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.