Magdalen student wins Social Impact Award

18th June 2019


Beth Plant (second from right) a second-year Human Sciences student has won the social enterprise category of this year’s Vice-Chancellor’s Social Impact Awards for her work with United OxMak and SafeBangle.

United OxMak is a partnership of students from the University of Oxford and Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda, who work collaboratively to development projects to help Ugandan communities.

One of these projects is called Safebangle, a safety start-up co-founded by Beth which aims to provide rape alarms to vulnerable women and girls in Uganda. “The idea for SafeBangle originated at a time when there were many killings and kidnappings of women in Uganda,” explains Beth. “The cases were often dismissed because of lack of evidence and failure of timely reporting. We wanted to use technology to overcome this and prevent the suffering of women.

“We believe SafeBangle will help these women by creating a loud alarm to scare away perpetrators and call people close by, as well as contacting chosen close friends and family who are able to provide immediate help for victims.”

Beth and her colleagues secured funding to develop their idea after pitching SafeBangle to UN Women last year, but Beth has also benefited from financial support available from Magdalen College.

“I would really like to thank Magdalen for all their support,” said Beth. “Without the Travel Grant last year, which sent me to Uganda for the first time to carry out an internship, I would not have had the idea or met anyone who would help me start this project.

“And further support from the Magdalen College Trust this year will allow me to go back to Uganda to continue my work. Two years ago I could never have imagined being able to do something like this, and I am so thankful to Magdalen for supporting me financially as well as inspiring me and giving me the confidence to start this project.”

Sofya Sudets a second-year History and Economics student was also highly commended in the volunteering category for her work with Right for Education Oxford, which she founded. Right for Education Oxford was established by a group of Oxford University students who are committed to changing lives through education by producing free, neutral, and informative educational content of the highest quality.

The Vice-Chancellor’s Social Impact Awards are presented every year to Oxford University students who have shown exceptional achievement and commitment to positive social change.