Feenix, a public benefit organisation dedicated to supporting students in South Africa achieve debt-free education, and provides various resources to educate and equip young people to thrive, recently launched the #BeTheSolution campaign to address the country’s ongoing higher education funding crisis.
The lack of funding poses a major barrier to success for many students, especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds. According to the National Student Financial Aid Scheme Annual Report 2021, only 20% of students qualified for government funding in 2021. As a result of financial strain, many deserving students are forced to drop out or graduate with significant debt.
As of 2022, a staggering 120,000 students found themselves unable to graduate due to a combined outstanding debt of R7 billion owed to universities.
There are many students like Falatsi Khomo who are close to graduating, and corporate donations would help them achieve their dreams to get a qualification and enter the job market, without the fear of debt hanging over them.
“I’m in my final year at Wits, pursuing a triple major in Astronomy and Astrophysics and Computational and Applied Mathematics,” said Khomo. “Ever since childhood I’ve been obsessed with astronomy, and I remember gazing at the stars, dreaming of a career in this field.”
Unfortunately, financial challenges are preventing him from graduating so that he can pursue his dreams.
Khomo would like to focus his efforts on research and is calling on individuals as well as corporates in South Africa and beyond, to invest in him and others like him.
“By supporting me, you invest not only in my future but also in advancing knowledge and promoting diversity in STEM,” he said.
The #BeTheSolution campaign aims to raise awareness of this crisis and garner support from corporate South Africa to help students in need. The campaign will highlight stories of students who need support, to drive awareness and support for efforts to address the funding crisis in South Africa.
It will focus on two key areas:
- Fundraising – The campaign seeks donations to provide bursaries and other assistance to financially disadvantaged students.
- Awareness – The campaign will highlight the challenges students face due to lack of funding and its impact on their futures.
“The education funding crisis is a huge challenge and is not going away anytime soon,” said Feenix CEO Cara-Jean Petersen. “With potential protests looming in the new year, we need to be proactive in coming together and connecting tertiary students in need with financial support so they can continue striving toward achieving their educational goals.”
“We’re calling on all communities to make a donation to the Feenix #BeTheSolution Campaign and help our students graduate this year with a certificate in hand as opposed to another gut-wrenching invoice. With more students educated and graduated, we can start rebuilding our workforce with talented young people committed to creating a healthier society in South Africa.”
Your urgent donation, via https://donate.feenix.org/about/, will help students like Falatsi pay off their debt and obtain their degree or certificate and allow these students the opportunity to achieve their educational dreams and enter the job market.
The public is encouraged to get involved and support the campaign on social media using the hashtag #BeTheSolution.