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‘Give Us Second Chance’ brings down house

By Caroline Ratucadra SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Sun, March 27, 2011) – Friends, families and supporters celebrated the launch of the 2011 Yellow Ribbon Project (YRP) for the Northern Division yesterday.

Inmates of the Labasa Corrections Centre wowed the crowd with their choir.

Entertainment by inmates included rap hip-hop dances, dramas and mimes.

A song written and composed at the Vaturekuka facility was sung by the inmates titled "Give us a second chance".

Moved by the song of repentance, people applauded the inmates for their genuine message advocating for acceptance upon their release.

Supervisor of Northern Corrections Service, Assistant Superintendent of Prisons (ASP) Sakiusa Veiwili said the day’s celebrations were a success after weeks of preparations.

ASP Veiwili said support from the general public, church leaders, inmates’ families and the business community boosted their confidence in creating the YRP awareness.

"All we are trying to drive across is the message of giving a second chance to our ex-offenders. They are talented, skilled and innovative just like ordinary citizens of this country.

"The only difference is that they broke the law and are paying a price in prison but also rehabilitating themselves to be changed person," ASP Veiwili said.

At this event, an oratory contest was the order of the day where primary school students spoke about the YRP and the need for it to be adopted by all.

Speaking on behalf of the inmates, former prisoner Peniasi Kunatuba publicly begged for forgiveness for the wrong inmates committed to the people and their families.

Mr Kunatuba said it was time to reconcile and put aside differences to make the world a better place to live in.

Labasa Crime Stoppers committee president Pramod Chand urged the public to give offenders and a second chance at a normal life.

Mr Chand said the YRP had changed people’s lives when they were incarcerated and come out of prison as reformed individual.

"We all have wronged in one way or the other but the difference is that some go into prison while others don’t.

"We all need to have that place in our hearts to forgive those who have wronged and accept them back into our homes, communities and the society as a whole," Mr Chand said.


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