Given self-love and acceptance
Boifang Given Moatshe, a storekeeper at Kgaswane Base in the North West, found selflove and acceptance thanks to the Working on Fire programme and his teammates.
Moatshe says on his arrival at the base he didn’t know how to cook or do his own laundry.
“I didn’t know how to buy groceries and cook for myself but my teammates taught me and showed me love without judgement. They made me feel like I’m one of them, and I started feeling comfortable around them and made friends,” says Moatshe.
Moatshe joined the WOF programme in October 2015. He says he felt lost and being around people who do not have a disability made him angry because of his own insecurities.
“I started making friends and realised they actually liked me. I just needed to make peace with my disability and accept myself.” Realising that some of his teammates were parents and managed to support their families, Moatshe learned how to manage his money and improved his social skills.
“Everything has been tough for me but I have conquered it all. I know how to love, make friends, save, budget, cook and do my own laundry. My advice to all firefighters is that money won’t buy you love. I’m living small now but I’m the happiest person I know,” he says.
Moatshe’s future plan is to study supply chain and procurement and be a qualified stock controller. “Being a storekeeper has helped me be in control of my own life and it’s all thanks to Working On Fire,” he says.