Sahiyo India

Chandni Shiyal, India Sahiyo Administrative Manager

Chandni_Photo3Chandni did her Masters in Sociology from the Department of Sociology, University of Mumbai. She also completed her M.Phil. from the Centre for African Studies, University of Mumbai on the subject of female genital mutilation in Africa with a special focus on  Ethiopia. In 2015 she published a book titled Female Circumcision/ Female Genital Mutilation: A Human Rights Violation A Case Study of Ethiopia. Ms. Shiyal is currently pursuing her Ph.D. from the Centre for African Studies, University of Mumbai. Her topic of research is Gender Inequality and Women’s Health: A Comparative Study of Ethiopia and India. To contact Chandni, email her at

Remya Sasindran, Development and Networking Associate, is a communications professional with a background in in development communications, program management, and community engagement. Remyaremya-sasindran-1 has worked as a communications specialist with several international non-profit organisations including UNICEF India, Pathfinder International, Evidence Action, Digital Green, and Institute for Reproductive Health (Georgetown University).  A focus of Remya’s work has been to use her skills in behaviour change communications to raising awareness in communities on evidence-based,  sustainable best practices. Remya has a Bachelor of Arts in Advertising from Assumption University, Bangkok and a Master of Arts in Media Communications from RMIT University, Melbourne. 

Sahiyo U.S.

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Mariya Taher, US Executive Director

Mariya pursued a study titled, “Understanding Female Genital Cutting in the United States“, in graduate school for her Master of Social Work from San Francisco State University. Since then, she has worked in the field of gender violence for nearly ten years, working on issues of domestic violence at W.O.M.A.N., Inc.; Asian Women’s Shelter; and Saheli, Support and Friendship for South Asian Women and Families. She was a 2014 Women’s Policy Institute for The Women’s Foundation of California and her team successfully passed legislation to provide low-income survivors of domestic violence with basic needs grants. Currently, she works with the Massachusetts Women’s Bar Association on passing state legislation to criminalize FGC and build public awareness campaigns on FGC within the state. She serves on the steering committee for the U.S. Network to End FGM/C. The Manhattan Young Democrats named her a 2017 Engendering Progress honoree and she was named 1 of the 6 FGC experts to watch by Learn more about her by listening to Mariya’s Interview with ABC News or reading about her on Orchid Project’s Blog. To contact Mariya, email her at

Lara Kingstone, U.S. Communications Manager

Lara started her career in a youth-focused program designed to integrate London communities unnamedand empower young people to become active and engaged citizens. Lara earned a BA in Political Communications at IDC Herzliya, while working as a journalist at The Culture Trip and producing and hosting a human rights radio program. While studying, she worked at an educational center which aimed to help Palestinian and Israeli young people learn together.  Since then, she has worked with human trafficking prevention and gender-based violence prevention on the Thai-Lao border, and has worked as a Community Outreach Coordinator to connect youth in foster care with mentors, in Boston. She holds an MSc in Social Development from University College London. You can contact her at

Tania Parks,  Development and Finance Manager


Tania is passionate about gender justice issues and has been actively involved with a number of organizations  advocating gender equality. She holds a Masters in Human Rights and Humanitarian Action from SciencesPo Paris with concentrations in Middle East Studies and Migration Studies. She has held various development and outreach roles at a domestic violence survivor advocacy non-profit in San Francisco called W.O.M.A.N., Inc and was the Gender-Based Violence Research Intern at a women’s health non-profit based in Paris called Women and Health Alliance, International. She has published a study on Syrian refugee girls’ perceptions of safety during displacement and has participated in resettlement efforts for Yemenis refugee women in San Francisco through the Arab Community and Cultural Center. You can contact Tania at

Jenny Cordle, Editorial ManagerIMG_20180917_104026194

Jenny’s passions include documenting human rights issues through photography and nonfiction writing. In 2016, she received a Certificate in Documentary Photography and Nonfiction Writing from Duke University’s Center for Documentary Studies, with her work focusing on female genital cutting in Mali, West Africa. She is currently researching the intersection of maternal and child health, traditional healing and spiritual beliefs in Northern Ghana through Georgetown University for her Master’s of Science in Global Health. She worked as a communications associate for Tostan, and is excited to continue working toward the abandonment of FGC with Sahiyo. To contact Jenny, email her at

Sarrah Hussain, Development Assistant


Sarrah is passionate about women’s health, and in the future, would like to combine her interests in human rights and technology to create a positive impact in the world. She grew up in Los Angeles and is currently an undergraduate student at Stanford University double majoring in Human Biology and Computer Science, with a minor in Human Rights. She has worked with various nonprofits in the women’s health and tech space, like The Lily Project and Bridging Tech. After discovering FGC is practiced in her community, she got involved with Sahiyo to ensure the practice is stopped. Sarrah is excited to create change and uplift voices with the rest of the Sahiyo Team.


