Prisoners taking part in the Ola Toe Fuataina Programme celebrated the end of their rehabilitation programme with a graduation ceremony yesterday.
Sponsored by the Sinaupualofa Trust, the programme deals with behavioral issues, promotes educational learning such as literacy and numeracy, vocational training as well as life skills programmes focusing on art, music, cooking, sewing and elei making.
President of Sinaupualofa Trust, Lemalu Kuinimeri Tamati, congratulated the graduates.
“You are here because of your wrong decisions,” she told the gathering. “This is not a place for you, you don’t belong here but because of your wrong decisions you are here.
“These opportunities given to you by the community are to rebuild yourselves and get yourselves ready so that when you are done from here you have learnt a lesson and you will not be coming back here.
“Make use of these programmes because it will benefit you when you finish serving your time.”
The Minister of Prisons and Correction Services, Ti’alavea Tionisio Hunt, echoed the same message.
“Make use of these opportunities given to you through these programmes because it will help you and your family when you finish serving your time here in Tafaigata,” he said.
Tialavea acknowledged sponsors such as Sinaupualofa, S.S.A.B., B.S.L. and many others who have supported the programme.
Special awards were handed out which included Man and Woman of the Year, Noah Ulberg and Mele Lagaia, Positive Change Award, Tui Samania, Youth of the Year Award, Peteli Ainoa of Olomanu.
The Motivation Award went to Nicholas Gianno.