Makerita Salainaoloa Tuimavave is the Personal Assistant for the Pacific Island Countries (PICs) for the Disability Rights Fund and the Disability Rights Advocacy Fund. She works closely with the Program Officer for the PICs to ensure the provision of personal, logistical, administrative, and operational assistance in the Pacific.
Salainaoloa has over 20 years of experience in the Education field with 10 years advocating for the inclusion of children with disabilities into the mainstream system of education. Her journey in the Education field has given her the opportunity to be a teacher and a School Administrator. She has taught in Samoa, Honolulu, Hawaii, Daly City, CA, Sacramento, CA, and the Philippines. Salainaoloa has worked as an Inclusive Education Advisor for Senese Inclusive Education Support Services where she assisted the team in securing ongoing resources for the development of the program. She also assisted in facilitating onsite training, professional development courses, capacity building, and updates for teacher aides assisting students with disabilities in mainstream schools. She was involved in the negotiation of the design of yearly work plans for inclusive education programs for Senese in consultation with respective partners and had successfully advocated for inclusive approaches in schools. Her most recent work before joining the DRF/DRAF team was with Samoa’s Recognized Advocacy Organization, NOLA (Nuanua o le Alofa), as the Climate Change and Disaster Preparedness Inclusive Coordinator. Through this role she became a member of the Disaster Advisory Committee, advocating for Inclusive and Accessible messaging and communication. She also became a member of the Community Disaster and Climate Risks Management Program, advocating for an Inclusive approach in recognizing the risks of exposure to hazards and responses to natural disasters. She also served on the Spotlight Initiative Selection Committee, UN-Samoa which was an initiative focused on preventing violence through evidence-based programs and successfully advocated for PWD representation on the steering committee.
Salainaoloa holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Education from Maryhill School of Theology, Manila Philippines (cross-credited to the University of the Immaculate Conception, Mindanao Philippines), a Certificate in Administration, and Associate of Science in Administration of Justice.