NATION

Crime Does Not Pay, Says Youth Leader

  Resorting to criminal activities will not solve your problems,  but will only make them worse, says Proving Young Generation Movement in Every Society (PYGMIES) president, Josateki Labalaba. The 46-year-old was
07 Jul 2018 10:00
Crime Does Not Pay, Says Youth Leader
Some members of PYGMIES who received the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award at Tilak High School in Lautoka earlier this week. Photo: Arieta Vakasukawaqa

 

Resorting to criminal activities will not solve your problems,  but will only make them worse, says Proving Young Generation Movement in Every Society (PYGMIES) president, Josateki Labalaba.

The 46-year-old was a proud man after he witnessed 30 youths from his group receiving awards under the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award at Tilak High School in Lautoka, earlier this week.

The youth group, established in 2015, comprised of 45 young people from one of Lautoka’s well known  suburb Topline, Natokowaqa.

Sharing  his experience as a young man while serving time in prison, Mr Labalaba said he was proud of the young people in an area in Lautoka, once known for its criminal activities.

“They are changing the image of Natokowaqa,” he said.

“I am  a living testimony of a person who has been in and out of prison.

“Honestly speaking it is just a waste of time because you lose your dignity and trust from your family.  “Some may think that being labeled an ex-convict makes you a bigger person, I’ve done it and there is nothing good about it.

“I’ve encouraged our youths to take up the Duke of Edinburgh International Award so that it can shift their mind away from getting involved with wrong groups.

“It can give them a better idea of what they want to become in the future.

Through the award, Mr Labalaba said some members were pursuing a military career either under the Republic of the Fiji Military Forces or in the British Army.

“In our young days people were scared to come to our area because the mentality was that it was an area where most of the criminals are bred in Lautoka,” he said.

“But, now the youths have started to change that. We want people to feel safe and welcomed in our community.”

To keep them away from getting involved with the wrong crowd, Mr Labalaba started soup kitchens in Lautoka where the youths are heavily involved.

Sixteen-year-old Tawake Tavakece of Natabua High School, a recipient of the bronze award, said he hoped to pursue a military career.

“I’ve been a member of PYGMIES for the last two years and through the award I was able to know what I want to become in the future,” he said.

Edited by Percy Kean

Feedback: arietavakasukawaqa@fijisun.com.fj

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