Working on Fire changed her life

1 February, 2017

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Working on Fire changed her life

1 Feb,2017Profiles

“My life could have turned out differently had I not been introduced to the Working on Fire (WOF) programme,” says 23-year-old former WOF firefighter Estella Cossa.

In an interview with WOFire News, Cossa shares her experiences as a young woman wanting to break the cycle of youth unemployment in her community.

“After completing matric in 2015 at Hoërskool Vorentoe in Westonaria, Gauteng, I wanted to enrol at the University of Johannesburg in an education-related study field but my dreams were shattered when my mom told me she didn’t have the financial means to get me into university,” Cossa says.

However, the lack of financial assistance to study did not deter Cossa. She says she invested her time looking for learnerships and employment opportunities while she was unemployed.

After weeks of sending through her curriculum vitae to different companies and government departments, Cossa says she was alerted that WOF was recruiting young men and women to train as veld and forest firefighters.

“I took the opportunity with both hands because I knew that was my only chance at securing a better future,” Cossa says. Just a year after she was appointed as a firefighter at Barberton Base in Mpumalanga in March last year, Cossa was promoted to Base Communications Representative (BCR), where she received extensive writing and presentation skills training.

“I worked extra hard and was always on the lookout for other opportunities within WOF,” she says. Cossa is currently working as a Fire Awareness Facilitator at WOF Mpumalanga’s provincial office, an opportunity she describes as “life altering”.

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