Our story started in 1980 ... when a group of concerned Zoroastrians led by Shahpur Captain felt an urgent need to assist displaced Zoroastrians wishing to resettle in the West.
At the same time it became self-evident that in view of the growing diaspora, a world body was needed to represent and inform the whole community which local anjumans and associations could not do.
A few years later, following the Bhaya report, WZO started its fund-raising activities to assist vulnerable Zoroastrians in India supported by a generous endowment from Mehraban and Goli Farhangi.
Today: We are an international forward-looking Zoroastrian organisation that still has at its heart the desire to assist those in need and to provide information about Zoroastrianism.
We operate an inclusive policy for all Zoroastrians and since 1993, our membership criteria allow non-Zoroastrian spouses married to Zoroastrians to become full members.
We are a progressive organisation that will meet the challenges facing Zoroastrians in a changing world.
WZO is committed to working for all Zoroastrians, irrespective of their ethnicity and location.
We operate a policy of inclusiveness and respect for each other.
Arranging social events is a key way of bringing the community together.
In the UK, we have our NowRuz Dinner/Dance which has an Iranian theme whilst the Shahenshahi Dinner/Dance is more Parsee oriented.
We encourage our local chapters to organise appropriate functions within their areas.
WZO continues to support the rights of the individuals against oppression from any source and at all levels.
The Zoroastrian community is generally very public-spirited and philanthropic.
WZO exemplifies this mood by responding to appeals following major natural disasters and genuine pleas from non-Zoroastrians.
Individual donors and benefactors
WZO is very fortunate to have a number of donors supporting its activities.
Some of these provide a regular income whilst others respond positively to special appeals.
Several of our benefactors have bequeathed sums to WZO in their wills.
Donations are received at fund-raising events, through the website and by post at the regional offices.
Numerous Zoroastrian and non-Zoroastrian charitable organisations have such confidence and trust in WZO for accountability and fairness in its activities that they are willing to channel their charitable activities through us.
In particular, we are grateful to the Zoroastrian Charitable Funds of Hong Kong, Canton and Macao, the Sir Ratan Tata Fund, the Bai Maneckji Jijibhoy Fund and the Erach and Roshan Sadri Foundation for confirming their confidence in us.
Global charitable activities
India remains the focus of our charitable activities through the WZO Trusts Funds, ably managed by their Managing Trustee, Dinshaw Tamboly and his wife, Bachi.
Interest-free educational loans and medical grants are offered to those seeking assistance anywhere in the world.
WZO also helps non-Zoroastrian individuals and organisations.
Two such projects are the CHAL project in Pakistan to help child victims with prosthetic limbs and in Kolkata to reduce child slavery.
Relief of Poverty
WZO provides regular monthly payments to retired residents in Gujarat, living well below the poverty line.
We also provide a regular income to practising and retired Zoroastrian priests.
Welfare for those in need
WZO has a Senior Citizens Centre in Navsari, India for up to 53 residents.
We provide interest-free micro-credit loans for Zoroastrians wanting to start a business and for specific projects to farmers in Gujarat.
We finance the building of brick homes to replace the cow dung and mud huts in rural India through sponsorship.
WZO provides medical grants to offset some of the high costs of urgent and essential treatment.
Educational loans and facilities
WZO believes that providing an opportunity for education is a key element in improving the living standards of our future generation.
Through its own Educational funds and in conjunction with other charitable organisations, WZO provides grants and interest-free loans.
This is at all levels from schooling to post-graduate courses.
We have made donations to other organisations, such as the Fali Chotia and the Californian Zoroastrian Centre who offer scholarships to students.
Seminars on Zoroastrianism
Informing others about the Zoroastrian religion and customs is enshrined in WZO’s constitution.
We organise an annual summer seminar in London and sponsor others in the UK and elsewhere in the world.
The speakers are internationally renowned and the topics are very varied.