Photo of Rudina Ademi-Shala

Rudina Ademi-Shala | I have a Bachelor’s degree in English Language and Literature, and a Master’s degree in Psychology. I also have academic background in early childhood care and development. I became a PDEP Country Trainer when I worked at Save the Children in Kosovo, where I developed and evaluated programs in inclusive education and child protection. Now, I am the Child Rights Governance Thematic Advisor at Save the Children Sweden in Stockholm.  For many years, I have worked in partnership with governments and international organizations to promote children’s rights. PDEP gives me opportunities to talk with many professionals and parents, opening all our eyes to a new vision of parenting.  I am a mother of two lovely daughters.

Photo of Abdikheir Ahmed

Abdikheir Ahmed | Originally from Somalia, I am the Director of Immigration Partnership Winnipeg at the Social Planning Council of Winnipeg.  My educational background is in International Development and International Peace and Conflict Resolution.  For many years, I’ve supported newcomers to Canada and delivering PDEP has been part of this work.  I regularly offer the program to fathers in the Somali community. I also provide the program to parents in their homes, if they are unable to participate in group programs. My personal experience of being a dad to three wonderful boys, my understanding of the real everyday challenges of being a busy dad, and my experience as a newcomer to Canada have greatly enriched my work with parents.


Photo of Lia Apsari.

Nurliana Cipta Apsari (Lia)  |   I hold a Doctoral degree in Social Work and teach in the Social Welfare Department at the University of Padjadjaran in Bandung, West Java Province, Indonesia.  I have a particular interest in children’s rights.  PDEP has strengthened my knowledge in this area and inspired me to keep working for children’s rights around the world.  The program has also deepened my understanding of how children learn and develop.  It has strengthened my relationships with my three wonderful children, and with all of the other children in my life.

Photo of Gabriela Galli.

Gabriela Galli | In 2010, I came to Canada from Argentina where I studied child development at the University of Buenos Aires. When I arrived in Winnipeg with two young children and took the PDEP parent program, I began to see my children as learners and understood better why they behaved as they did. I learned how to solve problems with my children and how to teach them about empathy, respect and non-violence. My goal is to ‘pay it forward’ by helping and supporting other parents. I have worked with Save the Children to implement PDEP in several Latin American countries and have supported the translation of PDEP materials into Spanish.


Photo of Lois Goertzen.

Lois Goertzen   | I was an early childhood teacher in Manitoba, Canada for more than 30 years before I became a PDEP facilitator and Country Trainer. When I participated in the program for the first time it was as if I had found my place. PDEP resonates with my values and belief system. Now I train new PDEP facilitators and provide refresher opportunities for previously trained facilitators.  I have supported Save the Children’s work in the Philippines.

Photo of Maisaa Haj-Ahmad.

Maisaa Haj-Ahmad   | I am a Canadian of Middle Eastern descent. I was born and grew up in Jordan and now live in Winnipeg, Canada.  Being bilingual in English and Arabic, I can deliver PDEP parent programs in both languages, helping me meet the needs of many newcomer families as well as established Canadians.  As a Country Trainer, I have trained many new facilitators in Winnipeg.  As a mother of three young children, I have learned firsthand about the challenges of parenting and the importance of understanding child development. Both my professional work with families and my home life have given me a strong appreciation for the importance of building strong, healthy parent-child relationships.


Photo of Shamail

Shamail Khalil | I am originally from Sudan and grew up in United Arab Emirates (UAE), where I obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science. I also have a background in child development and I have worked closely with parents for several years. I lived in Canada for 10 years and have now returned to the UAE. When I first attended PDEP as a parent, it had a big impact on how I interacted with my three children. I had an “aha” moment that led me to become a PDEP facilitator, giving me the privilege of seeing that same spark in other parents’ eyes.  As a PDEP Country Trainer, I have mentored newly trained PDEP facilitators in Canada, Korea, and Vietnam.  I also worked with Save the Children on the translation of PDEP into Arabic.

