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Learning from other activists about how to approach self-nourishment

Alt text: text reading ‘buy this for self care’ is written in a semi-circle across a plain background resembling a crumbled sheet of paper. Below the text is an animated hand clicking a red button with a heart and a 1 on it.

If you have ever opened an Internet browser, or attended an event with ‘mental health’ anywhere in its description, it’s just possible you might have heard the term ‘self care’. Look, we are big fans. Truly! Self care — whether through asserting boundaries, making time for activities that bring us peace, or even just getting enough sleep — is a crucial part of the recovery work we engage in here at Chayn. …


Originally written for and published at the Catalyst.

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Digital transformation has been a key trend for the past five years but the Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated this beyond what we could have imagined. Many charities have decided to improve their digital capacity by creating new services or upgrading capacity. And many have bid for funding to make this happen.

But not every bid will be a winner. You might be one of those which didn’t get funding, and wondering how to make progress.

The feeling of not getting the money to kickstart an ambitious project off the ground is not new to me. I’ve bootstrapped Chayn, an organisation…


What I did

  • I wrote our first Board of Trustees package. It was painstakingly slow to write but we did something different. Dama suggested we ask the volunteers to record short videos explaining how different projects work and then I added more details in the written package. This way they get to meet the people in the team!
  • We hosted a farewell party for our tech leads who are both moving on to do other roles. Both have been with us for two years or more. We played Codenames online and had a blast. Highly recommended!
  • I took part in a session for…


What I did

  • Chayn was one of the semi-finalists at Puig’s impact competition, thanks to Ashoka UK. They hosted it like a shark tank episode and it went well! We’ll find out soon if we won.
  • We hosted a launch event for our research collaboration with UCL STeAPP on the state of knowledge on #StalkerWare and intimate partner violence. See the super slick event below or read the report here.
  • We’re about to enter a recruitement drive for a Chaiperson, Treasurer, two Tech Leads, a Product Manager and a Movement Builder so I’ve been working on all of their briefs.

What I did

  • We launched YSM. What can I say? We’ve worked on it for a year and the app has turned out to be how we want it, despite us iterating it so many times. We’ve obsessed over every little thing but strangely, it was this promo we did — a last minute idea (it was put together in a week) — that really hit home for the team. We all shed tears. We just couldn’t believe it. Especially the last line. The event was perfect. You can see the video here. I’m really proud of the team, made up of volunteers…

What I did

  • I moved to the new house and I have no internet. Every inch of my body hurts and I can’t even binge-watch TV to dull the pain or more importantly, retrained to working on the biggest Chayn launch of the year on my mobile phone.
  • We were one of the 7 finalists of the Goldman Sachs Gives global competition. Our team from the Goldman Sachs London office did a spellbounding presentation about our future and won us $75k — the third place!
  • I had the pleasure of speaking at this session. 10 minutes before the talk was supposed to start…

What I did

Though I did many things this week, I’ll only focus on one chunk of my week. We hosted a project retrospective and reflection session with the Bloom team. I’m going to go into what, why and how we did it.


Survivors in our team and community came together to help us create something we all needed

Written by Hera, Lakshmi, Nooreen and Connor. Through out this blog, you’ll see things survivors told us.

“I didn’t tell anyone because I felt shame… as if it was my fault.”

After more than a year of extensive survivor-led research, continuous development, and all-round hard work, we at Chayn are incredibly humbled and excited to announce the launch of our web app — Your Story Matters (YSM). With this web app, we hope to change the way survivors of sexual assault can access resources and get the help they need. It is accessible from any browser on most digital devices!


I’m a week late to post this but better late than never! Don’t want to lose my writing streak. As I write this, I’m getting ready to paint the master bedroom in the new house! Excuse typos.

What I did

  • The Slate Studios and Mozilla Firefox campaign “UnfckTheInternet” came out and I’m one of the three activists they chose. They got in touch with me earlier last month to say I’m on their long list. When they interviewed me about it (10 mins), I honestly didn’t think I would make it to the shortlist because there so many amazing activists using the web…


What I did

  • This week was bittersweet. I lost my grandmother’s sister, Bushra Nano, to Covid. When I was growing up in Pakistan, we would go to her house every week or so. When my mother was studying in Lahore (her family and relatives were in Faislabad), she would go to her house every weekend. My mother didn’t stop talking to her every week since then. When Bushra Nano moved to Canada, I visited her twice and stayed with her in my last visit. This is the fifth death in my family due to Covid. I cried for most of this week and…

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