The Sustainable Development Associate (SDA) is a member of the Science & Policy (S&P) team, engaging both internal and external stakeholders to ensure positive development outcomes in a variety of ways. The incumbent actively advocates for, and assists in, the attainment of Casey Trees’ mission, motto and tree canopy goal.
• Leverages existing, and creates new relationships with key stakeholders including developers, landholders, community members, policymakers, environmental partners, and others
• Advocates for tree canopy protection and expansion at various public meetings
• Trains both internal and external stakeholders at various workshops and events
• Maintains data/records on programs, events, and constituents as required
• Writes and publicizes e-print materials including newsletters, blogs, advocacy actions, etc.
• Tracks and reviews plans and projects to ensure a higher level of tree canopy post-construction
• Works with research staff and volunteers to conduct tree inventories of development sites
• Develops public comments to encourage tree planting and protection
• Uses ArcGIS to analyze existing tree canopy, tree canopy loss, and potential tree canopy cover
• Delivers tree advocacy training workshops for volunteer tree advocates
• Represents Casey Trees at meetings, hearings, and on committees, advisory teams and working groups
• Develops/disseminates information on green infrastructure and low impact development best management practices featuring large canopy trees
• Creates/delivers S&P briefing materials as needed
• Performs other duties as assigned
• Legislative frameworks Knowledge of smart growth Project management
• Problem solving/analysis
• Public speaking
• Decision making
• Time management
Position Type/Expected Hours of Work : This is a full-time position. The incumbent must be able and willing to work evenings, weekends, and extended hours as required.
Compensation/Benefits : Competitive salary with excellent benefits including health, dental, vision, paid holidays, and paid time off. Travel Travel is primarily local, although some out of the area travel and overnights may be expected.
Bachelor’s degree in urban planning, environmental science, environmental
policy, landscape architecture, landscape design or related field
Two to three years of program development experience
Excellent time management and project management; meets deadlines independently
Thoughtful, organized, highly collaborative with attention to detail
Demonstrated success working in a team environment; both internally and externally
Excellent written and verbal communication, organizational and interpersonal
Proficiency in Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook)
Familiarity with Adobe
Illustrator, Photoshop, and/or InDesign
What you will need to apply
Please enter Sustainable
Development Associate in the subject line of your message and email the
following items to the Human Resources Generalist at email@example.com:
Résumé (if applicable)
Available start date
Contact information for three
No telephone calls, please. Final candidates will be subject to a background check
at time of conditional offer.
Equal Employment Opportunity
Casey Trees is proud to be an
Equal Opportunity Employer.
Who We Are
Casey Trees is a Washington D.C.-based nonprofit, established
in 2002, committed to restoring, enhancing and protecting the tree canopy of
the nation’s capital. To fulfill this mission, we plant trees, engage thousands
of volunteers in tree planting and care, provide year-round education courses,
monitor the city’s tree canopy, develop interactive online tree tools and work
with elected officials, developers, and community groups to protect and care
for existing trees and to encourage the addition of new ones.
The World Zoroastrian Organisation Trust is pleased to provide an update as on September 06, 2018 on the work done so far, funds received.
The support that The WZO Trust are extending in collaboration with The Kinder Trust at Bangalore is minuscule when compared to the total welfare measures that have to be undertaken to alleviate the suffering of the hundreds of thousands of individuals affected by the floods. However, both WZO Trust & Kinder Trust shall continue to do their bit in this massive humanitarian exercise.
As highways have been washed away it is still very difficult for vehicles to ply in the internal areas. Volunteers are trekking through inhospitable terrain carrying relief materials with them. Keeping these ground realities in mind, we have till date delivered two consignments comprising the following relief materials to the affected areas:
Sarees & Blouse materials,
Ladies petticoats and nightwear.
Gents & Boys underwear,
Assorted cleaning brushes,
Within the next few days it has been programmed to provide roof sheets and other cleaning & construction materials that will be required.
The Kerala Floods Relief appeal was first released by us on August 19, 2018. Since then we have received, as on September 05, 2018 donations amounting to Rs.22,51,392 from 118 donors. The WZO Trust extends its sincere gratitude to those who have contributed so generously towards this gargantuan exercise to alleviate human suffering.
However, much more needs to be done and funds continue to be required. We request Zoroastrians from all parts of the world to join us in our efforts to provide verified and trusted help to Kerala.
Donations by way of cheques made out in the name of The World Zoroastrian Organisation Trust may be sent to our office at:
Hermes House, 3rd floor,
Mama Parmanand Marg,
Mumbai 400 004.
Direct remittances can also be made into our bank account:
We, World Zoroastrian Organisation Trust & WZO Trust Funds have begun to plan for relief and rehabilitation that will need to be undertaken for Zoroastrians who have been affected through loss of livelihood due to the Covid Pandemic.
A Write-up cum appeal as below is being sent to donors all over the world with a request to extend support for the many Zoroastrians, who have all been severely affected in different ways.
It is requested that generous support be considered towards this humanitarian of epic proportions.
We expect to commence once the lock down has been lifted and travel restrictions have been eased; sometime hopefully my mid-May or perhaps a bit later. We envisage it will take us around 5 months at the very minimum to complete this humongous task and look forward to receiving support.
COVID PANDEMIC AND IT’S AFTERMATH;
THE LONG ROAD TOWARDS REHABILITATION.
The world over, people are presently wrestling with the unprecedented implications of the COVID-19 corona virus pandemic. It is a human crisis unlike any experienced earlier.
By way of providing immediate relief during the pandemic, We, The World Zoroastrian Organisation Trust and The WZO Trust Funds have played a reasonably proactive role by supporting from our own funds, Masina Hospital at Mumbai to create isolation facilities, as also recommended to and facilitated overseas donors to support this initiative, and supported the distribution of food packets through volunteers of ‘Pehchaan’ to migrant workers and slum dwellers of Mumbai suffering from hardships.
With the lockdown scheduled to be progressively lifted from mid May onwards, the time is now on hand to planning and focus on providing relief and rehabilitation to Zoroastrians who have been adversely affected economically due to the pandemic.
Given the severity of the pandemic one can foresee that once the lockdown and travel restrictions have been lifted or eased, the focus will have to be on continuing to provide relief, as well as to organize rehabilitation of Zoroastrians who have been severely affected – in cities, towns and villages. The tasks are undoubtedly extremely daunting and will require long term effort and commitment.
