Tales of the Tribe - Zahabiya's Social Venture on Mental Health Awareness as a 9th Grader
Updated: May 26
I guess my affinity and realization about the importance of Mental Health began way back when I was in 6th grade. My school was always very actively advocating for it. We even had various assemblies, lectures and campaigns educating us about it.
I remember once there was an assembly, where the student council was telling us 6th graders about mental health and it’s various taboos. At that point in time, listening to them, some people started crying...they started sharing their experiences about bullying, and other problems that they were facing. Everybody was opening up and being vulnerable.
It was at that time that I realised, exactly how rampant mental health issues were everywhere. It really opened my eyes and I felt so strongly about helping the cause, and helping those who were fighting inner battles.
More so because in the society we live in, very few have a normal conversation about it. Very few take it as seriously as they would any other physical illness, and very few see it as something that actually needs to be paid attention to.”
So when my childhood friend and classmate Ahana got in touch with me, asking me to be part of this really cool Mental Health podcast that she was working on - as part of her project under the Young Changemakers Programme - I didn’t think twice before saying yes. It felt like we had finally got this exciting opportunity to make a positive change, and help anybody who would give us a listen.We got together and ideated on it, Ahana took care of the research and I took care of promoting it on social media.
Of course, it wasn’t easy, we wanted to give it the best we could and pull out all stops in the process. What really helped, and was the driving force for us, was our mentor Mandeep from Tribes For Good. From where to record the podcast, to the topics we should touch up on and giving us the right kind of motivation - she was there to do it all! Finally when we were recording the very first episode, I remember we had to stop and restart so many times because we would end up fumbling and laughing. But after we went live, and we started getting listens from Kenya, U.S.A and even strangers commenting on our podcast -it was all worth it.
We’ve come such a long way, and this has been such an enriching journey for us. Our Podcast - Little Big Problems completed a whole season, and I couldn’t have been prouder. Someone even reached out to us and said, ‘This has helped me so much, please come out with another season.’
The best part is the fact that, although our mentorship with Tribes For Good has ended, Mandeep has told us that she will continue helping us in whatever way we need...that has given us so much confidence, that we’ve already started working on season 2!
It feels surreal, the fact that in our small little way we are contributing to make this world a happier one. After all, one of the most important things you can do on this earth is to let people know they are not alone.”
Zahabiya, 9th Grade Student from Hill Spring has started Little Big Problems a podcast focussed on increasing awareness about mental health.
Applications for our Young Changemakers Program are open. Apply now to be the change that you wish to see!