Stationery shop gives $15,000 for prison library

By Deidre Tautua-Fanene ,

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Prime Minister Tuilaepa congratulated S.S.A.B. for the great initiative as well as the New Zealand Government and the Lithgow family for the assistance.

Prime Minister Tuilaepa congratulated S.S.A.B. for the great initiative as well as the New Zealand Government and the Lithgow family for the assistance. (Photo: Misiona Simo/Samoa Observer)

A prisoner’s wish of receiving an engineering book has come true. 

Last week, a library was commissioned at the Tafaigata Prison. Samoa Stationery and Books (S.S.A.B.) initiated the project and contributed $15,000 with the New Zealand High Commission assisting with another $10,000.  The Lithgow family from Melbourne, Australia donated some books. 

 “It is our hope that this library will bless everyone here. I encourage each and everyone here, who use this library to feed your minds, obtain knowledge, also feed your spirits and more importantly to be closer to the Lord with the hope that you will have new minds and new hearts and become productive and better citizens of our country when you are released from here,” President and owner of S.S.A.B., Tofilau Fiti Leung Wai said during the launch.  

“Not only that, but it will also encourage inmates to read so they can renew their minds and assist them not only during their imprisonment term.”

Tofilau added the project is not just a library, but the start of greater things.

“The reason I said that as mentioned there was a book needed by one of the prisoners in relation to engineering. We also brought a cook books, we also have our Culinary Society here and a thought came to me that it’s about time that we have other rehabilitative programmes.

Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi, Minister of Prison, Tialavea Tionisio Hunt, Rev. Faafetai Fata, Tofilau Fiti Leung Wai with Sonya Peters of the NZ High Commission. Photo/SSAB
Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi, Minister of Prison, Tialavea Tionisio Hunt, Rev. Faafetai Fata, Tofilau Fiti Leung Wai with Sonya Peters of the NZ High Commission. Photo/SSAB

“We can tap into the Culinary Society to actually educate our prisoners here to upskill them with cooking skills and when they are released from here, it’s easy for them to reintegrate into society because they have jobs and at the end of the day we want them to fit back into society and that’s my hope.”

The library includes a television, book shelves, desks and chairs.

Prime Minister Tuilaepa congratulated S.S.A.B. for the great initiative as well as the New Zealand Government and the Lithgow family for the assistance.

“I encouraged all inmates here to read books,” he said.

“Use the educational resources and facilities which have been made at this library to help you learn and be inspired.”

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