Chayn is a survivor-led community, which means we practise trauma-informed design and prioritise trust and safety over aesthetic or simplicity. Often, this also means we have to go the long way to embrace the complexity that is commonly flattened in favour of post-it sized personas and cardboard empathy maps. Since 2013, many hundreds of hours of research, creating, testing, learning, unlearning and experimenting have gone into how Chayn’s design supports survivors of abuse — across different types of needs, languages, cultures and political landscapes.
In this series, I’ll be explaining the design principles that have come to feature in all…
August was packed with long hours, new challenges and exciting opportunities.
About 7 months late but hey, I am now getting around to it. I used to love writing these and then I just couldn’t due to a few reasons: got sick, burned out, got a puppy and started training new staff!
I’m back though because, and I can’t believe I’m going to say it, just like your average influencer on social media, I, too have been asked by many a people about when I’m going to resume writing them and they love reading these.
So I’m back.
In this post, I’ll try to summarise what I’ve been up to. I’m…
This is the second post in a series documenting our strategy co-production. Read the first piece here.
Chayn’s organisational strategy co-creation is well under-way. We’ve made it past the first two stages. We’ve divided into thematic groups and through the leadership of our Provocateurs, and the contributions of our Builders. We’ve used our imagination, pragmatism, knowledge, hope, and concerns to create an extensive amount of leads. These leads are like threads. Now, the stage is set for us to use these threads and stitch ourselves a patterned quilt.
To understand the process of synthesis, we’ll be using this metaphor throughout…
This is the first post in a series documenting our strategy co-production. Read the second piece here.
Chayn’s been alive for 8 years and though we’ve done so much with very little, we’ve never had a formal, documented strategy. There has been a loose strategy that was adapted with experience but it was often steered by me and the executive team (a rotating team made up of most active volunteers).
Now that I’ve been full time for almost a year, and we have a board of trustees — we’ve decided to embark on this journey with all of you.
I was talking to my cousin about why the guilt I feel for not staying in touch with people. Friends, grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins and acquaintances. It makes me feel really bad about myself. My husband often encourages me to call, but also makes me feel better when I tell him how I feel.
“But you’re tired Hera, you work too much”.
And that is never a satisfying thing to hear because I do have time. I watch so much TV. I take long walks. I sit around doing nothing sometimes. I could call but I don’t. I wasn’t always…
Chayn has always put movement building at the heart of our work but we just never had the capacity to deliver on those ambitions and values. There’s never enough time for me to prioritise follow up, while I’m grappling with fundraising, organisational management, outreach and content creation. Our Executive Team (made of rotating volunteers on a 4 month cycle) are busy with community management.
When we got funding to increase our impact and capacity to deepen our relationships, we knew we wanted to hire a Movement Builder. I began researching for job descriptions and interview processes by posting in activist…
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…
After much push from Dama and inspiration from Cassie, we’re doing user manuals in Chayn for staff, trustees and long-term volunteers. I’ve done a summary card above and detailed one below. The idea is that by explicitly saying what and how you like to work, we bring things into the open which are either misunderstood or unknown thus removing the friction of working in teams — especially distributed ones. Ours is truly global so we want to carve space for empathy, mistakes and fun.
You can find Cassie’s template for this here.