Cate Cox, Programs Coordinator img_5696

Catherine is an undergraduate student at Simmons University studying International Relations, with minors in Economics and Arabic. She is passionate about women’s rights and human rights and hopes to enter into those fields once she graduates. She has worked with many international organizations supporting women’s and children’s rights and is in the process of conducting a research project on gender-based violence within the United States. She is excited to work with Sahiyo to help uplift the voices of women everywhere and create positive change.


Shabana Feroze, Sahiyo Communications Consultant

Shabana has been a volunteer for Sahiyo since 2017. Coming from a Bohra family, she is IMG_0424.jpga survivor of khatna herself and hence is passionate about seeing an end to the practice. Living in Bahrain, she is a Bahraini national with Indian origins. Shabana is the owner and managing director of advertising agency The Silver Kick Company. She has over 12 years of experience in the field of marketing and advertising and has a flair for social media. She is also a group fitness instructor, a fashion and travel blogger at The Silver Kick Diaries for over 8 years, and author of the book Loving Yourself In Style. To contact Shabana, email her at



Sandra Yu, Programs Intern

Sandra is an undergraduate student at Vassar College studying biochemistry and philosophy. She is interested in public health policy and expanding womens’ healthcare access. She was drawn by Sahiyo’s mission to end FGM/C through powerful storytelling. She hopes to contribute to Sahiyo’s platform to grow and empower the community. 

Krystal Ssonko, Communications Intern

Krystal is a senior at Wheaton College (MA). She is studying Women and Gender Studies and double minoring in Public Health and Ethnomusicology. She is a student leader on campus and is involved in various performance-based clubs. Krystal enjoys finding the intersection between the arts and social justice, and she uses her talents and platform to bring awareness to human rights issues in her community. She is excited to be stepping into this role.

Yusra Majoka, Development Intern

Yusra is a recent graduate from St. Georges, University of London with a masters in global health. She is passionate about ending gender inequalities, and believes in creating sustainable change by empowering girls and women in our communities. Building on her background in health, she wishes to focus her career on improving womens health and advocating for autonomy and education surrounding womens rights. She is excited to work with the Sahiyo team, and contribute to such an important cause.

Madrisha Debnath, Research Intern, is a graduate from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi with masters in geography. Her research interests are in the area of feminist geography, geography of bodies and embodiment. She is particularly interested in understanding how the bodies providing sites for inscription and expression of social values are always in a state of becoming in accordance to its lived space. Having a female body, she is passionate to understand the cultural practice of FGC and the process of cultural embodiment. She is a gold medalist and recipient of Manoranjan Mitra Memorial Prize for securing first position in B.Sc. among all subjects other than Mathematics, from Presidency University, Kolkata. She is grateful towards Sahiyo for upholding feminist values and thus being culturally inclusive and looks forward towards making meaningful contribution at achieving Sahiyo’s aim.

Megan Maxwell, Social Media Intern, is a recent graduate of Washington College with a major in English. She focused on women’s issues and empowerment in her course load as well as her past internships. She is very passionate about giving women a seat at the table. She has been advocating for gender parity through the platform of social media, as well as blog posts about women helping women around the world and the miles more that we have to go in order to achieve gender equality. She is excited to continue in the nonprofit sector by working with Sahiyo on a cause that is extremely important in empowering women around the world. 

Kristel Mendoza Castillo, Social Media Intern, is currently an undergraduate student at the University of Connecticut majoring in Communications. She strongly believes in the values of consent and a woman’s right over her own body, which is why she’s excited to work with the team at Sahiyo. She looks forward to creating social change to help enforce our mission of empowering girls and women all around the world.”

Kamakshi Arora, Social Media Intern, (she/her), is a multidisciplinary designer, artist, and researcher. She has a bachelor’s in Mechanical Engineering from NC State and a Masters in Product Design from The University of The Arts. Originally from Mumbai, she moved to the United States to pursue higher studies. She is particularly interested in using a transdisciplinary, participatory approach to design strategies for addressing current gender inequities and co-create meaningful initiatives to tackle women’s rights and health issues. She supports Sahiyo’s mission of empowering women through innovative grassroots initiatives based on storytelling and community engagement and is grateful for the opportunity to learn more about working in a feminist organization. 

Amena Ali, Communications Intern, lives in Houston, Tx and her all-time obsession is tea and cat videos. She has a degree in Psychology but is currently working as a personal stylist. She is passionate about mental health and she’s made it her life goal to make it a more open topic amongst immigrant families. She’s a huge traveler (29+ countries). The nickname her friends have bestowed upon her is Mother CVS because she almost always has anything you could possibly need. Bandaids, mints, painkillers, etc. She’s now taking applications for new friends!