(Reprinted from Samoa News) Manufou Liaiga-Anoa’i was sworn in on May 20 as a new member of the San Mateo County’s Commission on Status of Women. Manufou is the first Pacific Islander to serve on this commission which addresses issues surrounding Women and families across twenty one Bay Area cities.
The Commission on the Status of Women of San Mateo County is a non-partisan appointed body that advises the County Board of Supervisors. Established by the Board of Supervisors in 1982, to provide leadership in developing policies, programs and legislation that address the needs of women, girls and families.
Manufou “Fou” Liaiga-Anoa’i is a native San Franciscan and who has called Daly City, CA home for the past fifteen years. She is a proud mother of four children who are students of both the Jefferson Union and South San Francisco School districts.
A product of public education at Lowell High School, American Samoa Community College and University of San Francisco. Manufou believes the pursuit of higher education should always be accessible to all and that financial need nor age should ever prohibit anyone from pursuing their educational and life goals.
Manufou’s family is a founding member of the first Samoan church in Northern California, CCCAS-SF more widely known to many as “Anoa’is Church”. She also was the founding Youth Outreach Coordinator for the Pacific Islander Youth Alliance (P.I.Y.A.) Summer Program at the Samoan Community Development Center which has been in existence for the past fourteen years.
Manufou served as the City and County of San Francisco’s first Pacific Islander Liaison and Special Assistant to District 11 under former Mayor Willie L. Brown, Jr. throughout his administration. She has also been part of the San Mateo County’s first Differential Response team of North County, under City of Daly City & Daly City Peninsula Partnership Collaborative which is now known as C.A.R.T.
Manufou is a social entrepreneur serving as a consultant by profession and cultural broker not just in the Pacific Islander community, but also for San Francisco Districts 10, 11 and San Mateo County, particularly North County. Her community outreach efforts are updated daily at http://www.MANUFOU.com.
Manufou is the founder of SF Samoa – Pacific Islander Community Partnership, Samoan Parents In Action (a literacy & advocacy program) and oversees the day to day operations as the Program Manager while also serving as an active Board Member for Bay Area Benefit, SF Chief of Police Youth Forum, Mission District Re-Entry Center for Youth, SF Asian Pacific American Heritage Celebration, API (Asian Pacific Islanders) Circle, SF Community Challenge Grant, Polynesian Athletes in Action’s Annual Polynesian Bowl.
This past January 2011, Manufou was nationally recognized by Asian Pacific Americans for Progress as an Unsung Hero. Her work with voter education and registering over seven hundred new California Pacific Islander voters this past year was applauded and her community work was celebrated.
Manufou is married to Muagututi’a Ryan T. Anoa’i and is a proud mother of four, Heavenley-Siniva, Hamilton-Samasoni, Hiramoreno-Seali’ioaiga and Harmony-Sitama’ita’ioManufou. She is also the daughter of the Late Pepine Lafulafu Liaiga-Mulitauaopele and local resident Papali’i Manufou Liaiga of Petesa; sister to TSA Deputy Director Papali’i Fatu Ah Soon, LBJ Hospital Auxilary Volunteer Wendy M. Ah Soon, and daughter-in-law to KVZK Veteran Siniva Anoa’i & Peseta Tumua Anoa’i-Amituana’i.
Manufou’s organization SF Samoa-Pacific Islander Community Partnership is no stranger to the Territory as they have been avid supporters of local philanthropy. SF Samoa has given back through partnering with the Territory’s American Samoa Community Cancer Coalition, PICED and Human Services Agency to provide relief efforts to our local residents and over a thousand children’s books for the devastated schools which were donated via Department of Education. They also hosted the First Annual Toy Drive in partnership with Hawaiian Air under Muagututi’a Ryan Anoa’i’s tenure as Station Manager, Moana Purcell and the late Joan Petelo which gave over 300+ brand new toys to local school children.
When asked what this new appointment means to her, she replied, “I first give THANKS to my Heavenly Father, my Maker for creating this opportunity for me. I am deeply honored to receive this gift, this blessing to be a public servant. Helping others, serving my communities and my people is my lifelong passion. Many women before me have opened doors and I humbly and graciously accept this position in honor of THEM – my mother Papali’i Manufou Fonoti-Liaiga, Nofoaluma Tuiasosopo – Founder of Samoa Mo Samoa and Suataute “Coke” Auemoelogo-Anoa’i – Community Activist; all strong women who have paved the way for a better tomorrow. I look forward to the work ahead and hope that I might be able to have my voice be reflective of the needs and strengths of the great women of this vibrant county of San Mateo. I am continuously telling others that if we all make a concerted effort to take incremental steps in making progressive change, we can count on leaving a legacy that we can be proud of. Giving is a reciprocal process and as I am always asking others to give to a worthy cause I end on the note of ANY HELP IS A BIG HELP. My sincere gratitude to all those who have kindly endorsed and supported me through this process – thank you so much!”