Today, we speak with Scholar, Awaisha Inayat (Cohort 11, Pakistan), who joins Atlas Corps as part of the Atlas Corps: Pakistan Emerging Leaders Initiative.

This special initiative is a dynamic collaboration between Atlas Corps and two Atlas Corps Alumni-led organizations: Accountability Lab Pakistan and CaterpillHERs, with the goal of building community across emerging professionals in Pakistan by building the capacity of local leaders and community-based initiatives.


Awaisha is a professional psychologist with a diverse working experience in the fields of counseling, academia, and human resources. She is the Founder of Rahnuma–a digital platform for counseling, therapy, mentoring, and coaching that facilitates people in finding their paths and reimagining community mental well-being and support–where she also provides quality therapy as a Psychologist (CBT and ACT Practitioner).


Name: Awaisha Inayat

Home Country: Pakistan

Current Organization: Rahnuma

Role at current organization: Founder; Psychologist (CBT and ACT Practitioner)

Social Issues: Good health and well-being

What inspires you the most as a leader?

The ability to mentor and empower others, providing support and encouragement drives me to be the best leader I can be.
Please tell us a little bit about the type of work that you do at your organization and the impact it has made in your local community.
I founded Rahnuma, a platform for community impact. With Rahnuma, I aim to break the stigma around mental health in Pakistan by providing online counseling and therapy services as a certified CBT practitioner. Through psychoeducation and online services, we empower individuals to seek support and improve their emotional well-being. Witnessing positive outcomes and testimonials, we’re dedicated to expanding our reach and making mental health services more accessible to our local community. The impact of Rahnuma has been heartening, as I have witnessed an increasing number of individuals reaching out for help and guidance. By offering online counseling and psychoeducation, we are empowering people to take charge of their mental health and well-being. Many have found solace and support through our services, and the testimonials we receive reflect the positive impact Rahnuma is making in the lives of those we serve.
Why is it important for you to work on good health and well-being?
Mental health is an integral aspect of your overall well-being. Taking care of your mental health ensures you can be at your best, both personally and professionally, as you strive to make a positive impact in the world.
What has been your favorite part about the Virtual Leadership Institute so far?

My favorite parts about the Virtual Leadership Institute have been:

  • Learning Opportunities: The chance to acquire new knowledge, skills, and insights from experienced leaders and experts in various fields.
  • Inspirational Speakers: Listening to motivational talks and success stories from accomplished leaders, gaining inspiration and fresh perspectives.
  • Promising Post-Program Support: Access to resources, follow-up sessions, or alumni networks that provide ongoing support and reinforcement of learning.

What is your best quick tip that you can share with us about how to succeed in the Virtual Leadership Institute?

Enjoy while it lasts. Embrace the learning experience with enthusiasm and a growth mindset. Enjoy the journey of self-discovery and leadership development.


What is your Leadership Project about and what impact will it have on the community you serve?

Rahnuma is my passion project aimed at making a positive impact on the local community, particularly in Pakistan. Through Rahnuma, I provide online counseling and therapy services as a certified Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) practitioner. Additionally, I am currently pursuing Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) certification to enhance the quality of services offered.

The primary goal of Rahnuma is to break the stigma around mental health in Pakistan. Mental health is often misunderstood and overlooked, leading to many individuals suffering in silence. To combat this, I use Rahnuma’s digital media pages to provide psychoeducation, raising awareness about mental health issues, and promoting self-care and emotional well-being. Furthermore, I strive to make mental health services more accessible and convenient for individuals in Pakistan. Through Rahnuma’s online counseling and therapy services, people can seek help from the comfort of their homes, reducing barriers to entry that may have prevented them from seeking support in the past.

What are your plans after the Virtual Leadership Institute and how will this experience help you achieve these plans?

To stay committed to Rahnuma, alongside the support of a bigger global community.
What message would you like to send to individuals (Volunteer, Donors, Board of Directors) who support Atlas Corps?
Together, as a united force, we have built a strong community of changemakers and bridge-builders who are committed to addressing pressing global challenges.
Thank you, Awaisha, for sharing your leadership journey with us. We are excited to see you continue to inspire positive change in the future!

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Photos from Awaisha’s personal archive.