From Prison Walls to Multiple Business Owner
28 March, 2011
(Left-Right): Supervisor Northern Division ASP Sakiusa Veiwili; Commissioner Corrections Service Lt Col Ifereimi Vasu; Corrections Sergeant Major POA Alevio Turaga; Mr Jim Shah; Director Corporate Service Mr Peniasi Kunatuba; Force Chaplain ASP Netani Bolatotlu; POC Rupeni Kubunavanua
Perseverance and hard work has paid off for ex-offender Jim Shah as he has achieved his goal of becoming his own boss.
At the age of 47, Jim Shah is now a well renowned business man in the North.
It wasn’t easy for Jim Shah to get to where he is today. In 2004, he was arrested after a few brushes with the law that ended him in prison on two occasions.
The Bua native’s drive to change this time around and his genuine interest in entrepreneurship motivated him to change for the better.
Mr Shah recognizes that life is hard, but everyone—even ex-offenders like him—can pull through with perseverance and hard work.
With the support of his family and friends, he now owns two supermarkets, two service stations, two fish shops, a tyre Centre, car wash Centre and two sugarcane farms.
Today, Jim is a strong advocate of the Yellow Ribbon Project (YRP) and has been a source of help and support for the Labasa Corrections Center.
“The YRP is the best program I have come to know”
“People should learn to accept ex-offenders”
“One day, they will become good citizens, pastors, big businessmen”
Ready to embark on another new challenge, Jim Shah now plans to start up a bakery inside the confinement of prison.
“I am planning to partner with the Fiji Corrections Service (FCS) in the starting of a bakery in the Labasa Corrections Centre to provide inmates training in the baking industry”
Mr Shah also said that he will plead fellow business leaders in the North to give an opportunity in creating jobs for ex-offenders.
FCS Supervisor Northern Division ASP Sakiusa Veiwili commended Mr. Shah for his active involvement with the YRP for inmates in Labasa.
In an interview with FCS in-house media, Mr. Veiwili said that Mr. Shah was invited to speak in the penal institution to inspire and encourage inmates.
Meanwhile FCS Director Corporate Service Mr. Peniasi Kunatuba said that Jim’s story is a living testament that inmates incarcerated within our walls can remarkably change from bad to good, nothing to something, nobody to somebody.
“God’s hand and call can be fulfilled in their lives if we give them the second chance they desperately need”.
Other March 2011 News