Everyone deserves a second chance in life.
This message was echoed during a session hosted by the Samoa Returnees Trust at Malua Fou College on Friday last week.
Former W.W.F. wrestler Papali’itele Siva Afi shared his experience with the students about how he came from a world of money, fame to being a criminal and eventually his deportation from the United States.
“A criminal deportee is a non-citizen in a country whose permission to remain has been ended due to a criminal offence,” said Papali’i.
“Deportees suffer major social upset on arrival as they have spent most of their lives outside Samoa, suffer from family separation, and are not mentally adjusted to starting a new life in Samoa.
“Deportees lack interaction with place and culture and their poor knowledge make employment difficult; with deportees generally relying on far-away relatives to help them on island or money remitted by relatives outside of Samoa.”
But he also warned about the negative impact of such people in the community if they are not looked after.
“Deportees currently have the ability to introduce new crime types to Samoa and possibly disadvantage the life of our people.”
For Papali’i, he believes it is never too late to change someone.
“This project aims to provide both a journey service and has given the second chance to people to redevelop their lives. Instead of placing them behind bars, these people are worth second chances, especially the values of having opportunities in life.”
People grow up with different values and different perspectives and these help shape them.
“The overall goal of the programme is designed as a deterrence to prevent the participants from making bad choices and heading down the wrong path.”
Samoa Returnees Trust believe that with your assistance, it will create an opportunity for our people to be aware of the Trust’s efforts in ensuring a safe and stable Samoa for society and our future generations.
Samoa’s approach to working with returnees and expressed the continuous support of the Office of the Attorney General and partners to ensure the re-interaction of all Samoan citizens returning home. They will continue visiting every school and including villages to make notice of the program.