When the lockdown has been lifted and travel restrictions eased, it will be necessary to not only continue relief but also to plan rehabilitation strategies, as may be necessary, for Zoroastrians who are facing immense hardships as a result of the pandemic.
Providing relief is a temporary measure, whereas organizing rehabilitation is a distinctly and extremely long process that entails first counselling distressed minds to be optimistic, followed by assessing what would be the most practical and quickest manner of rehabilitating entire families who would have lost their jobs or means of livelihoods and / or suffered from illnesses during the troubled times and finally raising resources from donors that would be used to bring affected families back into the mainstream of society.
To successfully rehabilitate Zoroastrians affected by the pandemic, it will be essential that all hands (volunteers and donors) will need to be on deck, doing what they can do best to alleviate the suffering.
The main impacts of the lock down that will need to be addressed are:
Arranging food grains packages for Zoroastrians in cities, towns and villages who have suffered economic hardships
Financial difficulties being faced by families of white collar workers having received only half their regular salaries and in many cases no salaries
Financial difficulties being faced by families of blue collar workers not having received salaries as the factories, workshops have all had to shut down.
Financial difficulties being faced by individuals involved in modest Self Employment initiatives such as driving autorickshaws, commercial taxi’s, auto mechanics, stationery shops etc who have been unable to go about their professions.
Full time Mobeds who are not employed by Agiyaries but are daily wage earners many of who presently have no income.
a) Supporting agriculturists who have been unable to harvest their standing crops that have decayed on account of non availability of labour force.
b) Dairy Farmers having suffered financial setbacks as milk collected from their livestock’s being unable to reach the processing dairies; difficulty in obtaining feed for their cattle.
c) Poultry farming having come to a standstill as it has not been possible to transport the fully grown fowls to processing units.
d) Brick kilns are an industry having a short 7 month window (December to June); Zoroastrian beneficiaries who have established kilns in their villages have suffered severe financial setback as the migrant labourers have left for their native places leaving half baked and unbaked bricks causing immense hardships.
Total amount of funds required for the entire rehabilitation package as above are estimated to be in the region of Rs.13,200,000 (Rupees thirteen million two hundred thousand or Rupees one crore thirty two lakhs). The time frame for completing the work is estimated to take between four to five months.
Service to our people is the need of the times. We can at best play a proactive role by using all the means available to us in terms of manpower and by raising resources from donors.
We request individuals and institutions from all over the world, having the means and resources, to dig deep into their pockets and donate generously to enable us to undertake rehabilitation of the many Zoroastrians who have suffered untold misery during the pandemic:
Donations may please be sent by cheques to:
The World Zoroastrian Organisation Trust
C-1, Hermes House,
Mama Parmanand Marg,
Mumbai 400 004
Donations can also be made directly into our bank accounts, details of which are:
For remittances from within India
For remittances from overseas converted into INR
Name of Bank: Deutsche Bank
Name of Bank: Deutsche Bank
Branch: Hazarimal Somani Marg, Fort, Mumbai.
Branch: Hazarimal Somani Marg, Fort, Mumbai.
D B House,
Hazarimal Somani Marg, Fort,
Mumbai 400 001
D B House,
Hazarimal Somani Marg, Fort,
Mumbai 400 001
The World Zoroastrian Organisation Trust.
The World Zoroastrian Organisation Trust – FCRA.
Account No: 400004259620019
Account No: 400004284180028
Account type: Savings
Account type: Savings
IFSC Code: DEUT0784PBC
IFSC Code: DEUT0784PBC
Swift Code: BKTRUS33
Donors should provide the address where their receipts should be mailed and also inform their PAN details.
Donors should provide the address where their receipts should be mailed.
We look forward to receiving support from community members from all over the world that will facilitate our undertaking and completing this gigantic humanitarian exercise.
ADDRESSING AN URGENT URBAN ENVIRONMENTAL CHALLENGE
Civic Response Team (CRT) is a nonprofit that started in May 2015 to build evidence-driven solutions to civic and environmental challenges. One of the biggest initiatives they’ve undertaken is transforming the solid waste management system in Aurangabad, India.
Solid waste management is the most pressing civic and environmental challenge in many Indian cities. Civic Response Team knew that they would have to get creative–and collaborate with local government leaders–in order to effectively tackle this issue. So they looked at solid waste management best practices in other cities and compiled a report, which they presented to the municipal commissioner of Aurangabad in the hopes that he would be able to concretely replicate some of these initiatives.
However, there were thirty years of waste management practices to shift. Open waste dump sites were still the norm. Sanitation staff worked without protective equipment and in hazardous and undignified conditions. The commissioner didn’t have the required resources to implement the recommendations made by Civic Response Team
As a result, the organization realized they would need to get more directly involved in overhauling the municipal waste management system and undertake a holistic approach that worked with multiple stakeholders and addressed root causes to shift behaviors. After much hard work, they began offering coordinated waste management services and piloted their offerings with pilots of 500 households. Over time, they began serving wards of 1000 homes and today even work with full townships of 30,000 people.
Tackling the problem at this scale required a multi-disciplinary approach.
They needed to map the pain points, educate local communities on the benefits of improving solid waste management, make changes to bylaws and regulations, consider budget requirements, and modify the practices of the sanitation department team.
THINKING IN SYSTEMS
Very early into this work, Civic Response Team realized it would be critical to consider the whole system surrounding this problem of waste management–rather than just trying to clean up trash from the streets in isolation from the larger community dynamics and political power structures.
Co-founder Natasha Zarine explains, “We knew that unless we think in systems, it’s all going to go back to square one.”
In fact, they initially found that changes implemented in a pilot group of 500 households would hold for about six months before falling apart. The changes didn’t stick “because it was a little oasis in a larger context, within a larger system that didn’t change.” The organization recognized that for the system to truly shift, they needed “the buy-in of multiple stakeholders, including the leadership of municipal leadership.”
Municipal staff is generally supportive of the changes but Natasha found it was critical “to manage relationships at the highest level of the municipal administration and elected representatives.”
