Crowd-funding initiative launched to help students gain access to education
With three children‚ one at university and two in high school‚ Nosiphiwe Tyhaliti’s retired parents are struggling to make ends meet and pay for her tuition.
Tyhaliti is a second-year Analytical Chemistry student at Cape Peninsula University of Technology who is in need of sponsorship.
She ultimately wants to become a medicinal chemist and come up with solutions to health related problems.
“My parents are not able to pay all of our fees because of the expenses of living and needs. We went to university with hopes that there will be bursaries that will be available but since first year nothing came through‚” she wrote on her Feenix online profile bio.
Tyhaliti is in need of a R79‚031 donation to complete her studies.
Nhlalenhle Simelani is a third year LLB student at the University of Pretoria‚ originally from a small township called Mtubatuba in KwaZulu-Natal.
After her high school principal recommended that she study for an LLB degree‚ Simelani fell in love with the legal profession.
“I found loopholes that I could try and mend such as the judicial system and I am passionate about the interpretation of the constitution by courts‚” she wrote on her bio.
Simelani initially needed R117‚330.10 and donors have pledged R800‚ leaving her still needing R116‚ 530.10 in funding. On Tuesday in Rosebank‚ Johannesburg‚ Feenix Trust‚ powered by Standard Bank‚ launched a crowd-funding initiative which will connect students from South Africa’s 26 public universities with donors.
According to their website‚ Feenix Trust is a public benefit organisation that was established this year and it comprises of trustees who have years of experience in wealth advisory and management.
“In a call to action for everyone in society concerned about the state of education and willing to do something about it‚ the bank has undertaken to be the financier‚ enablement and go-to-market partner of the Feenix Trust‚” says Johan De Ru‚ manager for business development on education at Standard Bank.
“They’ll make sure that all donated funds are managed responsibly‚ and end up with the people who deserve them.” .
Out of 127 students already uploaded and verified on the site‚ five have received full funding while 23 have received just a portion of what they need.
De Ru said that at the moment they are working on verifying 604 students. "Students can create profiles on the website of Feenix and upload their fees statement and bio. The trust will then verify them and once they are live on the site‚ donors can choose to donate to them. Anyone can donate from R100 after registering as a donor‚" said De Ru.