectual disabilities. She’s passionate about helping children and parents live the best lives possible, in spite of the challenges. As a toddler mom, she takes great pride in the development of my son and the products we use in our everyday life. Additionally, as a Black, female business owner, she finds joy in creating a business that serves families, friends, and communities around the world.
While of Burundian descent, Leila has strong ties to the African continent. As a global citizen, she has called many places home that helped shape her into the person that she is today. Leila is a signed model based out of Montréal. When she’s not on set, you’ll find her catching up with friends, traveling, or at home enjoying her downtime. She’s excited to see the work her and the rest of the 2023 Ambassadors can get done with FOHSEN this year.
An economist in training, Coumba serves as a research assistant for an innovative, technology-driven company, where works on marketing research providing clients with expert-level insights on a full range of methodologies. Based in Canada, she looks to bring forward her following of young, Muslim women around the world to advocate for girls in and around Senegal.
Serigne Modou Thioune
Based in Stockholm, Serigne works closely with the city to support individuals with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder). A former professional basketball player, Serigne developed a passion for cooking and recently hosted a cooking class with FOHSEN where he taught participants ‘yassa’. When he’s not whippin’ up delicious meals, he can be found serving his community as a personal development coach.