As one of the steps to generate a third-stream income, and chip away at the student debt, the university has decided to concretise its relationship with an organisation called Feenix. Tammy Green, Student Advancement Manager at Feenix, defines the organisation as “public benefit organisation that connects university students and communities to fundraise towards achieving debt free education”. The organisation was launched in June 2017 as a response to the #FeesMustFall movement. Andrew Kubone, the University’s Financial Aid Office’s Manager, said “the relationship between Feenix and MUT is growing very fast. It is a relationship between people who have a common understanding of the challenges faced by students at institutions of higher learning and are working together to make a difference. This relationship allows both parties to be innovative in creating new funding models”. The two organisations are in a process of signing a memorandum of understanding soon.
Green said Feenix disbursed R2,682,292.81 towards MUT since it was formed. These funds were disbursed to the University which paid it to the students’ account. Green has more on how funding is done. “Our offering for students includes a secure crowdfunding platform, holistic student development support and potential bursary opportunities”.
Owing students should register their profile with the organisation. Green explains how: “Begin your fundraising journey now by inspiring, activating and rallying your community. Gather all your documents and information; Create your profile on www.feenix.org • Prepare and write your personal story • Upload a quality profile picture • Include a clear certified South African ID copy, and parents/guardian/ family member in the household ID number(s) • Also provide an official fee statement on the official university letterhead, not older than 30 days • Provide latest proof of registration. Watch all the Feenix fundraising webinars on our Youtube channel while you wait for your profile to be made live. After your profile has been made live, read through the First R100 Fundraising Guide, and see which fundraising method works for you.
Green said that at Feenix “we believe that fulfilling one’s potential should not be dependent on wealth, and that through promoting yourself and actively fundraising using your Feenix profile, you are able to motivate others to invest in your future and potentially graduate debt free”.
One of the beneficiaries of Feenix’s fundraising campaign is Lindokuhle Mbatha. Mbatha says he joined Feenix after a conversation with a friend who told him about Feenix crowd funding. Now he has raised R134 761. 60 for himself. He was owing R231 683.15. Now he owes R96 921. 55. Mbatha is now looking for an in-service training for P1 and P2. In 2022 he finished his S4 in Electrical Engineering – Power Systems. Mbatha is now Feenix ambassador. He says he guides new recruits when they join with the organisation. Mbatha says Feenix is the answer to students that are owing their institutions larger sums of money “because Feenix believe that access to education should not be dependent on wealth. Feenix leaves this mark that everyone is connected to one another in an innovative way; it helps communities to grow together”.