Privilege Fellow: My name is shayista. I live in yagipora village of district Budgam. I come from a very humble background and I am orphan by father. I study in 12th standard. I have faced a lot of challenges since my childhood. My mother was doing all possible things to help my education but it was not enough. When I qualified my 10th class, the fee and books for next class were not affordable. I came to know about Privilege Fellowship of Sky Trust Kashmir in 2022 and applied immediately. Luckily I got selected and it proved as a life changing opportunity for me. In this fellowship program, I have learnt so many things through different online and offline sessions. I have started seeing world with new lenses. More, I am provided with financial support which helps me in stationary, fee, uniform and other expenses.

I found this space very safe and friendly. This platform is giving me courage and opportunity to express myself and this is the only space where I openly share my ideas, stories and problems and celebrate myself. I wish this space is provided to every girl in Kashmir.

My name is Maryam Yousuf, a 24 years old women from Baramulla Kashmir. In 2020 I participated in first Menstrual Hygiene Management Workshop organized by Sky Trust Kashmir. Before the training session I did not know anything about menstrual health and hygiene and it was story of most of the girls in my village. I am excited to share after continuous participation in MHM Sessions and Trainings of Sky Trust, I became an MHM Promoter in my village and organized Menstrual Health and Hygiene Sessions able to aware 100+ menstruators about safe menstruation. I am now invited as a facilitator by other organizations for MHM trainings. It is my dream to make life of rural menstruators better and peaceful.

Maryam Yousuf

Member women’s Wing

Sky Trust Kashmir

I am Aijaz Ahmad, a 24 years old transgender individual from Sebdan Budgam of Kashmir Valley. I faced lot of discrimination, bullying and harassment from my childhood because of my different behavior according to society. In young age I came to know that I am not feeling what gender I had assigned at my birth but due to societal pressure and fear of acceptance, I was not able to express my feelings and desires. From many years I was wondering for a space where I can share my feelings and express myself freely. In 2022 I came in contact with an organization called Sky Trust Kashmir working on gender in Kashmir and luckily I got the opportunity to attend their workshop on gender and sexuality in 2022.

Now, I am closely associated with Sky Trust and feeling proud and emotional to share that I have got a family and safe space which I was seeking from many years.

I am Nighat, a 24 years old woman from Shadipora of district Bandipora. Due to continuing conflict in Kashmir during the last 18 years there has been a phenomenon increase in psychiatric morbidity. Women in rural Kashmir have silently suffered and their mental health crisis has only worsened over and there are so many reasons for this like gender based violence, harassment, domestic violence and other issues. Also, there is a lot of stigma associated with it. I personally faced so many challenges in my life. There are no spaces where one can talk about the issues we face and seek support. I was going through very tough time in my life. I had stress and anxiety.

one day I came to know about “Mental Health Matters Program” of Sky Trust Kashmir.  An initiative of Sky Trust Kashmir to educate young people on mental health and promote positivity around it.  I also joined the program and came to know about many new and positive things around mental health. I am now more aware about myself and positive ways to keep myself mentally well. I am now able to help others as well. It is an amazing journey and I wish this program will continue and maximum will be benefited.