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Zoroastrian youth from all over the world at the World Zoroastrian Congress

Translated by Shabboo Goli

Zoroastrian youth from all over the world at the World Zoroastrian Congress

The Zoroastrian Youth Across-borders program (ZYAB) was announced for Zoroastrian youth from all over the world for the 12th World Zoroastrian Congress 2022 – New York.

The Twelfth World Zoroastrian Congress will be held from July 1 to 4, 2022, at the Hilton Midtown Hotel in New York, with the theme, “Bridging the Global Zoroastrian Existence”. One of the goals of this gathering is to educate Zoroastrian youth across-borders about unity and retrospect. The Zoroastrian Youth beyond Borders (ZYAB) program empowers Zoroastrian youth to actively engage with the international Zoroastrian community based on “educating Zoroastrian youth across-borders”.

Perspective:  Educating and nurturing Zoroastrian youth across-borders

The Zoroastrian education program started from the World Zoroastrian congress in Houston (2000).  By using the “American educational services program” as a role model, students all over the world traveled to USA to participate in a one-year high school program. The program was attended by 21 Zoroastrian students who could not participate in the World Zoroastrian Congress due to economic conditions. The education program for Zoroastrian students was very well received by the first participating group and their cooperation and retrospect continues to date.

The 2022 World Zoroastrian Congress theme is “Communication of the Zoroastrian World Community” to strengthen communication, concepts, and ideas and create bridges for future generations while respecting each other’s identities and differences. Part of this connection involves bringing together young people whose ideas and perspectives shape the future of Zoroastrian society in the 21st century. The 2022 World Zoroastrian Congress attempts to activate these dialogues among Zoroastrian youth who can represent their community and cooperate across borders.

The specific objectives of the ZYAB program are:

Facilitate the presence of Zoroastrian youth (ages 18 to 25) living outside of North America at WZC 2022, and give priority to Zoroastrian youth who are unable to attend due to economic circumstances.

Increase dialogue and active participation among Zoroastrian youth from around the world.

Empowering Zoroastrian youth on behalf of their community and developing their aspirations for the future.

Travel, enrolment and hotel expenses for the youth for duration of the Congress are estimated at $3,000 per participant. ZYAB will seek funding to cover travel expenses. The ZYAB team works with the Global Working Group (GWG) and charities in Australia, Canada, Europe, Hong Kong, India, the Middle East, New Zealand, Pakistan, Singapore, the United Kingdom, and the United States to support the financial needs of the Zoroastrian youth. The ZYAB team is currently working with Zoroastrian associations in Boston, New York, Philadelphia, and Washington, DC to facilitate Zoroastrian youth visiting these cities before or after the congress to extend their experience and build a stronger dialogue.

Selection Process

  • A group invitation for enrolment of candidates qualifying for Zoroastrian youth program across-borders has been extended to all Zoroastrian associations worldwide. Zoroastrian youth will submit their applications electronically to the Congress website at https://wzc2022.nyc/zyab and email: zyab@wzc2022.nyc. Where there is no local association the team will make sure that the program has coordinated with the closest Zoroastrian association to the locality.
  • Local focal points for the ZYAB program will search for candidates and encourage them to sign up to represent their country. A three-member committee of local associations submits a shortlist of eligible candidates based on the ranking criteria announced by the ZYAB team.
  • The final selection process involves the approval and ranking of candidates by the ZYAB team based on the number of selections for each constituency, which is defined by the Executive Steering Committee of the ESC Congress.
  • After a final review by the ZYAB team and submission to the ESC, the list of approximately 25 applicants will be accepted by January 15, 2022.

Selection Criteria

  • Zoroastrian applicants in the 18-25 age group living outside North America and are currently enrolled in academic courses at a prestigious university.
  • Applicants should be currently participating in the activities of their Zoroastrian community.
  • Applicants must travel to their home countries during congressional visits to neighboring states in the United States.
  • Applicants must agree to a code of conduct (by-laws and regulations) during participation, and be prepared to attend Congress with an open, flexible, and friendly mind, as suggested by the Program Committee.
  • If necessary, applicants should be available for online interviews at various levels, local, regional and global, during the selection process.
  • Applicants must obtain their visa and travel health insurance before traveling. Assistance is requested from local Zoroastrian Associations.  Applicants must be in good health and willing to share housing while attending Congress.
  • Also, be prepared for a trip planned before or after Congress. Having a Covid vaccination card is a must. If the COVID epidemic continues during Congress, all health procedures must be followed.

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