Kia ora, my name is Anh-Dao and I'm a Social worker at Naenae College with MASSISS.
I first got involved with Challenge 2000 in 2008 when I participated in a youth leadership programme. I pretty quickly realised that Challenge was something special and have stuck round, in a few different capacities, ever since.
I was so excited to return back to the team in 2018 whilst completing my Bachelor in Social Work.
No day is the same here which means new learnings and many different challenges everyday!
I feel extremely fortunate to be part of a team that's committed to honouring Te Tiriti o Waitangi, working towards social justice and making a positive difference in Aotearoa New Zealand.
Founder and Project Manager
I am the Founder of Challenge 2000, which I established in 1988 as a local youth initiative to support young people to develop and achieve their potential and older people to serve and thrive not just survive. I did not expect Challenge to reach thirty years of age! But here we are and here I am!
For the past forty years I have worked with young people, families, agencies, businesses and interest groups to assist them to overcome challenges positively and to function in a life giving, participative and just way.
At the moment I manage a lot of Challenge projects and also do a fair bit of troubleshooting and advice at a local and national level. I also provide training programmes, facilitation services and supervision on a myriad of topics. The money goes back to Challenge to support those who struggle.
My philosophy is that “love works” sooner or later. So with a bit of that and a bit of knowledge and professionalism all things are possible.
Talofa lava. My name is Petrina Foaese, My family and I are from the beautiful island of Samoa. Challenge 2000 has many values that my Aiga and I hold close to our hearts.
I am privileged to work for such a giving and loving organisation. I have always wanted to give back to my community and I thank Challenge 2000 for helping me achieve this goal. I am currently working at Taita and Aotea Colleges doing youth work with awesome rangatahi under the Youth Worker in secondary schools support programme.
This is great as it gives me and insight in what is needed out in the community to develop and harness the strengths of young people. It gives me the opportunity to work alongside youth and listen to their beautiful stories.
I graduated with a BA in criminology and education at Victoria university and I believe this study is helping me understand more about the work we do and why we love it.
Everyday is different at Challenge2000 and I am truly blessed to be part of this amazing Aiga.
Youth & Community Worker
Kia ora I’m Eddie and it is my privilege to have been part of Challenge since it’s small beginnings in Johnsonville in 1988.
I am from Ireland originally and now also call Aotearoa New Zealand my home. I have many different jobs here – including mentor to the staff, chaplain, marriage celebrant, sailing teacher, superviser, retreat giver and other roles where I share in the life and death moments of those who work at or are served by Challenge 2000.
It is a wonderful community of life and hope, that inspires me in my ministry.
MASSISS Team Leader
Kia ora, I'm Adam, a social worker and MASSISS Team Leader here at Challenge 2000. I was raised in the Wairarapa before moving to Wellington to complete my social work degree. Over the last 15 years I have worked for both Government and NGOs in health, early intervention services and care and protection.
I am passionate about social justice for our young people and I look forward to continuing this work at Challenge.
Youth Services Manager
Kia ora. I am originally from Taranaki o Ngati Ruanui me Te Atiawa and currently living in Wellington. I am the Youth Services Manager overseeing the Youth Houses in Lyall Bay, Kilbirnie and Island Bay, included in this is our Supported Living Program which is a Program under the Ministry of Social Development supporting 17-20 years old into independent living.
I am also the coordinator of our Kaikoura Holiday Programs that started in 2017 in response to the Earthquake 2016. I have worked alongside our rangatahi and whanau for over 20 years and feel that I am still as passionate about supporting our rangatahi/whanau reaching their potential and/having self-belief, goals, dreams, confidence/self-assurance, trust and enthusiasm for life.
I am hugely appreciative to be part of the Challenge 2000 whanau and count it a massive privilege to be part of team that is passionate about enhancing peoples’ lives for the greater good.
Transitions Team Leader
Carlida Te Awhe
Kia Ora, My name is Carlida, I am an intern at challenge 2000, my purpose here is to support young people, & mentor students who need the help whether it be in education or social activities.
Also building up my portfolio to become a cop once I leave challenge to pursue my career.
Capability Development Manager
Hello, I’m Jonathan. In January 2018 I came from NZ Police to Challenge 2000 as the Capability Development Manager.
