Feenix is a non-profit organisation that helps university students raise money to pay their tuition fees through crowdfunding. Students can create a profile on the platform and begin raising money for their tertiary education.
Tammy Green, the student advancement manager at Feenix says in addition to providing a crowdfunding platform where university students with student debt can raise money to pay their tuition fees, Feenix also provides wraparound services to students.
These services include engaging financial literacy courses including one named "Black Boolean". The Black Boolean course provides students with information and techniques to manage their finances. It includes information on investment and savings which are often neglected at universities.
We don't just offer tuition or help students or create, give them a platform to do crowdfunding. But we also have wraparound services that we offer students. And what our wraparound services offer basically, is financial literacy courses that they can do, which is very fun, it's called Black Boolean,
Furthermore, they recognise the importance of holistic student support and offer wellness webinars which provide emotional support to students. They believe that by addressing the personal and emotional well-being of students, Feenix enhances their overall success.
These wraparound services not only benefit students and graduates but also provide valuable support to businesses seeking to invest in their workforce.
Feenix Skills Development Programme
Green says organisations and businesses often approach Feenix to administer bursary skills programmes. Feenix will receive the criteria set by the businesses based on the skills they want students to have and the desired outcomes.
The skills development programme is centred on four crucial "thrive drivers". The four thriving drivers are emotional support, financial stability, grit, and academic progression.
Green says most bursary programmes set academic requirements which students must meet to qualify for funding. However, Feenix acknowledges that students often face challenges that can hinder their academic progression including personal matters and financial contracts.
Instead of rejecting students who do not have an academic mark average of 80%, they aim to assist students who have the potential to achieve academic excellence.
Who Can Register For The Feenix Development Programmes?
While the skills development programme is tailored to meet the requirements of individual donors, any student who joins the Feenix platform can access their wraparound services.
Green adds that students are encouraged to participate in these wraparound services as soon as they sign up on the platform.
Any new student that comes on to our platform has access to the wraparound services. So as soon as you come onto our platform, we will be able to say listen, we're having this webinar, please join this webinar, and we do various surveys
They add that students are also encouraged to provide feedback to Feenix to ensure the offering continues to improve and provide students with the best support they can.
Why Was Feenix Started?
Feenix was established in June 2017 as a response to the #FeesMustFall movement that spread across campuses in South Africa during 2015 and 2016.
Their goal is to connect communities innovatively to achieve debt-free education. This is done through crowdfunding.
Fun fact - Feenix got its name from combining two words. The first word is "fee" which refers to tuition fees. “Nix” is based on the Afrikaans word “niks” which translates to “nothing” in English.
What Was The #FeesMustFall Movement?
The #FeesMustFall movement was a student-led protest movement in South Africa aimed at addressing the high costs of tertiary education and advocating for accessible and affordable education for all.
The high costs of tertiary education and constant fee increases meant that many deserving students from marginalised backgrounds could not access higher education.
What Is The Missing Middle?
The missing middle refers to students who cannot afford the cost of tertiary education but are deemed too rich for funding from the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS).
Students who fall within the “missing middle” come from homes with a combined household income of more than R350,000 and less than R600,000. Feenix specially caters to students who fall within the missing middle category.
Want More Information On Feenix?
To learn more about Feenix visit the Feenix website for detailed information. You can also find information about Feenix on the Careers Portal. If you want this information in video format, visit the Careers Portal Youtube Channel and navigate to the Feenix Playlist.
The Careers Portal also has information on learnerships, internships and bursaries as well as any information you may need about studying, funding and your future career.