With the 8th World Zoroastrian Youth Congress (8WZYC) 2023 being hosted by the Zoroastrian Trust Funds of Europe (ZTFE) in the United Kingdom (UK) in Summer 2023, a dedicated team of youth volunteers have already commenced early groundwork to start planning and organising this momentous event. As part of a series of articles, we will be sharing the insights and visions of our 8WZYC organising team.
My name is Zeena Batliwalla and I am taking on the role as the Treasurer for the 8WZYC. I am currently a Manager at KPMG in the Audit Technical Programmes Team, developing and delivering technical training to the Audit business. I graduated in 2015 with a degree in Financial Mathematics with Professional Practice and completed my Chartered Accountancy in 2018 with ICAEW. Outside of work I love spending time with my family, watching Bollywood movies and (trying to!) complete crosswords.
I have always loved being a Zarthusthi and take pride in our beautiful and everlasting faith. I vividly remember one of my very first trips to Bombay as a young girl, visiting Bikhaji Behramji’s Kuo, and the warm and homely feeling, being surrounded by countless Zoroastrians on Ava Roj. I loved that feeling so much that I dreamt of getting married in an Atash Behram. My dream came true in December 2018 and by the grace of God, that feeling was recreated. I really look forward to help bring that same feeling to the 8th World Youth Congress in 2023!
For me, being Zoroastrian in the UK is a privilege. It means I can be a melting pot within myself, from learning how to cook my favourite dishes while my Mum and Mother-in-Law give me instructions, or debate with my Dad and Father-in-Law why we lost that last round of Hokum! Having family all over the world, means that I can combine the Eastern and Western practices of our culture and religion and still feel close to my roots – something that I believe all our youth overseas strive to do and what we will hope to bring to this Congress.
When I heard the Youth Congress was coming to the UK, I knew I had to be involved to help showcase what London really has to offer! We are thrilled to have been given this opportunity and look forward to welcoming as many young Zoroastrians as possible to this event.
As the Treasurer for the Congress, my main responsibilities include creating and helping us stick to a budget which both pleases the ZTFE Managing Committee and the WYZC Committees. I am the first port of call to approve any spend and keeping a general (but stringent!) check on whether our incoming donations match our outgoing plans.
At this early stage of the Congress organisation, I have been busy crunching numbers and working with all the sub committees to ensure that we are planning for an affordable but quintessentially English experience. I have been heavily involved in negotiations with potential venues and am really excited for what we have in store for 2023! I will also be working closely with the Entertainment Committee to ensure we have an amazing set of events lined up and I can already tell that this Congress will be one to remember!
I’m thoroughly enjoying getting to know fellow young Zoroastrians and am so proud of our Community and what each person on the team has to offer.