Image of Risa M

Risa Mochizuki (Ms.) | Country Trainer Deputy Director, Positive Discipline Center in Japan.

I hold a Masters degree in International Education and Development and have worked as a program officer at Save the Children Japan, supporting children affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake and nuclear disaster.  I delivered PDEP to many parents living in the post-earthquake zone and trained other Facilitators to deliver the program there.  Now I am the Deputy Director of the Positive Discipline Centre in Japan, working with PDEP Facilitators and local partners to support Japanese parents.


Ikuko Mori headshot.

Ikuko Mori (Ms.) | Director, Positive Discipline Center in Japan.

I studied developmental psychology in California, became a licensed nursery school teacher in Tokyo, and then obtained a Masters degree in International Child Welfare in the UK. I have been involved in PDEP since 2009, when I discovered it while working for Save the Children. I have delivered the program to parents coping with the aftermath of the Great East Japan Earthquake, tsunami and nuclear meltdown, as well as many other Japanese parents. Currently, I am overseeing PDEP in Mongolia. I am the Director of the Positive Discipline Centre in Tokyo, which trains PDEP Facilitators and delivers PDEP to parents throughout Japan.

Photo of Melinda Pascual.

Melinda Pascual  | I came to Winnipeg from the Philippines in 2011.  Although I had practiced Pediatric Medicine for 15 years, I was unable to practice in Canada. But I still had high hopes, so I pursued my passion for supporting children. My journey as a PDEP facilitator was quite challenging because I came from a culture where physical punishment is acceptable and where parents are quite controlling of their children. At first, it was difficult to grasp the PDEP principles but as my knowledge of the understanding deepened, I began to practice PDEP with my whole heart and soul. I find it helpful not only in my relationships with my children but also in my everyday interactions with adults. As the mother of four children, I hope that someday I will help change the future of all our children by touching the lives of their parents through PDEP.


Photo of Rhonda Patterson.

Rhonda Patterson   | As a public health nurse in Saskatchewan, Canada, I began facilitating parenting programs in the 1980s. When I first read the PDEP parent book, I started promoting it to all parents.  Now I have facilitated the program with parents of children of all ages. They are excited, hopeful and ready to embrace the challenges of parenting without using violence.  My own three children are amazing adults now and I am a grandparent. When I see my daughters embracing PDEP, it feels right and good! Current research on children and brain development has made grandparenting a fantastic new adventure.

Photo of Jennifer Schooley.

Jennifer Schooley | I am a parenting professional at Haldimand-Norfolk REACH, a Children’s Mental Health Agency in Ontario, Canada. I have worked in the parenting field for many years. I have a diploma in Early Childhood Education and am working on a Master’s degree in Family Relations. Since I was introduced to PDEP, I’ve been able to create healthier and stronger relationships with my three children. I love sharing my experiences and helping professionals learn more about PDEP!


Photo of Tanis Shanks.

Tanis Shanks    | I have a Bachelor of Arts in Native Studies and a Master’s degree in Social Work. Throughout my many years of work at the Saskatchewan Prevention Institute, I have worked with parents and children in numerous capacities, including program development, facilitation, mentorship, childcare, and administration. I organize and deliver facilitator trainings and presentations on PDEP throughout Saskatchewan.  As a parent myself, I am very passionate about parenting education, healthy child development, violence prevention, and human rights.

Photo of Barb Sutcliffe.

Barb Sutcliffe   | I have a background in special education and have been facilitating parent groups for over 20 years.  I was always searching for a program that would focus on the relationship between parents and their children.  When I discovered PDEP, I knew that I had finally found it.  It provides a way to empower parents to move away from punishment and engage their children in a problem solving process that respects each person’s right to have their voice heard.  I have been training PDEP facilitators in Ontario since 2014 and I enjoy spreading the word about this program.  I am the mother of 6 children – and now the grandmother of 7.