She recounts the experience with one waste management supervisor who had been working for 30 years running 14 wards of the city. Although he had amassed significant political power over his career, it was only when he began collaborating with Civic Response Team that he began to feel that his work offered dignity. “It is the first time in his life that he feels good about his work, that he feels he can do his work effectively, that he feels he’s doing the right thing,” Natasha says,
Previously, he didn’t feel proud to ask his staff to do their work, but there were no alternatives. Now, “he’s like our star sanitary inspector. He ensures that all the staff is well taken care of, that the work is happening effectively, he proudly speaks about the amount of public money he’s able to save because of the way his zone is managed, managing our waste.”
Cultivating these relationships and finding champions within local government has been critical to Civic Response Team’s ability to durably shift waste management practices in Aurangabad.
UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES FOR WASTE-PICKERS
Natasha and her colleagues also quickly recognized that they did not only have to consider powerful political figures if they wanted to change the system. They also needed to think about the downstream consequences that their seemingly positive interventions might have on some of the city’s poorest residents: waste-pickers.
In Aurangabad, there are approximately 600 waste-pickers who make their livelihoods by sorting through trash and finding bits that can be resold. Under the new, more efficient waste collection processes that Civic Response Team was rolling out, the trash pickers would no longer have access to waste coming directly onto the streets. Natasha realized that if they altered the current system significantly, there were going to be negative downstream economic consequences for some of the city’s poorest inhabitants.
To mitigate these unintended consequences, Civic Response Team identified the waste-pickers working in each ward and invited them to join a sorting facility.
They did not have the budget to pay a salary and at first wondered how they would effectively get waste pickers to shift their behavior and adapt to this new system. They discovered that if they concretely communicated to the workers that they would get direct access to 300 to 500 KGs of dry waste, of which 70% is recyclable, they were eager to adapt. An added bonus was that–because the waste was no longer soiled—workers could recover much more for recycling and selling.
As they began working at the sorting facility, waste-pickers were able to more than double their income. Previously, they earned about 210 rupees a day, or $3. However, now working at the sorting center they earn on average 450 rupees per day, or $7. They also benefit from more regular working hours, more family time, fewer cuts and bruises, and more dignity. Critically, they now also take pride in their work and are happy to tell people they work at the sorting center. Word quickly spread.
Civic Response Team has now trained over 1800 sanitation staff and worked with 105 waste-pickers.
One waste-picker who they met in the first pilot has done so well she was invited to speak at a UN conference in Paris about recycling to share how it has impacted her life and how it affects the environment.
This woman’s entrepreneurial spirit led her to take a leadership role, going on to recruit three friends to work at the first recyclable waste center. She soon started managing it and “is an owner in a way because she manages everything – she gets the profits, she distributes, she makes payments to the other waste pickers who are working with her. It’s been running for four years without anyone else’s intervention because she’s understood not only the business of collection and recycling but also managing a sorting center,” Natasha says.
SHIFTING COMMUNITY BEHAVIORS
One of Natasha’s most notable learnings is that waste management is all about people. You need to understand “their behavior, their relationship to waste, their relationships to each other, to their past, to their religion or their beliefs…It’s extremely complex.”
Natasha describes how complex challenges like these need a technical solution but mostly require adaptive leadership.
Adaptive leadership recognizes that both shared ownership and continuous learning are central to achieve lasting behavior change. As Natasha shares, when people think of solid waste management, they think you need, “vehicles for collection, composting machinery, biogas plants, etc. which are definitely an important part, but it’s all about people.”
The other element of behavior change that surprised Natasha is that people are ready and willing to make changes when they directly see how their actions are impacting the environment and each other.
Another way to promote behavior change is to keep the steps small and incremental. In the communities that Natasha works with, it would be too large a jump to introduce home composting right away, but they will work towards this goal since it’s the most efficient way to manage organics. Natasha points out how technical solutions come into play, “this is where technology comes in. If we have the right type of products to help people compost at home and store their waste a certain way it creates a better buy-in for the overall waste management system.”
CRT is still in the process of figuring out the best balance of centralized facilities with decentralized home management for waste, recyclables, and organics.
NATASHA’S ADVICE FOR CHANGE-MAKERS
Natasha’s advice for others interested in exploring the link between social well-being, poverty, and environmental conservation is to “dive right in.”
Bringing together a team invested in the collective vision is essential to make change happen. Although CRT’s experience with recruited volunteers has been positive, especially for short-term commitments, CRT finds it necessary to set up the sustainable funding structures that can support paid staff positions.
Natasha explains, “You really have to stand your ground and insist on either getting funding or getting paid for your services because that’s the only way to be valued.” Even when doing important work, it will not always be recognized so holding the collective vision and having the necessary structures in place for financial sustainability allows the team to remain motivated and committed to moving the work forward.
Natasha speaks of the importance of using systems thinking, research, and on-the-ground experience to understand the nuances and complexity of the behaviors you are trying to change in a larger system you are working to address.
“There’s so much happening under the epidermis that covers everything, so be aware of that.”
Finally, where people and process interact for environmental change, managing relationships is everything. Relationships build trust, and trust is essential for any behavior change to take place. Natasha says, “If people know that you’re trying to bring about a certain kind of change, and not just coming from a certain agenda, then they’re much more willing to partner with you to take that change forward.”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Danielle Sutton is the Content Animator at Acumen where she surfaces stories to inspire and activate social entrepreneurs. In an age of information overload, she believes in learning ‘the right thing at the right time’ to intentionally design impactful social enterprises. You can usually find Danielle digging into the Acumen course library, playing in the mountains, or exploring marketing on The Sedge blog.
A list of fellowships offered for the social sector—for professional development, in the field, or in academia. The list includes fellowships offered within India, as well as some offered internationally.
*The fellowships in each section are listed in alphabetical order. This list was last updated on March 26th, 2020. If you would like to suggest any edits to this page, or would like us to add something we missed out, please firstname.lastname@example.org.
Duration: One year, extendable to a maximum of two years with the possibility of full-time employment post-completion of Fellowship
Eligibility: Masters degree in Counselling, Clinical Psychology, or Social Work; fluency in Tamil
Format: Part-time, paid role based in Chennai. The Fellow will be placed in a school for 3 days a week and is expected to provide on-site behavioural and emotional health consultation and support to schools to address barriers that interfere with students’ academic, social and emotional development.
