Changing lives, changing attitudes
It was a night that both men and women who participated in a rehabilitation programme will remember.
Facilitated by the Samoa Victim Support Group (S.V.S.G.), sixty-two male and female offenders referred from the Family Courts were presented with certificates after completing various counselling programmes.
Families and friends of the graduates gathered at the Congregational Christian Church youth hall at Sogi on Thursday to witness the milestone achievements.
Family Court Judge, Talasa Atoaga Saaga gave a fitting keynote address for the invited guests, families and supporters of S.V.S.G.
“I congratulate the whole class for making it to the end.
“Records say that in 1983 up until now, in cases that have been reported to the court, only 50 have appeared again before the Court, of which about two percent have reoffended.”
Judge Talasa also acknowledged the hard work of the six facilitators who helped in the rehabilitation programme.
Nanai Leatunu’u spoke on behalf of the graduates.
“I thank the Heavenly Father for making this a memorable night for all of us. Each and every one of us has achieved our own goals.
“I hope the programme that we have been through for three to six months has renewed ourselves not to reoffend again.”
For S.V.S.G., their reward was realising that their work contributes to the enjoyment of safer family environments for our people.
• Most genuine - Puipuifatu Peni Mareko;
• Most reliable - Leitulua Ropati Malaefono;
• Eldest participant/patron of the program - Pastor Tautaua Sootua;
• Most improved - Lose Simi;
• Outstanding male - Parron Wright;
• Outstanding female - Aito’a Letelemaana
• Most cooperative - Malo Austin Kalevu Faafiu.
The graduation ceremony is the fifth of its kind held for men and women referred to the S.V.S.G.