AFTER losing his job in February this year, Linda Zondi from Sweetwaters was hoping to change his life by going to a culinary school, using money he was meant to collect from the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF); but his dream of becoming a chef is slowly fading away each day as he can not be assisted by the labour department on Langalibalele Street.He said he worked for a construction company for the past five years as a general worker until his contract ended.Speaking to Echo, Zondi said he has lost hope that he will ever get his money from labour department.“I first went to the department [of labour] on February 12, where they made me sign everything relating to my UIF application. “On March 12, I was supposed to do a final signing and start receiving my money after seven days but that never happened. When I got to the labour offices they told me that they lost my file with all the information relating to my UIF. “I asked them if I have to re-start the application process and they said they don’t know and they can’t help me. I don’t know what to do. “What confuses me is that they say they lost my file but during the application process they were punching everything in the computer. How can they lose both the hard copy and the information in the computer?” Zondi said. Zondi said going to the labour department frequently and not knowing whether he is going to get help or not is placing financial strain on him. “I can’t afford to travel to the labour offices everyday, especially, now that I am unemployed. I need this money to turn my life around for the better. Being a chef has always been my dream but because I did not have money to go and study I started working to raise money for my studies. I love cooking and I will not let any one take my dream away from me,” Zondi said. Zondi said that he was supposed to get paid for nine months.Labour department spokesperson Gregory Southey did not respond to the queries sent to him at the time of going to print.