In Senegal, where access to affordable and quality healthcare is limited for women and children from low-middle income families, Nest for All (NEST) is changing lives through its co-investment partnership with USAID’s West Africa Trade & Investment Hub (Trade Hub). Three remarkable women—Florence Sambou, Ndeye Fatou Diouf, and Bigué Ndiaye—are at the forefront of this transformative journey.

Embarking on Training to Turn Dreams into Reality

A portrait of Florence Sambou, NEST’s seasoned Chief Nurse. Photo Credit: Nest for All

Florence Sambou, NEST’s seasoned Chief Nurse, possesses twelve years of frontline experience in providing Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, Child, and Adolescent Health (RMNCAH) services. Witnessing the gaps firsthand, she holds a dream of establishing her outpatient care center where RMNCAH services are more inclusive. However, she understands that realizing this dream requires more than just ambition—it demands resources and skills. Through the collaboration between the Trade Hub and NEST, Florence gains access to essential training programs and support systems that equip her with the tools needed to turn her dream into reality. As she embraces new responsibilities and hones her skills, Florence isn’t just preparing for her future; she’s paving the way for a healthier tomorrow for her community.

“Being a nurse means being at the service of patients through their health journey, providing preventive care and quality healthcare from the early age of newborns. I love being a nurse. To me, it’s a commitment that carries the important values of sharing and communication for the well-being of my community.” – Florence Sambou

Making a Difference

Ndeye Fatou Diouf, a young midwife, who joined NEST as an intern in January 2024. Photo Credit: Nest for All

Ndeye Fatou Diouf commenced her journey at NEST as an eager intern, driven by a passion for learning and growth. Guided by experienced mentors and benefiting from training programs offered by NEST (funded through its USAID/Trade Hub partnership), she is rapidly evolving into a proficient midwife. Each day, Ndeye Fatou witnesses the profound impact of quality healthcare on the lives of women and children, reaffirming her purpose—to make a difference, one life at a time. Through the partnership between NEST and the Trade Hub, Ndeye Fatou isn’t just learning, she’s becoming a beacon of hope within her community. With each new skill acquired and each life saved, she exemplifies that age is no barrier to making a meaningful difference. She recently joined a public center in a remote rural area where she is now providing RMNCAH services.

Harnessing Resources and Support to Pursue Ambitions

Bigué Ndiaye, Chief Midwife at NEST. Photo Credit: Nest for All

Bigué Ndiaye, Chief Midwife at NEST, shares Florence’s dream of owning her own outpatient care center. With eight years of practical experience, she has encountered firsthand the challenges within the healthcare system. However, the challenges have only fueled her determination. Through the partnership between NEST and the Trade Hub, Bigué is gaining the tools and support needed to pursue her ambitions. From honing her managerial skills to enhancing her financial literacy, she’s equipping herself with everything necessary for success—and as she takes on new responsibilities and expands her horizons, Bigué isn’t just empowering herself; she’s empowering an entire community.

“Every woman’s health journey is unique. For me, as a midwife, it has always been a privilege to share that care journey in essential moments such as pregnancy or giving birth. Thanks to this partnership, I have the opportunity to grow as a manager, pursue a greater mission, and scale up my impact.” – Bigué Ndiaye

NEST’s collaboration with the Trade Hub is pivotal in its mission to expand access to affordable and quality healthcare for women, children, and adolescents. By integrating new outpatient care centers in underserved areas and providing on-site training to healthcare professionals, they’re making a tangible difference. Since the start of the partnership, NEST has hired 19 new midwives and nurses and trained 45. NEST recently launched an online training platform that could benefit more than 100 midwives and nurses in the health ecosystem in Senegal by 2025. Through this collaboration, NEST isn’t just a healthcare provider but a catalyst for change in Senegal’s healthcare landscape.

As Florence Sambou, Ndeye Fatou Diouf, and Bigué Ndiaye continue their journeys, they inspire hope and resilience. Their stories are not fairy tales but real-life examples of empowerment and progress. With NEST and the Trade Hub behind them, they’re not just healthcare workers—they’re heroes shaping a healthier future for Senegal. As they pave the way for generations to come, they prove that with determination and collaboration, anything is possible.

“We can only provide better healthcare services to patients by uplifting those who are at the forefront of care: midwives and nurses. At NEST, we do it through professional development and training in various subjects: technical skills, management, entrepreneurship, and financial literacy. Midwives and nurses, in our countries, are better positioned to bring RMNCAH services to local communities and understand their evolving needs. Empowering them to leadership positions is essential. We should not miss that opportunity to strengthen our healthcare system.” – Khadidiatou Nakoulima, CEO of NEST