Eligibility: Entrepreneurs with a new system changing idea that addresses pertinent social or environmental issues
Format: Fellows receive a stipend for the three year period to work on their initiative full-time. They also receive access to a network of like-minded social entrepreneurs, wellbeing support, peer-learning opportunities, and so on
Eligibility: Under 20 years of age, founder/co-founder of an initiative that is addressing social or environmental issues at the community level
Format: Young Changemakers receive mentorship, access to curated opportunities, media support, leadership training, invitations to Ashoka events and programmes; and are expected to lead local-level initiative to empower young people
Eligibility: Early stage social entrepreneurs between the ages of 18-35 years, running a social change initiative (on ground for at least six months; which need not be registered) working on inclusion, creating democratic spaces and constitutional literacy with youth
Format: Three touch point workshops for inputs on organisational development; fortnightly mentoring to enhance leadership; seed funding of upto two lakhs; inputs on instructional design and facilitation; access to a network of more than 400 like-minded social entrepreneurs
Format: Fellows are assigned to work with Ministers and/or senior officials across various departments of the Government of NCT of Delhi, providing analytical support in the formulation of policies, implementation of projects, and so on
Format: Fellows can work and receive mentorship in one of six thematics (natural resource management; basic needs fulfilment; employement generation; enterprise development; strengthening institutions; clean technology)
Eligibility: Interest in implementing solutions to climate change
Format: A one-year immersive programme for 20 fellows, based on a mentor-mentee framework (Track 1: Fellows willing to commit to a 1 year fully residential fellowship; Track 2: Fellows who are advanced in their careers and continue to work will have their curriculum and mentorship experience made flexible and customised to their availability)
Eligibility: Fluency in Hindi; demonstrable passion about working with children
Format: Fellows will work with children in Uttarakhand at the Happy Children’s Library, on areas such as learning sessions, reading and writing activities, library outreach, documentation, and impact assessments
Eligibility: Indian citizens; a college/university degree or five years equivalent work experience; fluency in English
Format: Fellows are responsible for implementing high-impact projects defined by Indicorps and local grassroots organisations to address community challenges. Fellows attend periodic workshops to share progress and collectively solve challenges
Eligibility: Graduates with 3+ years of work experience; strong data analytical skills; strong technical skills to manage the MIS system
Format: Fellows have a three-phase rotation across the year during which they get an understanding of the organisation and the work that happens across functions and how policies are implemented across the country
Eligibility: Above 18 years of age; at least 1 year of college education completed; experience with planning and facilitation; formal or informal experience with art form (poetry, storytelling, theatre, or visual arts)
Format: Fellows are placed in low income classrooms and use the transformative power of performance and visual arts to build essential life skills in children and enable them to find their voice through creative expression
Format: The fellowship enables young professionals to get hands on experience working in development and fellows spend six months to a year working in Wayanad, and are responsible for overseeing a project or programme most suited to their interests
Eligibility: Fluency in Hindi; bachelor’s/master’s degree; critical thinking and problem solving; applicants should be courageous and determined to bring about the change at scale and demonstrate interpersonal skills through their interactions with various stakeholders
Format: A 6-week induction, post which fellows will work on the Sampark Smart Shala Programme towards improving learning outcomes for children in government primary schools in India
Eligibility: Indian citizens with a bachelor’s degree
Format: The social entrepreneurship programme is divided into 25 percent classroom facilitated learning and 75 percent practicum (where participants work with established social enterprises and develop business verticals for them)
Eligibility: Minimum: B.Ed/Masters in Special Education/Masters in Counselling (with minimum 2 years of teaching experience) [Candidates with relevant volunteering experience in the space of Inclusive Education are also welcome to apply]
Format: Fellows will be placed in different under-resourced schools to understand the grassroot realities of India’s education system in the context of inclusion and strive to create an ecosystem of inclusive spaces in mainstream education (stipend will be given through the two years)
Eligibility: For the photography fellowship: media and communication students/amateur photographers aged 18-24
Format: For the media fellowship, fellows are required to document stories highlighting under-reported aspects on the theme of urban water. For the photography fellowship, they are invited to document strong, innovative, and diverse visual narratives on water—the crisis and solutions—across India
Eligibility: An university degree (undergraduate), at least two years of practical experience (either working or volunteering) in the social sector & alignment with core values of vision, courage, empathy, changemaking and a global mindset
Format: This blended program runs twice a year, with a 2 month foundation online, followed by a 4 month immersion phase in a global hub of social innovation. Upcoming programs are in São Paulo (Brazil) or Nairobi (Kenya); fellows can attend and complete the fellowship with a postgraduate certificate in social innovation management even if they are currently working
Eligibility: Must have a demonstrable record of experience in one of governance and law, economic development, women’s empowerment, environment, or regional cooperation; under 40 years of age; conversant in English; citizens of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Laos, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Timor-Leste, or Vietnam
Format: The fellowship comprises of a leadership dialogue and exchange programme in Asia, a forum on leadership for Asia’s future, a leadership dialogue and exchange programme in the US, a professional development award, and a tailored mentoring component
Eligibility: Graduate in any discipline; at least 5 years relevant experience; must meet LSE’s standard English Language Requirement
Format: Residential fellows undertake a full-time, one-year MSc in Inequalities and Social Sciences at LSE; non-residential fellows investigate inequalities over a period of 12 to 18 months via a set of AFSEE modules and project work while remaining based in their home environment
Duration: June-July 2020, in The Hague, Netherlands
Eligibility: Undergraduate degree with at least 5 years of relevant experience or a graduate degree with 3 years of relevant experience
Format: Residential fellows will be exposed to different parts of the humanitarian system and will work on an individual project that addresses a challenge related to the use and impact of data in the sector. The three focus areas for this year are: Data Storytelling (Education), Predictive Analytics, and Statistics (Mosaic Effect)
Eligibility: Work experience in social impact/design agencies, an ability and willingness to travel and proficiency in written and spoken English (French, Spanish, Swahili, Hindi are a plus)
Format: Fellows are embedded within teams and have hands-on experience with projects from the start; each fellowship may vary in length, number of projects, and role within the team; the opportunity is full-time and paid, with flexible start dates
Eligibility: Above 18 years of age, able to secure visa
