“Don’t hesitate to share your ideas or vision for the change that you seek. Try it out, have a go, keep nurturing your passion and learn along the way.” – Sheherazad
Can you please tell us a bit about yourself?
Hi my name is Sheherazad F. Kapadia. I am a Master's student in London, studying Occupational Therapy. My background is in children's mental health, and I have an interest in researching health inequalities. Today, conversations around wellbeing can often be limited to our physical health. I am passionate about broadening that dialogue, giving as much importance to our mental health, within our community and beyond.
... more interestingly, my other passions include eating chocolate, beating my brother at monopoly, and going to Nando’s with my Grandma!
Your grandparents live with you; how do you keep them connected with the local Zoroastrian community? We have a lot of senior members who are avid readers of our monthly newsletters, how would you say we could do more to keep our senior members of the community engaged and connected during as well as post lockdowns?
For me, it is mutual. The great thing about my grandparents is their openness. We often chat about their childhoods and how the world/community was when they were growing up, and in turn, they listen to stories about the youth. This way, I learn about our culture's past, and they know about our community’s future.
The pandemic has been a tough time for many of us. However, I feel that the global Zoroastrian youth has really stepped up. The online zoom events have been significant in connecting our community. My Grandma, for example, has been able to participate in a Zoroastrian fitness class run by a Young Zoroastrian called Danny Master. This has allowed her to maintain her physical and mental health whilst also being a great social activity. A whole new world has opened-up for her and it will surely be sustained past the lockdown.
You’ve done quite a fair share of travel yourself and currently serve on the FEZANA NGO committee, can you tell us a little about your experiences? Why do you like to volunteer on these social projects? Why do you think serving on these international organisations are important for the Zoro youth?
Yes, I love to travel. I really hope to see as much of the world as possible. I encourage more people to travel, there is never a good time and going in groups can be a great way to stay safe.
Volunteering is simply something I enjoy. I volunteer on social projects because they interest me, and I am passionate about making a difference. The people I meet are also a big part of why I enjoy working on social projects. I've learnt so much from my volunteering roles personally and professionally. Volunteering is very much a two-way street; it allows me to give my time to a cause I believe in, and in return I can use my skills to help others.
How important do you think it is to work closely and in collaboration with the international Zoroastrian organisations such as ZTFE (Europe), ZYNG (India), ZSO (Canada), FEZANA (North America), UK ZY, etc.?
Collaboration is key. The pandemic has brought a lot of pain, and I believe now more than ever is our time to come together as a community. Virtual events have been a significant catalyst, allowing for greater cohesion amongst the Zoroastrian associations worldwide!
Initiatives like this are small ways to foster a global voice and in bringing our international community closer. It is also about collaborating within our associations, ensuring that we socialize across the generations and learn from one another.
How excited are you co-chairing the upcoming 8th World Zoroastrian Youth Congress to be held in London, 2023? What are you looking forward to the most?
Very excited! It's an exciting time for the Zoroastrian Youth in the UK. I hope we can pull off an insightful congress for the international Zoroastrian Youth to enjoy. What I am looking forward to the most is bringing people together, helping youth find common ground, and building stronger foundations for the future of the Zoroastrian Community. I hope anyone who attends the congress leaves with a sense of hope for our community’s future, alongside some thoughts about how they can contribute - just one goal, one change, one difference - that would impact our community for the better would make this meaningful.
Lastly, what message do you have for our young members reading this and in what ways can they make an impact?
I say, be yourself. Everyone has a strength, whether it is being a great listener, graphic designing or coming up with novel ideas. Your impact is whatever you believe you can bring to the table. One thing I love about the Zoroastrian community is our diverse skillset. We can all bring something different to the table, and I think it's time to harness those skills for growth. Don’t hesitate to share your ideas or vision for the change that you seek. Try it out, have a go, keep nurturing your passion and learn along the way. Good luck to our youth!
Thanks, Sherri, for your volunteer work and inspiring the youth.
Good luck and hope to see you all at the 8th World Zoroastrian Youth Congress!