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Editorial: Kudos to movement advocating for safer, cleaner community

Editorial: Kudos to movement advocating for safer, cleaner community
Sitting L-R President of ‘Providing Young Generation Movement in Every Society’ (PYGMIES), Waisake Saga, Pauliasi Tabakece. Standing L-R Kaliova Bainivalu, Jone Cama and Anare Tokelau who are members of the youth group. PHOTO: KATHRIN KRISHNA.
October 24
10:37 2017

A group of young men in the once notorious suburb of Natokowaqa, or Top Line, in the old days in Lautoka should be commended for their efforts in combating crime.

Most people of Lautoka will recall those days where Natokowaqa was a no-go zone and where no one would dare walk through at night.

The place was likened to Raiwaqa in Suva in its troubled past.

PYGMIES, or Providing Young Generation Movement in Every Society, was formed from youths of the area who have virtually broken every rule in the book.

The once hardened life of crime, where it was okay to beat someone up for nothing, where it was normal to look at the world from behind bars are now behind these men.

PYGMIES president Josateki Labalaba and his band of men have been working to clean up Natokowaqa and change its image.

This change in attitude, according to the group, was brought about by Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama, who asked them to turn away from a life of crime and do something positive in society.

The group is now registered under the Ministry for Youth and Sports. They have been attending workshops and receiving training.

There has been a complete turnaround; they are now strong advocates for a cleaner and safer society.

PYGMIES have been working around the clock in Natokowaqa, getting the younger generation to move away from crime, finding work for them and at the same time working with the Ministry of Youth in providing tools for those who want to be self-employed.

Mr Labalaba said since the group was formed, over 100 men and women in Natokowaqa have found employment and have changed their lives around.

PYGMIES have also been talking to youths and residents in the area on how former Fijian residents who were now abroad were using social media to create apprehension in society.

Making a plea to all youth in Fiji, Mr Labalaba has asked them not to follow such postings and work with the Government.

PYGMIES have made this call because they know the good Mr Banimarama has brought into their lives and have given them a second chance.

“It is us in Fiji who know what this Government has done for us.”

“Nearly 60 members are employed at different business houses and are now earning a decent living.”

This was the strong statement from Mr Labalaba who knows too well the change now being enjoyed by the people of Natokowaqa.

To all youths in Fiji and those who want to change, take a leaf out of the PYGMIES book.

If more such youth groups are formed, imagine Fiji in a few years.

PYGMIES need society’s open arms when employment is being sought.

Business houses need to be open minded and if need be, check with the Ministry of Youth and Employment if they are unsure.

Or if you have a business in Lautoka and need an extra hand, get in touch with Mr Labalaba for he has a growing list of people who want to change their lives for the better and perhaps put a stamp on that slogan – Fiji, The Way the World Should Be.

CHARLES CHAMBERS

Feedback:  charles.chambers@fijisun.com.fj

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