I am responsible for developing and maintaining the infrastructure and organisational requirements of the agency, including data collection and reporting capabilities, and further developing our relationships with other agencies. It is my responsibility to ensure these amazing people have the technology, resources and information they need, at their fingertips, so they can focus on their day-to-day work helping the community.
Supported Accommodation Manager
Youth Worker | Youth Justice
Mālō le soifua, kia ora, and bonjour readers. Eric Sione here, youth justice worker at Challenge2000.
Originally born in Samoa, I came to New Zealand in 1997 and grew up in the world famous Porirua. Think Jerry Collins, Aaradhna, Michael Campbell, TJ Perenara, and Rodney So'oialo just to name a few of my fellow hood stars. Must be something in the water.
I am an honorary St. Pats Old Boy and former professional Rugby player that started out playing for Norths (Northern United Rugby Football Club) and Ories (Oriental Rongotai Footbal Club) in my hometown of Wellington. From there I went on to play as a pro for the Wellington Lions, which led to me breaking into the Wellington Hurricanes squad for their 2013 Super Rugby season. I was also a member of the Baby Blacks (NZ Under 20 team) which competed in the 2012 IRB Junior World Championship in South Africa. I have been blessed to play in France for six to sevens years with French Clubs such as Castres, and Perpignan. It was there that I learned to speak French fluently.
Thankfully my Rugby career blessed me with lots of opportunities to travel the world, especially in Europe. Traveling is another great passion of mine. Now I am back in Aotearoa embarking on a new career, and I look forward to growing with those seeking support that come into our Challenge whānau.
I have been described by one of my co-workers as being an amazing Father, having a charming sense of humour, warm inclusive spirit, and a very special way with people that is a true asset to C2K & everyone we serve.
I am happy with just being called Eric. Fa'afetai, chur, merci, and thank you if you have read this far.
My name’s Simon and I’m a youth worker at Challenge 2000.
I moved to New Zealand from England in early 2018. My background is in dance, specifically b-boying (breaking). In England the main part of my dance career was made up from being involved in dance and arts projects designed for young people.
Since moving to New Zealand I have become part of the dance scene and regularly teach, perform and compete.
As well as dance I also draw, paint, carve and produce music. I enjoy sharing these passions and helping others find ways of expressing themselves.
Hola! Cómo estás? I am Maria one of the interns here at Challenge 2000.
Pequeñas cosas sobre mi! Well, I was born in Colombia and when I was 4 years old I moved to Ecuador with Mom and few years later moved to New Zealand with my family in 2019 and we have lived in Wellington since then. I have 3 brothers and 1 sister,yes! I’m the middle child.
I met Kitty and Steve a couple of years ago under very difficult circumstances and they welcomed me and my family into the beautiful family that they are which they introduced me to what Challenge is and what they do.
I always felt intrigued of what would it be like to be part of Challenge 2000 and a couple of months ago I decided to join to Challenge 2000 to the Intern Programme because they offered me the chance to experience new things,try and explore different things, find my pathway, my purpose in life and I can also help others which I’m passionate about.
Sr Marie Roche
Kia ora my name is Marie and I am a Sister of St Joseph. Following a career in teaching, I first joined Challenge 2000 in 1991 when there was just four of us! After being the Rimutaka Prison Chaplain for 21 years, I have returned to Challenge 2000… as everyone does.
My role here now as Kaitiaki is about being available to people in the house and community and doing whatever needs to be done. I am loving being back here at Challenge 2000.
Talofa lava, Kia Ora! My name is Melisha Isa'ako.
I'm stoked to join the Challenge whanau as one of the MASSiSS social workers based at Taita College.
My move to Challenge at the beginning of 2022 was an opportunity I couldn't resist and upon reflecting on past experiences in leading youth development programmes, holiday programmes, youth ministry and working as a social worker in the health sector for a number of years - it was time for me to fully emerge myself where our rangatahi are at... in college!
Since being based at Taita no day is the same and I'm loving it!
I'm honoured to share space with our young people and I'm grateful to be part of their journey in whatever capacity they allow me to.
Here's to more spaces for our young people to thrive, be seen and heard!Ia manuia!
Kia ora, Sabaidee.
My name is Dawn Tararo, I have joined the MASSISS team at Challenge 2000 and I will be based at Porirua College as the Social Worker. I am of Laos descent, a small country in South East Asia. I was born in a refugee camp in Thailand. My whānau and I moved to New Zealand in 1991. My husband and our three daughters live in Porirua East and have been there since. We are Porirua proud!
