Re: Everyone deserves a second chance
Thank you Samoa Observer for covering our latest initiative and promoting our mission to serve and protect our country and citizens from those who can cause harm.
Being the template for the region since our establishment in 2011 we have had to ‘Samoanize’ the original proposal that was endorsed by cabinet, our government stakeholders and donor partners.
The Trust has navigated our way in terms of sustainability since 2014 when the AusAid-DFAT funding agreement with the Law & Justice Sector ended. We have cultivated our relationships with the relevant ministries and our civil society networks but need financial support to continue service delivery, rolling out our various programs and daily operations.
Our fundraising activities are a part of our outreach to the community. The Returnees volunteer free labour to Mapuifagalele, Goshen Trust, SVSG; we organize dances (Sivas) or sell BBQ’s ‘Operation Luke’ with all the proceeds donated to other vulnerable communities such as Aoga Fiamalamalama school the paediatrics ward or pre-schools that request a new coat of paint or some men to fix their broken desks or the children’s playground. Whatever leftover money goes towards our expenses.
We are sincerely thankful for the small grants and sponsorships from SIFA, Civil Society Support Programme (CSSP) and the NZ High Commission which are allocated for our on-going initiatives. I am grateful for the support from our Patron and Honorable Prime Minister, guidance from our Board of Trustees, counsel from Muaautasi Lemalu (Attorney General), Agafili Shem (CEO-Prime Minister & Cabinet) and Vui Clarence Nelson. Born and raised here I proud to be a public servant and with this platform we have been able to influence CHANGE and AWARENESS, engage and assist others in the region through consultations and educate our people that globalization has touched our country and its impacts are massive.
We need to stop being naive to the fact that our social landscape has changed dramatically, our prisons are overcrowded, crime is on the rise and the intensity of the offending is shocking! There are threats at every corner and its best that we prepare through prevention.
The onus is on the relevant government ministries, law enforcement community, development circles and civil society and donor partners, specifically the major deporting nations to cut all the red tape and collaborate.
Really have a vested interest in a safe and stable Samoa. Lets not wait for something terrible to happen (case in point the Treesort fiasco- feel for that Australian couple...I cant even imagine the emotional trauma etc..) for us to be reactive and remorseful that we didn’t do something to mitigate the danger.
Our strategic plan is to continue helping the criminal deportees on island and the influx from overseas reintegrate and rehabilitate. Through the years we have evolved our methods, fostered ties with our government stakeholders and expanded our scope to incorporate our local offenders.
This is all part and parcel to our contribution of keeping our communities safe by helping our registered members resettle. Sincere thanks to all who support our cause and for those who are thinking of helping us. God bless you all and God bless Samoa.
Ma le faaaloalo lava,
Magele Vernon Mackenzie