Bankers use prison visit as team building exercise
17 December, 2009
Staff of the Westpac Operation briefed by an inmate during 5 km hike at the Naboro Correctional Centre
A hard slog in mud, up hill and through jungle and a breakfast of rourou (taro leaves) and draunimoli (lemon leaf) tea is not something a nine to five person normally does on a Saturday morning, but this is what 48 staff of the Westpac Operations did last Saturday (December 12).
Led my their manager, Ms Vina Chauhan the staff of the Westpac back-office started off their day by packing into Troop Carrying Vehicles (TCV) in Suva and were transported to the Fiji Prisons and Corrections Service Academy in Naboro.
After being briefed by the Academy Commandant Assistant Superintendent Jona Waqavou, the bankers got to stretch their deskbound muscles by Drill Sergeant Mesu before the 5 kilometre hike around the Naboro Correctional facilities compound.
The early morning trek through rain pushed the bankers to the limit with scheduled stops at the FPCS’s various commercialisation sites.
The staff of the operation centre was surprised to see the amount of crops that were planted in the commercialisation zone; Ms Lynette Robinson said that she had no idea that the correctional facility was so big.
“Driving pass, one gets the idea that the prison is only as big as what can be seen from the road but to see what is being done here is amazing,” Ms Robinson said.
The staff of the bank was impressed with the amount of root crops in the ground with 148 000 taro plants and 28 000 cassava mounts.
During the trek the bankers also visited the FPCS’s brooding sheds, piggery, egg laying sheds, germination plasma bank and they couldn’t hide their surprise when at each commercial site they were briefed by inmates instead of prison officers.
After the trek, the Westpac officers were shown through Fiji’s only maximum prison and got to see firsthand the state of the art Molikula Kip McGrath Literacy and Numeracy Education Centre.
The finale of the prison excursion was a hearty brunch of rourou and draunimoli prepared by the inmates and the wives of prison officers.
Thanking the FPCS for the experience of a lifetime, Ms Vina Chaunhan presented two computers and a cheque of $1000 for the FPCS’s Yellow Ribbon Project.
Accepting the donation, host Naboro Correction Facility Superintendent Jope Caginidaveta thanked them on behalf of the Commissioner, Brigadier General Ioane Naivalurua and said that the donation was a surprise.
“We thank you for your kind hearts and we hope that this is a start of a good and fruitful relationship, we can not complete our work in rehabilitation without the support from society and the corporate sector.
Ms Vina Chauhan said that whole exercise was a team building one and also to show their support to the FPCS and the Yellow Ribbon Project.
“We had decided after a presentation by the FPCS Commissioner Brigadier General Ioane Naivalurua in our office to visit and we were really impressed with the work being done.
“Hopefully when we go back we can, convince other departments within the bank to do the same thing.”
Westpac was the first corporation to visit the Naboro Correctional facility and to use the trek as a team building exercise.
The Westpac team asked that a field be prepared for them to come back and plant as part of their contribution towards the prison’s commercialisation project.
Director of Education, Training and Rehabilitation Mr Peniasi Kunatuba said that it could be done and he also extended an invitation to other organisations to use the facilities at Naboro for team building exercises as well.
Other December 2009 News