An exodus of players to Sri Lanka and semi-professional rugby league teams in Australia offers no scope for development and effectively ends the international careers of those involved, says Vodafone Fiji 7s coach Ben Ryan.
Fiji’s Correction Services rehabilitation program, Yellow Ribbon’s coordinator Jale Vosadrau has raised his concerns about the increasing number of youths being imprisoned to date particularly those between the ages of 16 and 35.
Vosadrau said, “The influence of westernisation and the lack of discipline have been the major cause of this trend.”
He also challenged youths to be better, productive citizens of this nation as it is the choices they make that can either make or break their future.
“Life is too short for them to be playing around so there is a need to prioritise education,” Vosadrau said.
Youths will go through a lot of challenges, often too hard for them to handle on their own and that is why it is important to always seek the guidance of parents and elders in our communities, he stated.
He said there is nothing fascinating about life behind bars.
“Rehabilitation goes deeper than just educating them and enhancing their skills; it means changing their mindsets for the better,” Vosadrau said.
He said families, churches, communities, employers and businesses must try and look beyond the stigma associated with their imprisonment as that creates the “second prison” that these ex-offenders must deal with.
“We hold the key that unlocks this virtual prison. People can change but for that to happen, we ourselves must play our role and be a part of that change.
“Everyone makes mistakes; and as long as one has breath, there is hope,” he added.
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