Completing a PhD while running a charity on another continent is no mean achievement. So it was wonderful to be able to honour that juggling act last weekend, as Darwin hosted a charity ball to support the work of Tusome Africa.

Founded by current Darwin PhD student in Education Bea Simpson, the charity provides crucial support to allow children in Uganda to access education.

The black tie event was presided over by Darwin Vice-Master and Professor of Education Professor Sara Baker. It included a Ugandan-inspired dinner in the Darwin Dining Hall, as well as music from student societies and the opportunity to celebrate both Uganda’s cultural richness and the transformative power of education.

Last year, Bea talked to the Darwinian magazine about how her studies at Cambridge and the creation of the charity were two sides of the same coin.

“The courage to set up the charity came the minute I was accepted at Cambridge,” she said. “I knew that it had to do more than just get me a degree – it had to have a wider impact. Cambridge has really shaped my understanding of education, and Darwin has been at the centre of that. Seeing our volunteers in action gives me an incredible joy which fuels me.”

The ball provided on opportunity to reflect on both achievements, while ensuring the impact of Tusome continues to grow.

“I am so honoured and proud to have held it here at Darwin where my education journey and the search for solutions to educational challenges started – Tusome Africa is very much a part of my Cambridge journey, and it was such a pleasure to bring everything I have loved about being Darwinian together.”

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