Donation-based crowdfunding platform BackaBuddy has welcomed more than 50 new campaigns since December for students looking to fund-raise for university deposits, textbooks and tuition.
Among them is 33-year-old Unisa student René Morcom. She is the first student to address ehealth in the history of Unisa and needs help to fund her tuition.
Determined to follow her dreams of becoming a social worker, Morcom set up a campaign on BackaBuddy to cover the R13 000 deposit for her final year, doing her honours in social work and telemental health certification.
“I started a home called Thandi House in Pietermaritzburg for abandoned and abused children, and I wanted a qualification that would help make the world a better place.
“I am not just a student trying to pass because I have to, I am a student who loves what she is studying and I know that my studies can touch and change lives,” she said.
To continue her BA in film and media production, UCT student Maya Rose Godden, 20, set up a campaign on BackaBuddy when she was unable to cover her tuition.
She was awarded Golden Key Honours Society membership and was placed on the Dean’s Merit List for both her previous years of study at UCT.
“I am trying everything to ensure that I can continue my studies this year, including looking and applying for bursaries, loans and part-time work.
“However, I will be unable to pay the registration fee of R25 500 by February and it is looking increasingly unlikely that I’ll be able to afford the rest of my fees for this year (R34 500),” Godden said.
BackaBuddy chief operating officer Catherine du Plooy said most students opted to have their funds managed directly by BackaBuddy to ensure transparency.
“Crowdfunding is always an attractive alternative for students hoping to study without incurring debt, but one of the biggest concerns in the donor community is always the question of where generated funds will be used.
“For this reason we offer the option to manage funds for our campaign creators and pay universities and other relevant intuitions directly, to ensure donor peace of mind when supporting students.
“BackaBuddy-assisted campaigns also tend to raise more funds,” Du Plooy said.