“Education is the key to success and without education life is never easy,” says Mlungisi Ndamase, a former firefighter from Port St. Johns (PSJ) in the Eastern Cape.
Ndamase grew up in the rural area of Port St. Johns and has always been eager to better his life.
“I matriculated in 2003 at Port St. Johns Secondary School and enrolled at the Eastern Cape Technikon in Mthatha a year after,” he says.
He said that he had to drop out of technikon due to financial problems but he never gave up on his dreams. “Coming from a poor family, I had to look for a job to support my family and I managed to get short-term jobs which lasted for about three months sometimes,” Ndamase says.
In 2008 he heard that WOF was recruiting in PSJ and he attended the recruitment where he was one of the successful candidates.
“I worked as a firefighter and before the end of the year I was taken for the Type 2 crew leader course which I passed very well,” he says.
His passion for his work created an opportunity to take the Type 1 crew leader course in 2010 which he also passed, after which he enjoyed several other opportunities for advancement within the programme.
“Using the skills I acquired in the programme, I have risen up the ranks from firefighter to crew leader, training instructor and now Regional Manager,” Ndamase says with a smile.
With his income from the programme, Ndamase has fixed his home and is supporting his three children. He is in his second year at Lyceum College doing his Bachelor of Arts in Disaster and Safety Management.
“Working on Fire has empowered me so much with skills and has opened great opportunities for me and other young people. Before I joined WOF I knew nothing about an aeroplane, but because of WOF I have travelled in one,” he says.
Source: WOF Free State