Elect So­nia Andhi Sur­rey School Trustee

Asian Journal - - BRITISH COLUMBIA -

Sur­rey: So­nia Andhi is the em­bod­i­ment of ‘Shakti’. So­nia is well known in the South Asian com­mu­nity and in the so­cial ser­vice sec­tor as the founder of the Shakti Awards and a skilled fam­ily coun­sel­lor. This Oc­to­ber, So­nia is run­ning in the civic elec­tions for Sur­rey School Trustee. So­nia is a Sur­rey res­i­dent with three adult chil­dren who at­tended lo­cal schools. She has been ac­tively en­gaged in com­mu­nity ini­tia­tives for the last 30 years. She has co­or­di­nated var­i­ous projects, the South Asian Women’s Cen­tre, re­search projects with the UBC Schools of Nurs­ing and So­cial Work, Pa­cific Post Par­tum So­ci­ety, sat on var­i­ous com­mit­tees and boards like UN Women BC Ad­vi­sory Com­mit­tee and Sur­rey Women’s Cen­tre. As a so­cial worker and fam­ily coun­sel­lor, she has worked with the most vul­ner­a­ble pop­u­la­tions. She has seen how chil­dren as young as ten are strug­gling with aca­demic chal­lenges, poverty, de­pres­sion, anx­i­ety, sui­ci­dal ten­den­cies and gang in­volve­ment. She also works with par­ents, teach­ers and other school staff to sup­port them in the chal­lenges that they face in their jobs.

Work­ing from a com­mu­nity cen­tred ap­proach, she founded the Shakti Awards to ad­dress the is­sues of fam­ily vi­o­lence and em­pow­er­ment of women. She has hon­oured over 120 women since 2000 with the Shakti Award. So­nia cur­rently chairs the me­dia sub-com­mit­tee of the Net­work for Elim­i­nat­ing Vi­o­lence in Re­la­tion­ships (NEVR) which is com­prised of over 50 stake­hold­ers, such as teach­ers, po­lice of­fi­cers, non-profit or­ga­ni­za­tions and me­dia from Sur­rey and Delta.

She holds three de­grees, BA, BSW, MSW. With her ed­u­ca­tion and ex­pe­ri­ence, she is plan­ning to bring pos­i­tive and mean­ing­ful change to the Sur­rey School Board by ad­vo­cat­ing for our chil­dren to keep them safe and sup­ported.

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