About Nesta

Nesta is an innovation foundation. For us, innovation means turning bold ideas into reality and changing lives for the better. We use our expertise, skills and funding in areas where there are big challenges facing society.

Started: May 2013
Website: chayn.co
Twitter: @ChaynHQ
Location: London/Pakistan/Italy/India

Helping a friend escape an abusive marriage in Pakistan inspired Hera Hussain to found Chayn, a global network of websites and open source digital tools designed to protect and empower women.

A fast-growing dynamic charity, Chayn is 100 per cent volunteer run, with the aim of getting crucial information and support to women in threatening situations. What makes Chayn innovative and impactful is that its work is fundamentally survivor-led, with women using their own experiences of abuse to design the tools to help others. Its working principle: design with, not for.

Its crowdsourced articles and online toolkits provide information and advice about issues such as forced marriages, campus abuse, stalking and refugee wellbeing in conflict zones. Online toolkit ‘Build a domestic violence case without a lawyer’ has been a notable success. Chayn also provides links to crucial resources such as emergency escape loans, training courses and shelters.

Well established in the UK, India, Pakistan and Italy, Chayn has a global vision to find innovative ways to match tech to cultures, such as counselling Indian teens on Snapchat. 2016 initiatives include hosting hackathons around specific challenges for women in the Middle East and launching Ammal, a pay-it-forward digital skills network for women.

“Chayn takes an intersectionist and experience-based approach to fighting violence against women. We want to empower women to make their own informed decisions!” Hera Hussain, founder.