Format: The fellowship supports social sector leaders to dedicate time to turning ideas into prototypes or action. All fellows will be responsible for designing, proposing, and implementing projects of their choice within one of two fellowship tracks: digital civil society or race and technology
Eligibility: Urban designers, public artists, developers, journalists, civic leaders, architects, landscape architects, urban planners, policymakers, and community development leaders with a minimum 5-10 years of experience in their field
Format: Fellows audit courses at Harvard or MIT, and partake in lectures, symposia, conferences, and exhibitions; fellows also attend weekly seminars and dinners and build a community of fellowship
Eligibility: Minimum two years full-time work experience; proven strategic thinking, problem solving, communication, and analytical capabilities; language requirements based on location of placement
Format: Typical roles involve assessing and identifying opportunities for markets, value chains, and industries, strengthening the operations and/or organisational capacity of TechnoServe clients, evaluating programme impact, and so on
Eligibility: Between 15-28 years old; English proficiency; regular access to email and the internet; access to a bank account
Format: Digital learning, workshops, grants, and speaking engagements to provide young advocates with opportunities to build and strengthen their knowledge and skills, particularly in the areas of gender equality and sexual and reproductive health and rights
Eligibility: Cannot be enrolled in an academic programme
Format: The fellow will be working independently on a public interest research project in the energy sector which could include any mix of desk research, field work, primary data collection, and surveys
Eligibility: CGPA/CPI of at least 8.0 (on a 10-point scale) in all years of four/five year undergraduate or five-year integrated postgraduate degree in Science and Technology streams from IISc/IITs/NITs/IISERs/IIEST
Format: Research fellowship for full-time PhD programme in one of IISc/IISERs/IITs or Central Universities
Eligibility: Indian citizens with a demonstrated interest in wildlife ecology and conservation; bachelor’s degree; below 30 years of age
Format: This programme funds three activities—a master’s degree in ecology or conservation at an international university, an internship with an international conservation organisation, and a small grants programme for a conservation research project within India
Eligibility: Students enrolled in Indian and Canadian universities which are members of Shastri Indo-Canadian Institutes; additional criteria for each category
Format: The fellowship offers research grants to three categories of students—doctoral, post-doctoral, and Canadian—for research in priority areas of Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India
Eligibility: Healthcare providers, public health professionals, and researchers from India or Bangladesh; Master’s degree in public health, nursing, psychology, health science, social work, health policy, or law
Format: The fellowship aims to train future implementation researchers from India and Bangladesh through online lectures and assignments, monthly reading assignments, mentoring sessions, and intensive residential study visits to the Mehsana District
Eligibility: Bachelor’s degree; below 30 years of age
Format: The fellowship aims at developing skills to analyse issues plaguing urban areas in architecture, development planning, and other interdisciplinary fields. It is comprised of eight months of in-class learning followed by two months of internship placements
Format: The programme invites researchers and practitioners to the School of Public Policy at Central European University and the Central European University Institute for Advanced Study in Budapest, and the Global Public Policy Institute in Berlin to conduct analytical and empirical work and engaging with policy practitioners
We invite all the Zoroastrian students around the world to be a part of this event. Please click below to download the forms of the coming zochild and send the forms duly filled with the required material to the nearby locations( To find the forms delivery addresses CLICK HERE) :
At the outset, let me first congratulate each and every one who is a part of the XYZ family for receiving a donation of Rs. 10 Lakhs from Mr. Dara Hansotia who is now a benefactor of XYZ Foundation.
He has donated this money for the corpus we are setting up for the future of XYZ. We thank him for always supporting us and along with him all the other individuals who have made the activities of XYZ possible. We know that there are many other generous individuals in our community and we hope that they too come forward and believe in our cause.
Our next activity is XYZ LAFA – Literary Arts & Fine Arts Festival which is scheduled forSunday, 12th July 2015 at J.B. Vachha High School, Dadar.
Attached are the rules and regulations along with a list of the various activities for the XYZ members at the event. Please note that the member must participate in his/her age group only.
Transportation by bus and lunch will be provided to all participants of XYZ LAFA.
Please do remember to take a print of the Participant Entry Form and fill in all the required details. Do remember to submit the form along with the registration fee of Rs. 200 to the group volunteers before 30th June 2015.
Once again, I would personally like to thank you for your support and guidance. If any of you would be able to guide us with speaking to other individuals about donating to XYZ Foundation, please do give us a call and we will accompany you and present our organisation to them.
Zoroastrians pray in a Zoroastrian temple in Chak Chak, southeast of Tehran, June 16, 2006. (photo by REUTERS/Raheb Homavandi)
Zoroastrianism is the world’s oldest religion based on divine revelation, which served as the state religion of three great Iranian empires for 12 centuries, from the sixth century B.C. until the seventh century.
Summary⎙ Print Al-Monitor interviewed Zoroastrian spiritual leader in Iraq Peer Luqman Haji, who spoke about the resurgence of this millennia-old religion, the challenges and the need for tolerance in a region plagued by growing religious radicalism.
While religious diversity is now facing an imminent demise in Middle Eastern countries — especially in Syria and Iraq — the events following the rise of the Islamic State (IS) and its threat to this diversity has made it easier for the adherents of Zoroastrianism to reveal themselves after they had hidden their religion for 15 centuries and to convert to the new religion, in the aftermath of the Muslim conquest of Iraq.
Zoroastrians today are present in several areas of Iraqi Kurdistan and other areas administratively affiliated with the Iraqi federal government. But there are no accurate figures of their numbers as they are still referred to as “Muslims” on their identity documents, even though they engage in Zoroastrian religious rituals. This represents a restriction on their right to freedom of belief, especially since converting from Islam to another religion is considered a crime according to the Personal Status Law.
At the Zoroastrian Cultural and Heritage Center in Sulaimaniyah — which contains a small temple where Zoroastrian rituals are being held for the first time in modern Iraqi history — Peer Luqman Haji, the spiritual leader of Iraqi Zoroastrians, administers the conversion from Islam to Zoroastrianism through the Kushti tying ceremony (a Kushti is the sacred girdle worn by Zoroastrians around their waists) and marriage ceremonies according to the Zoroastrian tradition.
Haji talked to Al-Monitor from this small temple in Sulaimaniyah about the extent of the recognition of Zoroastrianism in Iraq, the number of followers and places of their presence. He also addressed the controversy surrounding the return of this ancient religion after it had disappeared for centuries and how this relates to the emergence of IS and its occupation of large parts of the country. Haji also clarified the Kurds’ search for a religious identity other than Islam, in addition to the reactions of Islamic religious circles regarding the return of this ancient religion that has resulted in many Muslims converting to Zoroastrianism.
