Eirliani Rahman is on a mission to help provide children in Delhi with a safe place during the COVID-19 lockdown.
Eirliani is Executive Director of YAKIN (Youth, Adult survivors & Kin In Need). She
is concurrently Program Director at the Kailash Satyarthi Children’s Foundation US and serves
as Chief Operating Officer and board member of Red Dot Foundation Global.
1. How have your years of experience as a diplomat in the Global Diplomat Lab
(GDL) affected your decision to become an activist?
Eirliani – My decision to become an activist actually came earlier on in life. When I was 17, I
watched a documentary on dowry burning in South Asia. A woman had kerosene poured
on her and set on fire by her in-laws who had wanted more dowry from her family. I was
incensed and vowed to myself then that I would give a voice to the voiceless when I
2. On what types of social issues are you actively bringing awareness to? Why are
they important to you?
Eirliani – Child sexual abuse (CSA) and child sex trafficking. I am a survivor of CSA myself. Here
in the US, 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys are sexually abused.
If only one child does not have to go through what I had gone through as a child, I think it
would have been worth it.
3. Do you consider what you do human rights work?
Eirliani – Yes, most definitely. Specifically, child rights.
4. Are there any special skills one would need to acquire to do the type of work that
Eirliani – Yes and no. It is always good to get higher education and to get certified but you can
also, learn on the job, and obtain those qualifications on the job. I obtained an MSc in
Public Administration and Public Policy from the London School of Economics, with part
of my coursework involving doing consultancy work with UNICEF UK on rehabilitating
children with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) post-genocide in Rwanda.
I am certified for the Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) as well as
Mental Health First Aid here in the US. Mental health is a big issue associated with CSA
and trafficking survivors because of the horrors that they have been through.
5. What sources of funding are utilized to obtain your goals?
Eirliani – Governmental grants as well as grants from large international organizations. Also
donations, both cash and in-kind, from well-wishers.
6. You do a lot of skiing and mountain climbing. What got you interested in doing
those types of things and are there any other extreme sports you would like to
Eirliani – I lived in India for 5 years so naturally, I took to mountaineering. The Himalayas are
rather spectacular. I also took up rock climbing while living there.
I would love to learn snowboarding if that counts as an extreme sport. I just enjoy being
out in the snow and skiing long distances. I trained with renowned Arctic explorers and
mother-daughter duo Matty McNair and Sarah McNair-Landry in Nunavut, Arctic Canada
in March 2017 and April 2018. Matty still holds the world record for the fastest ski to the
The North Pole and back with huskies and via kite skiing. Sarah is a National Geographic
explorer and Red Bull Ambassador.
7. Name a place you would like to visit that you haven’t had the chance to yet.
Eirliani – Yellowstone for sure. I’d love to climb there.
8. What’s it like working on the Twitter Trust & Safety Council. How did you get
involved and what are your responsibilities?
Eirliani – My work on child sexual abuse was noticed by Twitter’s Asia Pacific Headquarters.
Through a social media campaign called #FullStop to child sexual abuse I had
conducted on behalf of Nobel Peace laureate Kailash Satyarthi in September 2015, I
reached 16 million people globally over 6 weeks. In 2016, I was asked to join the Council
as then one of 2 representatives for Asia.
9. You are currently working to help the homeless children in India. How has COVID-
19 affected them and what measures are you taking?
Eirliani – The Nobel laureate has launched a campaign to help street children and the homeless in
India, due to the lockdown there. We are giving out food packets and helping to
rehabilitate street children in our children’s homes.
10. How are you educating the public on this issue?
Eirliani – Via a social media campaign. Join us on Twitter
11. How are they doing with medical supplies during this pandemic?
Eirliani – India is just like many other countries, trying to produce and keep up with the demand for
medical supplies during COVID-19.
12. Where can people go if they would like to help by making a donation?
To help with general humanitarian efforts related to the lockdown in India, initiated by the
Nobel Peace laureate Kailash Satyarthi click here.
To specifically help rehabilitate street children during this pandemic and shelter and feed
them, again an initiative by the Nobel Peace laureate Kailash Satyarthi click here.
13. Anything else you’d like to let our readers know?
Eirliani – I am Global COO and Board Member of Red Dot Foundation, a 501(c)3 here in the US.
We deal with the issue of sexual assault and making public infrastructure and public
transport safer for women in Argentina, Cameroon, India, Malaysia, Nepal, Nigeria and
South Africa. Our HQ is in India, with a presence in Mumbai, Delhi, Patna, Ahmedabad, and Pune.
With COVID-19, there has been a rise in domestic violence. Help us by donating to support our work.