I am a registered social worker with the Social Work Registration Board and have worked in the not for profit sector since 2004 and with Sowers since 2008 primarily in the role of family worker. Ensuring families and young people have equal opportunity to develop and grow is incredibly important to me and I am passionate about finding ways of enabling them to do that. I love creating relationships with people that builds on strengths and enables each person to reach their potential.
As manager of Sowers, I feel privileged to be able to work alongside a team that shares an amazing vision of hope and transformation for young people and families and am honoured that I am in a position to encourage and witness their [the teams] own growth and development as they too move towards their own goal attainment. I have plans for Sowers that will enable it to grow and develop to further meet the needs of our community and I am looking forward to the challenge that lies ahead that will enable these plans to become a reality.
"Be the change you wish to see in the world" Mahatma Gandhi
Verona Ramadu - Family Worker
I am a Family Worker at Sowers Trust and I work part-time so I can balance my work and family life. I am married with two young children.
I emigrated with my family from South Africa in 2000 and therefore have a heart for immigrants like myself looking to build a new life in NZ. I have qualifications in Biomedical Science as well as Occupational Therapy which inform my practice in my work with families. I worked for several years in community mental health practice prior to taking time out from paid employment to look after my children full-time.
I am a trained Triple P practitioner with a focus on supporting parents with children from 0-12 years. Triple P stands for Positive Parenting Program and is a research-based program designed to help parents to create a better family life with their children, based on the following five steps:
1. Create a safe, interesting life
2. Have a positive learning environment
3. Use assertive discipline
4. Have realistic expectations
5. Take care of yourself as a parent
I am also trained in the Stepping Stones parenting programme which is aimed at supporting parents of children with a disability.
Belinda Tia - Social Worker/Community Youth Worker
I am a registered social worker, completed a bachelor of Social work at the University of Auckland, and have work experience at Stand and Youth Justice Otara. I am South African born, but have grown up in Howick and Pakuranga most of my life. I now live with my husband in Papatoetoe, but East Auckland is still very close to my heart.
I have been a youth worker for Sowers Trust since 2012, and am passionate about the young people in East Auckland/Manukau. I am also a trained Triple P practitioner. I am enthusiastic about the work that Sowers Trust does by walking alongside young people, supporting and building up their strengths, empowering and equipping young people with the right tools in dealing with challenges. I have a strong passion for helping young people make positive change in their lives and to see them succeed in all aspects of their life.
I have seen the impact of young people when there is no-one there for them, to hear them, to support them, to encourage them, to teach them and I strongly believe that The Sowers Trust is able to assist them in all these areas.
Nigel McConnachie - Social Worker / Community Youth Worker
I am a qualified social worker, who has worked in a variety of different settings; including social work in schools, community social work, and family violence support. I work with young people and their families here at Sowers Trust. I am accredited to deliver level 3 Triple P group and primary care, as well as triple P Teen groups. I also work alongside families that may need support or assistance with navigating different social services.
I grew up in the neighbourhood, so I have an understanding of the pressures youth face in our community. I live locally with my wife, daughter and our two dogs.
The kind of work I do with young people revolves around anger management, self-esteem and resilience building, and family conflict. I love working with the whole family, as it strengthens the support network around the young person and offers greater opportunities for successful outcomes
Savali Lilo - Community Youth Worker
I am a community youth worker from Sowers Trust. I have a BA degree from University of Auckland in Pacific Studies and Sociology. Studying sociology gave me a better understanding and knowledge of the changes in society, diversity, culture, social organization and human behaviour which has had a huge impact on our young people today. It has helped me work along and help our people in today’s modern society.
I run youth development programs and mentoring sessions in building resilience and confidence. I am very passionate working with our young people because today’s youth are our leaders tomorrow. I believe each young person has a talent and ability to pave a path towards a successful and healthy life. I provide motivation, energy and tenacity that can conquer and overcome their circumstances and situations together as a family. It is about changing young people's lives so that they can fulfil their potential.
I grew up witnessing and experiencing poverty, homelessness, crime, depression, family chaos and violence which has motivated me to help our young people and I know what it takes to overcome these obstacles in life to have positive and successful outcomes. I grew up in a homeless family with my parents being cleaners where I only get to see them in the morning and at night time. However, I still managed to battle through life and be the first ever person in my family to graduate at University of Auckland. I see myself as a role model for our young people through my actions. If I can do it anyone else can.
Karen Rea - Community Youth Worker
I am currently studying towards my social work degree, as I am passionate about working alongside young people and their families, helping them to build on their strengths so that they can reach their potential and reach for their dreams. Having been through the foster care system myself, I have a unique awareness of what this can be like. For this reason, it is important to me that young people have a voice. I am keen to ensure that they have an opportunity to be heard and to get the support they need, when they need it.