As far as Haji is concerned, what he is doing is not merely a religious representation of a millennia-old religion, but a cultural revolution seeking to direct the hearts and minds of people toward a loving life and adopting moderation in a country threatened with segregation due to ethnic tensions. He is confident that his revolution will have a positive outcome on the country.
The full text of the interview follows.
Al-Monitor: Is Zoroastrianism an officially recognized religion in Iraqi Kurdistan? And what are the limits of such recognition?
Haji: Zoroastrianism is recognized as one of the religious beliefs as per Law No. 5 of Protecting Components of Iraqi Kurdistan of 2015, which is new and positive. This encouraged us to officially establish this place [Zoroastrian Cultural and Heritage Center] representing Zoroastrians, after an absence of centuries. We also have an official representative at the Ministry of Endowments and Religious Affairs, and this is considered a step forward on the path to official recognition. But we do not think these steps are enough for us to act freely, as the ministry has yet to recognize this place as a house of worship for Zoroastrianism, just like mosques and churches. We demand this, so we can have a house of worship that symbolizes our existence and therefore earns us legal protection.
I have been to the Ministry of Endowments and Religious Affairs in Iraqi Kurdistan 12 times since September 2015, met with the minister on five occasions and asked for official recognition, particularly for the Zoroastrian Cultural and Heritage Center as a place that represents us from a religious point of view. The center has already been recognized as a nonprofit organization by the NGO Directorate. This means that the recognition of Zoroastrianism has not yet reached the point of giving us a temple to perform religious rituals, or at least recognizing the center as a house of worship or religious center. And it should be noted that the opening of the center was attended by a representative from the Ministry of Endowments and Religious Affairs. That same day — on Dec. 20, 2015 — we presented a memo to the ministry demanding that the center be recognized.
Al-Monitor: So you are saying that legal recognition of Zoroastrianism did not reach the point of equality with other religions? What aspects of equality are you demanding?
Haji: First, we demand the recognition of this place and the small temple built in it as a house of worship for Zoroastrianism. We also demand that Zoroastrian clerics are recognized just like Christian, Muslim and Zaidi clerics. For example, as the spiritual leader of Zoroastrianism, I have a diploma in Zoroastrian theology from the Zoroastrian school in France. I have earned the rank of “peer,” which is the first rank in the hierarchy of Zoroastrian priesthood and the highest religious rank obtained by a Zoroastrian in Iraq. It was an intricate procedure, for — after earning my diploma in Zoroastrian theology — I had to be officially nominated to represent Zoroastrianism and be officially chosen by the Zoroastrian council in the United Kingdom, which indeed happened. But the Ministry of Endowments has yet to recognize me as a representative of the religion; I am working on this.
Al-Monitor: Were you the first to demand the recognition of Zoroastrianism after centuries of its decline in Iraq, or were there other historical demands?
Haji: I don’t think Zoroastrianism really disappeared throughout that time, but it was indeed occulted since human beings have no power over their hearts and spirits, so they would hide their true beliefs for fear of persecution without abandoning them completely. I will give you an example: A Zoroastrian from Khanaqin in the Diyala governorate told me that his grandfather presented an official memo to the Iraqi court in 1924, demanding that Zoroastrianism was stated as his religion on his official documents. But his demand was rejected since Zoroastrianism was not one of the officially recognized religions upon the foundation of modern Iraq. This shows that Zoroastrians have not ceased to demand recognition throughout the past centuries and that political, religious and social reasons have forced them to hide their religious identity — just like they are doing today in fear of the reaction of radical Islamists. As a result, many of them have to go to mosques for prayer so that they are not accused of being Zoroastrian and deemed unbelievers for that. Their ID cards still label them as “Muslim.”
Al-Monitor: Are there any accurate or at least approximate statistics concerning the number of Zoroastrians or those who are adhering to it today in Iraq?
Haji: The number of Zoroastrians in Iraqi Kurdistan and other regions is unknown, and I don’t intend to hide these figures because I actually have no idea about the approximate number of public or secret adherents to the Zoroastrian faith. I receive new adherents each day in this temple. They are revealing their true religious beliefs after decades of hiding them or inheriting them from their fathers and grandfathers without being able to go public, until they now finally get the opportunity.
Al-Monitor: How are Zoroastrians distributed across the different regions of Iraq?
Haji: Each day, we discover new stories about Zoroastrians in many areas of Iraqi Kurdistan and others that are administratively part of the [Iraqi] federal government. Zoroastrians are [mainly] found in Dahuk province, in the city of Zakho in the far north [near the northern borders with Turkey] and in Sulaimaniyah province, notably the districts of Darbandikhan, Ranya, Qalaat Daza and Chamchamal. They are also concentrated in Halabja province and in Erbil province, notably Koysinjaq district and Koya near Koysinjaq. Zoroastrians reside in Daquq [district] and Altun Kupri [northwest of Kirkuk] in Kirkuk province; in Khanaqin and Kafri in Diyala province; in Tuz Khormato [administratively part of Salahuddin province] in Kalar district linking between several Kurdish, Arab and Turkmen areas such as Sulaimaniyah, Diyala, Kirkuk, Salahuddin and Baghdad. Kalar is bordered by Darbandikhan district [Sulaimaniyah] to the north, Khanaqin district [Diyala] to the east, the town of Jalawla [Diyala] and Kifri district [Salahuddin]. There are other areas as well that I am currently visiting and where I am discovering new adherents.
Al-Monitor: Are there high rates of conversion from Islam to Zoroastrianism within Iraqi Kurdistan and among the Kurds?
Haji: It is not a religious conversion per se. A more accurate term would be “returning to one’s original religion,” or recovering it. A few days ago, I was in Khanaqin visiting a number of families who adhere to Zoroastrianism. They had paid me a visit at the temple in Sulaimaniyah, and we then set a date for me to visit them — so I did. We performed the austerity ritual, which consists of a cleric wrapping the belt three times around the waist of a person, symbolizing his initiation to Zoroastrianism. They formed a Zoroastrian council in the area, and we now have a council in every city hosting Zoroastrians in Iraqi Kurdistan. The council is composed of adherents who take care of the creed and religion, to establish relations with the other adherents in their region and in other areas.
