A library has been opened at the Tafaigata prison, giving inmates access to reading material for leisure and educational purposes.
Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi, who attended the opening ceremony, encouraged prisoners to make good use of the facility.
“I encourage all of you to read books and use educational resources and facilities which have been made available at this library to help you learn and be inspired and this will help keep your minds busy and active in reading,” he said.
“There is one of you who requested for an engineering book so that when you are released from here you will use the knowledge that you got from here to build up your family, so make use of this opportunity that you have. There are Bibles as well that are available here for you to read, so make use of this to renew your lives as well as your thinking.”
The library is an initiative of the New Zealand government, who donated $10,000 and was supported by the Samoa Stationery and Books (S.S.A.B.) and the Lithgow family who donated books.
“I want to thank the N.Z. Government for your assistance because without your assistance we cannot proceed with this and also to the S.S.A.B. management,” added the Prime Minister.
S.S.A.B. president, Tofilau Fiti Leung Wai, said the project will help support rehabilitation programs and activities carried out by the Samoa Prison Services.
“This will encourage inmates to read so they can get back to education and assist prisoners not only during their imprisonment term, but also when they leave. It’s because of God’s compassion and love that we are able to set up this library,” Tofilau said.
“It is our hope that this library will bless everyone here and I encourage each and every one who will use this library to feed your minds, obtain knowledge and also feed your spirits and more importantly to be closer to the Lord with the hope that you will have news minds and hearts and become productive and better citizens of our country when you are released from here.”
Tofilau also announced that another library will be commissioned at Olomanu Prison in the near future.