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Leadership Matters

The Daya staff reflects on our Executive Director, Rachna Khare's leadership during the challenges of the pandemic and 2020.

Leadership is not a position or title, it is action and example.

"Rachna is a testament to this quote. When Covid hit and all work went remote, the challenges were imminent. It was a very rough year for all of us who work with survivors. Rachna weathered the storm aptly and ably. She managed the remote work as well as staff needs. Rachna’s leadership during transitioning into remote working is commendable. We had developed few Remote Policies during the week by Friday before going into remote working. While interacting with other agencies we were far ahead! The Covid-19 safety planning and self-care videos created by Daya are recommended and is used by mainstream agencies. Even during Covid-19, she is trying ways to keep the Staff focused by seeking means to reflect on self-care, such as check-ins and arranging a virtual cooking class. The most important quality of Rachna is flexibility and trusting the staff. Rachna understands the strengths of the staff and focuses to empower them. She encourages all to work on their own. The staff feels welcome to go to her to discuss any challenging situations to take her advice. One thing positive about Rachna is she never gives up. As a group, we always try and find a solution."

"When the world was in the midst of the pandemic, Rachna gave me a reason to look forward to something great. A chance to live my life with a purpose. An opportunity to fulfill my days helping others and learning from their experiences. It is through her leadership, I became secure in my own identity as a brown woman, and grew to love myself and pass that love and passion onto my clients. Rachna provided me safety, which allowed me to heal as a trauma survivor; I only continue to pass along that sense of security and access to my clients in my daily work. Thank you for being a kind, vulnerable and engaging leader. You truly are the best. Wishing our whole team, love, strength and healing, and a very happy 2021."

Staff meetings in 2020.

"Daya would not be where it is today if not for Rachna. Her determination and dedication to empowering others is not just applicable to our clients but to the staff as well. With Rachna's leadership, the team has become a close-knit family that I will forever cherish."

"Rachna, I would not have survived working in 2020 without your complete trust in me/us. That is one of the things I am most grateful for and continue to appreciate as we look forward to challenges and changes in 2021."

"Rachna is the best leader a team could ever wish for! She supports you at the same time and gives you space to grow. She is someone who loves with her full heart and always has your back. Her smile and warmth light up every room she walks into and she really has a talent for creating allies wherever she goes. I'm so glad I got to experience her leadership and learned so much from her. I am proud to call her my friend."

Rachna Khare

"Rachna, you are the best boss to exist in the history of bosses. Thank you for essentially almost single-handedly making sure Daya got through 2020 and for randomly checking in with me throughout - many of those made my day and was some of the only non-work human interaction I would get. Your humor and presence make any atmosphere more comforting and welcome and I cannot say enough about how inviting you have made Daya feel for me."

"Rachna, you are one of the most authentic people I've ever met and I am truly blessed to call you a colleague and a friend - thank you for existing, the world is genuinely a much better place with you and everything you do in it."

"Thank you for your outstanding leadership Rachna! We are a strong and empowered team all because of you!"

"Rachna, you are not just a boss, but a mentor, a fellow colleague, and a friend. Over the years, I have been awed by how you steer the organization and empower each of us to overcome the challenges that face us internally and externally. I never feel that I have to handle everything myself. Your leadership is a testament to how far we have come and grown in a short period. Thank you for demonstrating what true leadership looks like." "Rachna, I appreciate you so much! Your tireless advocacy for staff and clients alike, your open-minded and non-judgmental approach, and your amazing leadership are the reason why I love working at Daya. You believe in each and every one of us, and it shows. 2020 was a hard year for everyone, but through your good days and bad, you helped us all get through it with optimism. Every interaction with you (though mostly remote) has been a high point for me this past year. Thank you for being an amazing human being and don't ever ever leave Daya :)."

Staff retreat organized by Rachna, pre-covid

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