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By MERE NALEBA
Former Lautoka Corrections Centre inmate, Jemesa Bonawai is calling on the youths and members of the public not to waste precious time behind bars. This is after the 27-year-old served three years at the corrections centre.
Now a tradesman by profession, Mr Bonawai has started afresh after securing employment as a metal fabricator at Tempo Tricyles company located at Veitari Lautoka.
“Prison is not a good place to waste time, but in this case where my fellow brothers and I have been convicted by law, this is one chance where we get to learn new things. Prison is a good place for learning and rehabilitated for nothing is hard in this world,”Mr Bonawai said.
The Kadavu lad was able to secure employment through the Yellow Ribbon campaign, that was implemented by the Fiji Corrections Centre, where members of the public are urged to give a second chance to inmates.
“While in jail, I learned new things, I am so thankful to God and the management of the company that I am working for now for giving me a second chance in allowing me to start a new life where I can put food on the table for my wife and family,” he said.
Mr Bonawai is pleading with members of the public and the community at large to support the Yellow Ribbon campaign and to forgive and forget.
“Those people you see behind bars are not bad people, they are just humans like anybody else. They have been misguided and their actions have caused them to end up in a place like that. I am asking everyone to please help them, care for them and give them a second chance back into society,” he said.
A normal working day for Mr Bonawai requires him to be at the shop early in the morning and will also see him working from Monday to Friday and gets the weekend off which he spends with his family.
“I now earn money from my own sweat, I learned a lot while being imprisoned and I would like to thank corrections officers at Ba and Lautoka Centre for transforming my life to be a better person,” he said.