Emeline Afeaki-Mafile’o is the founder of Affirming Works which provides mentoring and educational lifeskills support to young people in Manukau City.
The company employs 18 young Pacific men and women who base their work on Tupu’anga (to grow from your roots) — a Pacific model of collective mentoring. The mentors work with up to 500 young people across all school levels addressing social and educational needs such as numeracy, literacy and the transition from school to work.
Emeline’s work in this area has led to the establishment of Fofola Consultancy Ltd, which contributes to public policy development in New Zealand and the South Pacific. This company has played a vital role in creating the Pacific Youth Development Strategy for Auckland, and has a vision of working with all Pacific peoples across the globe.
Emeline acts as an advocate on behalf of the Pacific community on social and economic issues within Government. She has served as Community Advisor to the Minister of Pacific Island Affairs, Member of the National Advisory Committee to the Ministry of Social Development, and to the Youth Court by the Youth Court Pacific Liaison Service, and as a Pacific representative on the Youth Mentoring Association.
Emeline has successfully completed three degrees — a Bachelor of Social Work (Hons.), a Postgraduate Diploma in Social Science and a Masters in Philosophy majoring in Social Policy. She actively encourages Pacific Island people to take the initiative and create businesses for themselves, and she has also provided mentoring to help establish several not-for-profit organisations.
Emeline was awarded the Sir Peter Blake Emerging Leader Award for 2006.