There are high rates of returning to the religion among Kurds through the Zoroastrian Kushti tying ritual, which is the equivalent of reciting the Shahada [Shahada consists of the recitation of “There is no god but God. Muhammad is the messenger of God.”] for Muslims before converting to Islam. The ceremony includes the tying of a girdle three times around the waist, which is called Tathbeet [binding], meaning the person has now become bound to Zoroastrianism and has not just converted from one religion to another. At the temple, I regularly administer marriage ceremonies according to the Zoroastrian tradition. Five couples came to [get married] according to the Zoroastrian rituals, while the sixth arrived with children. This last couple had had an Islamic ceremony, but they were remarried in conformity with the Zoroastrian rituals.
The ceremony starts by me asking the couple to declare their will to marry each other three times. I then start with the ritual; the couple hold hands that are tied with a green cloth. They pledge before the peer to apply the Zoroastrian’s three main rules: good thoughts, good words and good deeds. The groom buys a wedding band for the bride and vice versa; the ring does not have to be made out of a specific material — it could be made out of iron, wood, gold or silver. All this happens in the presence of witnesses; the groom has a female witness and the bride has a male witness. The groom is not required to pay a dowry. After the ceremony is over, the couple vows to plant a tree every year on the day of their anniversary and give up all their commitments and devote themselves to volunteer work to serve others that day.
Al-Monitor: How did Muslims react to the declaration of the new Zoroastrian Supreme Council and the establishment of a temple where Zoroastrian rituals are performed and conversion from Islam to Zoroastrianism are administered?
Haji: To avoid any angry reactions, we worked silently without making any noise. We do not threaten anyone because our call is a peaceful one based on the values of peace and love. However, we still need a legal recognition within the constitution, as well as official financial and moral support in order to reinforce our position against radical clerics. This is especially true since [the latter] already started spreading lies and false accusations through mosques in order to calumniate us. An example is the claim that we are lewd and allow incest. And there are also many other false claims that aim to socially alienate us. This is obvious incitement against us. On Jan. 7, 2016, Mullah Abdul-Latif Ahmad of Sulaimaniyah defamed us publicly in front of an audience. We consider that a direct incitement to kill us. All I want to say is that people — even Muslims — treat us in a positive way, but some radical clerics deem us unbelievers publicly, which calls for an effective reaction from the state.
Al-Monitor: How would you respond to claims saying that Zoroastrianism is resurfacing today in the form of a national religion for the Kurds, and growing as part of a new Kurdish identity against a Muslim Arab one?
Haji: I do not agree with this argument, although we believe that Zarathustra was a Kurdish prophet, and that doesn’t mean that Arabs cannot adhere to Zoroastrianism. Just because Prophet Muhammad was Arab didn’t stop Kurds from adhering to Islam. Three members of the Arab al-Jabbur tribe in Kirkuk converted to Zoroastrianism, and I myself administered their Kushti ceremony here at the temple. I believe that Zoroastrianism is not a national religion for Kurds only, although it was their original religion. Everyone is welcome, especially since we consider Zarathustra as a prophet, philosopher and teacher at the same time. Zoroastrianism is a Reformist religion that is constantly modernizing and developing its ideologies in line with recent developments. Zoroastrianism is beyond any nationalist limitation and is spread in India and Iran. There are even Westerners who adhere to it, including Americans, British, Germans, French and Australians.
Al-Monitor: How about the claims that go as far as associating the resurgence of Zoroastrianism in Iraq to the atrocities committed by IS in several Iraqi regions, and that these atrocities have driven people away from Islam and led them back to Zoroastrianism?
Haji: I do not think that the return to Zoroastrianism in Iraq, or officially announcing it, is a direct outcome of the rise of IS and the negative reactions it has sparked. We have been working for years in European countries like France, Britain and many others to bring Zoroastrianism back to its birthplace in Kurdistan. This resurgence would not have seen the light had it not been for Law No. 5 of Protecting Components in Iraqi Kurdistan. The law clearly recognized Zoroastrianism as one of Kurdistan’s religions. And only after this have we been able to resurge in Kurdistan, and then we proclaimed the Zoroastrian Supreme Council in Iraq. This was preceded by secret efforts that have taken years, as I used to regularly visit the Kurdistan Region to demand recognition. However, we did not act publicly and officially until after this law recognized us — while many of our colleagues have been working for years without ever abandoning their religious belief in Zoroastrianism.
Al-Monitor: Amid the widespread religious radicalism in the Middle East, what does Zoroastrianism have to offer to counter this phenomenon?
Haji: I think we need a cultural revolution that would pave the way for a new culture of tolerance. As a Zoroastrian cleric, I strongly believe that we have to spread love and repair the house [Iraq] we live in, without any discrimination.
Therefore, clerics must preach reform and build societies on the basis of cooperation and with the aim of seeking heaven on earth, without waiting for Judgement Day to solve our problems. Zoroastrianism advocates for the freedom of religion, so it is up to each person to choose his or her religion. This means that no one should adhere to a certain religion before the age of 15. When religion turns into a strict ideology that rejects any debate or reform while clerics claim they speak in the name of God — believing that their word and interpretation are the word of God — society will be brought to ruins. Reform is an imperative and starting point for us representatives of Zoroastrianism to propagate our message.
Both the Kurdish and Iraqi communities are traditional ones, where religious sensitivities play a role in intensifying the conflict. It seems like the government is failing to reach any level of religious harmony among the believers of all religions and denominations — one that could ease the tension. So it is our duty to start this cultural revolution. We do not only mean the concept of religious freedom or the return to an old religion, but the choice of a new ideology that can suit and reconcile with the spirit of this age. This is why I call this “a cultural and Reformist revolution.”
Hundreds of people flock into our small temple to perform marriage rituals according to the Zoroastrian tradition, the Kushti tying or the Tathbeet in Zoroastrianism. You will be surprised when I tell you that my visitors do not come alone but in the hundreds, and they ask me to visit them in other places. They also visit our headquarters in cities where Zoroastrians live. It is a true revolution that will seek to improve society.
