Working towards a safe, stable Samoa

By Sina Filifilia Seva’aetasi ,

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SECOND CHANCE: A returnee sharing his story.

SECOND CHANCE: A returnee sharing his story.

The Samoa Returnees Charitable Trust has been extremely busy of late. 

The Returnees Trust  is in the midst of running  their Second Chances Counselling Workshop.  

The Director of the the Samoa Returnees Charitable Trust, Magele Vernon Mckenzie told the Samoa Observer , “We want to promote our latest counselling initiative. 

We have been instrumental in pushing for stronger laws (legislation) such as the ‘Sex Offenders Registry’ and something similar to the ‘Returned Offenders Act’ between Australia and New Zealand in regards to criminal deportees having similar parole or probation conditions mandated by the courts. 

“This is managed by Corrections in partnership with Police and Probation for enforcement purposes. These two countries see the deportation of high risk offenders as a real threat to the community, and rightly so.“

Magele is proud of the work he and the Trust are doing to ensure a safer Samoa.  

HELPING HAND: During a counseling session for the Samoa Returnees Trust.
HELPING HAND: During a counseling session for the Samoa Returnees Trust.

“There is nothing wrong with visibility and awareness to inform the public of our services and contribution to reducing re-offending through rehabilitation for a safe and stable Samoa,” he said.

Along with their Second Chances Workshop, Magele also shared the Trust has reached another milestone in terms of progressive counselling initiatives, which is also a prelude to their latest enterprise, the Toefuataina Support Centre.

With all these successful initiatives underway, the Trust has caught the eye of several major backers.  

An audience with U.N.D.P.’s Resident Coordinator, Lizbeth Cullity as well as the Samoa International Finance Authority has provided some financial contributions to back the Trust.  

“I brokered some support from S.I.F.A. and invited our board, government stakeholders, civil society networks and the diplomatic corps. I have now gotten the attention of a regional donor partner and have a meeting with Ms Cullity to discuss future collaborations.”

Magele said there are between four to five hundred deportees who have been repatriated to Samoa over the years who need to be rehabilitated and reintegrated into our society.

© Samoa Observer 2016

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