Between having our daughters, I have been in Social services for over 8 years in different NGO’s. I take pride in any mahi that I undertake. I am still as passionate as I was when I decided to study Social Work in 2013.
I am a people person and I love a good chat! I am easy-going (sometimes the odd blonde moments) which allows me to connect and build relationships with people from all walks of life. I enjoy spending quality time with my whānau.
I look forward to supporting our rangatahi at Porirua College to guide them to be the best version of themselves. I am excited to become a part of the Challenge 2000 whānau.
“poipoia te kākano kia puāwai”
“nurture the seed and it will bloom”Khop Jai.
Talofa lava. My name is Kasileta Seko. I'm originally from the beautiful Island of Samoa. I was raised in Marton since I was 6 and I am currently living in Wellington.
I am proud to have attended and lead St Peter's College Palmerston North.
I am an intern at Challenge2000. I took this gap year program because I wanted to help give back to the community, as well as to help me figure out what I want to do in the future, and I know that Challenge2000 will help me with that. I am excited to see what Challenge2000 has in store for me.
Kia Ora, My name is Kauri Brown I'm Maori & Tongan and I'm a youth worker here at Challenge 2000.
Most of my mahi is in High school doing one on one mentoring with our Rangatahi. It's something that I am extremely passionate about and grateful to have this opportunity.
I come alongside our young people to show that there is someone who believes in them which is a great blessing to my life as I see a lot of myself in the rangatahi coming from the same background.
Senior Youth Worker
Youth Worker and Educator
Kia ora readers, Zach Ready here, believer, hip-hop artist, and servant of Challenge 2000. I was first introduced to Challenge through an awesome whānau wedding in early 2019. Fate would have it I started working for C2K in late 2020.
Prior to Challenge, I made the most of a decade-plus-long career in the events industry, the last seven years in a managerial role. This included work alongside the NZSO, RNZB, WOW, WCC, the NZ Govt, and many other awesome clients. Since my early twenties, I have also been active as a hip-hop musician. Emceeing, co-producing, mentoring, DJing, ghostwriting, and so on. I have collaborated with Stic of Dead Prez, Kool G Rap, and more locally the likes of Chris CK of Raw Collective fame, and the legendary DJ Sir-Vere. Over the years I’ve had the opportunity to perform in Europe and Asia, as well as in my hometown of Wellington. In addition to music, and biz, I would say fellowshipping, traveling, exercising, nutrition, and tech, are great passions of mine. So far I have traveled to around 30 countries. Highlights include reaching the top of Kilimanjaro. Walking along the great wall of China, visiting the pyramids in Egypt, and attending music festivals in Spain, USA, Australia, and Sweden. I am also a member of Rhema Media, and have been part of a blockchain start-up working towards the development of a mobile gaming app, since early 2022. To date, I have completed three marathons, including the Queenstown International. I have also been a student of the Tactical Survival Krav Maga Academy since early 2021.
In 2022 I started volunteering at the Compassion Soup Kitchen and I have also done volunteer work in parts of Africa, as well as helping out with annual appeals for the likes of St. Johns and the Wellington Samaritans back home in Aotearoa.
Jokingly I sometimes quip that I couldn’t wait for the world, and was actually born inside a ‘Kāinga Ora’ home. I am a dual citizen of Aotearoa, and Europe by way of Ireland. I am also part Scandinavian, although I consider myself an Earthling and love all humans whatever their roots. Coming from a solo parent background I see myself in a lot of the rangatahi, families, and communities we work with, and this compliments the way I relate to others and my passion to support them. If you are yet to see the documentary ‘Aroha Noa’ about the history of Challenge2000, I highly recommend checking it out through Māori Television’s on-demand service. We are out here saving and changing lives for the better. Ma te Atua Koutou e Manaaki e Tiaki i nga wa Katoa!
Hello everyone, I'm Matt and I work with Challenge 2000 as a Youth Worker. I graduated with a degree in Criminology and Sociology from the University of Derby in England in 2006, became a mentor for Year 11 students and then made the transition to qualified teacher.
I moved away from England in 2011; spending a year in Beijing, China, six years in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and most recently a short spell in Koje, South Korea, before coming to New Zealand in December 2018.
Working for Challenge encompasses all of my interests in youth work; education, support, justice, growth and responsibility, and I am excited to work with our young people to support them as they navigate their life journey.