‘Great impact on our lives’

THE Yellow Ribbon Program has been dubbed as an affirmative package that results in positive changes.

Program recipient Apaitia Waqaniboro, who served seven years in prison for the mutiny case of 2000, believes the program has played a vital role in changing inmates’ lives for the better.

“This program is effective, has great impact on lives of inmates including myself and I take my hat off to the Fiji Corrections Service for initiating this program,” he said.

“It’s a great motivator because it ensures and assures inmates that they are still valuable members of the community. Once you are branded an inmate, it’s not an easy life. Most of us feel condemned because the community sees us as a bad person.”

Mr Waqaniboro said the program had, to an extent, changed this perception.

“I have seen the changes within the communities in accepting us back and they overlook our records that took us into prison,” he said.

“And that is just great because we need that kind of attitude in order for us to pick up the pieces and move on with life.”

Mr Waqaniboro said a few of them, who were part of the Counter Revolutionary Warfare unit and imprisoned with him, completed their studies and graduated while serving their sentences.

“That is part of this Yellow Ribbon Program which also helped me.”

become a better person. It allows us to continue living life but within the boundary of the four walls. We are still valid as people.”

through this program and again, I thank Government for allowing such a program.”

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