A large number of university students retreated to their homes in faraway provinces, leaving behind secure access to learning resources and facilities available at universities when the COVID-19 pandemic forced South Africa into a hard national lockdown earlier this year. For some students, this resulted in difficulties having to continue learning from their homes as universities transitioned from face-to-face contact classes to online teaching and learning.
Institutions such as the University of Johannesburg (UJ) and organisations such as Feenix provided support to students by means of issuing devices (laptops) and cellphone data bundles to enable them to continue with their studies. In May 2020 Feenix launched the #CapTheGap campaign in an effort to make online learning more accessible during the nationwide lockdown. The #CapTheGap campaign has now come to an end, having raised R3,496,228.50 to equip 403 students across the country.
At UJ, four students benefited by receiving laptops and cellphone data bundles as well as food vouchers; the donation made to UJ students was valued at R24 402.28. These are students from various faculties at the four UJ campuses.
Cara-Jean Petersen, Student Engagement Manager of Feenix on the fruitful relationship with UJ that started in 2017, states, “the relationship continues to grow. We collaborate with various departments to assist students by connecting them with people and organisations which are looking to make a donation towards their studies until they graduate”.
Any student with current or historic student debt can sign up to Feenix, create a Feenix profile and begin their fundraising journey at this campaign website link: www.feenix.org.
Students who wish to fundraise on Feenix must meet the below criteria:
- SA Citizens/Permanent Residents/Refugee/Asylum Seeker status students [no international students unfortunately]
- Registered at public South African university
- Undergraduate and postgraduate students, as well as graduates with outstanding current or historical debt
- Registration: February to November each yearPetersen further explains that “since 2017, when the public benefit organisation was founded, the Feenix community has been able to raise R47.4 Million, ensuring that 1309 students’ lives across all 26 public universities in South Africa are positively impacted”. Visit www.feenix.org for more information.To view the UJ students’ profiles and donate any amount to funding their studies, click on the names below:Phumlani, Likhale, Keagan, Bulelani, Lutendo, Katlego, Inga, Nothando, Mbuyelo, Xichabo, Oyama, Kgaugelo, Kgadi, and Norman.To see other university students who need donations towards paying their tution fees, click here.