Dr Zinobia Madan is recently the recipient of “Rajiv Gandhi Excellence Award for Innovations in Healthcare, 2014” & “Jewel of India Award for Landmark Contributions in Healthcare, 2014” at a function organized by The Indian Solidarity Council in association with International Institute of Education & Management in New Delhi on 1st February, 2014.
Among the dignitaries who presented the awards included Dr Bhisam Narayan Singh the former Governor of Tamilnadu & Ex Central Minister, Dr G V G Krishnamoorthy Former Election Commissioner of India, Mr O P Verma Former Chief Justice and Former Governor of Punjab & Mr O P Saxena President All India Lawyers Forum.
“The Jewel of India Award” has been conferred on her for Landmark Contributions in Healthcarein the areas of research, guiding & executing several clinical research projects, spearheading medical launches of several new products including Nutritionals, Pharmaceuticals & Biotechnological, introducing the Lifestyle Medicine concept by counseling individuals through a Clinic approach at Jaslok Hospital & Research Centre and her own venture ClinOma Healthcare & imparting knowledge to groups of individuals on advantages of healthy living and how it is achievable by right lifestyle practices.
“Rajiv Gandhi Award for Excellence in Healthcare Innovation”
has been conferred in recognition of her innovative social & medical contributions to the Healthcare field. By pioneering the Lifestyle Medicine concept she helps individuals understand lifestyle diseases like diabetes, hypertension, coronary artery disease, cancer and several others and provides individualized advise on how these diseases need intervention by diet, exercise, yoga and extended care approaches. While the patient is advised these approaches at the Lifestyle Clinic, they are also advised to continue the medicines prescribed by their physician / specialist. Such lifestyle approaches are aimed to improve the health of our population and also importantly reducing the economic burden by reducing or eliminating high treatment costs incurred by patients later.
Dr Zinobia Madan initiated her research career way back in 1983, when she was one of the earliest Research Associates at Jaslok Hospital & Research Centre. Her original cardiovascular research under the guidance of Dr G S Sainani, awarded her a PhD degree. Among the several research areas she investigated, the most exciting one was on a new drug from Upjohn (U63557A) which by her research demonstrated thromboxane synthetase inhibiting properties, and thus demonstrated potential in preventing restenosis in patients who had earlier heart attacks and patients who have undergone coronary artery bypass surgery.
After qualifying as a doctorate from Jaslok Hospital, she spent almost 25 years in the Pharma industry where she contributed by conceptualizing new drugs, developing newer strategies for disease management by novel therapeutic approaches, conducting clinical research projects and launching new & innovative Pharmaceutical drugs, biotechnological products and nutritional products, when she headed big Research and Medical teams in leading multinational & Indian Pharma companies. Her last position in Pharma Industry was as Medical Director, Abbott Ltd, where her role involved heading the entire Medical functions of India team.
Currently, she is Honorary Consultant – Lifestyle Medicine, Jaslok Hospital & Research Centre & also Founder of her own venture ClinOma Healthcare through which she promotes the keys to healthy living, emphasizing the importance of ‘Adding Years of Healthy Life. Additionally, she is also an Independent Adviser to Pharma & Healthcare Industry. She volunteers her time to guide people how to renew eu card or how to fill the countless applications required for the care you need.
In last 4 years, Dr Zinobia has been keenly involved in Parsi community work utilizing her Medical Writing skills for putting up favourable healthcare related proposals to Government bodies for seeking approvals and generating funds for running these Programmes. Recently, for one such Government of India funded Programmes for the Parsi community, “Jiyo Parsi,” announced by the Ministry of Minority Affairs (MOMA), she has played a key role in conceptualizing and launching this programme. This Programme is aimed to increase the Parsi population in numbers by correcting infertility due to the problem of no marriages / late marriages / late conception which have been identified as the main reasons for dwindling numbers.
In her journey of success in healthcare areas, she feels that she has always lived her dreams by working in areas which interest her & most importantly enjoyed every bit of her work thoroughly.
A week after World Zoroastrian Congress, Silloo Mehta of Mazdayasnie Connection is organizing a grand exhibition on Shahname by Firdausi , that contains hundreds of timeless mystical gems ,a giant literary epic on our Daena.
Tu Inra durug o fosane madan, ba yeksan dar zamane madan
do not think these to be lies or imaginary, Remember , times are not same always.
Basi raj bordam darin sal-e-si ,ajam zindeh kardam ba din parsi
I bore hardships for thirty years and I revived the mute with the religion (civilization and culture) of the Parsis.
Azin bishtar dar kurad ba kherad , digar bar rahe ramz ma-ani barad
some of it can be understood by intelligence, the rest is esoteric and mystical
This is going to be a grand exhibition with great models , paintings and lectures for three days .
Pending confirmation of suitable venue the tentative dates are intended to be Friday, Saturday , Sunday 3,4,5 January .2014 , in Mumbai .
Those who have been to her exhibition before, know the painstaking and great efforts that go to make her exhibition a success. The most likely venue would be Sohrab Palamkot Hall, if it works out.
This exhibition will be even on a grander scale, since it is going to be global audience of people attending the World Congress. Many volunteers with dedication to follow up and just coordinate the various aspects are required. . All financial aspects and funds will be met by Mazdayasnie Connection . Only your efforts , dedication and time are required.
Silloo has identified 5 main areas in which help will be required .
Coordinating venue for the exhibition .:
Coordinating with model architects and painters.
PR, press coordination , making banners.
Booth set up, exhibition hall management
Operation on Days of Exhibition ..all volunteers will in some way will
be coordinating on the days of the exhibition .
This is going to be once in a lifetime opportunity for the Khshnoom Anjuman, but without your help it cannot be possible .
Bad in nameh bar umraha be-guzard ,be-khanad haran kas ke darad kherad
Lifetimes shall pass , on this Shanameh .Those who are spiritually wise shall read it, . Meaning ions shall pass , yet, my Shahnameh will outlast them .
The spiritually wise , will understand the mysticism contained in my poem
Above quotes and translations are taken form the Mazdayasnie Connection.
So there you have it. This is the greatest charity you can do for your religion and it is not going to cost you anything .
Please consider volunteering for this noble and once in a lifetime cause.
Kindly send in your contacts telephone and e-mail addresses to me and I will forward it to Silloo.
Since she is organizing a tour of Iran on the 17th of April ,please send in you names before that date.
If you need any clarification or questions to be answered please contact me