August 31, 2020
As always we're talking about what does success looks like, how to get there and how can we scale our impact through education - and today's guest embodies this idea.
A dynamic leader, social entrepreneur, and winner of the prestigious Order of Australia medal - Annabelle Chauncy, started a multinational NGO from scratch at the age of 21 which is now operating in Australia and Uganda. For the past 10 years, through her Foundation School for Life, she's built a team of over 120 staff, 3 schools in rural Uganda that provide quality education to over a thousand students, and a community outreach to more than 2000 people.
Annabelle's success in all of her endeavors shows that this amazing woman knows what it takes to drive effective change and sustain it. Her schools have grown 50-100% every single year and she's developed a national brand that drove and engaged supporters to collectively raise more than $6 million in just five years.
This humble farm girl, who grew up with an amazing free, wild childhood is now doing awesome things around the world. She's got so many nuggets of wisdom to share. Annabelle has never hesitated to share her talents or time. There are thousands of kids grateful to her for this and today, we get to benefit as well.
Let's listen to this amazing woman...
Here's the highlights:
[03:08] What makes Annabelle smile: Being wholeheartedly driven by the impact that education can have on people's lives and the opportunity to see that impact and make that happen for Ugandan children-- their deep sense of resilience, desire to go to school and a real sense of community and belonging.
[07:21] Education in Uganda vs. in Australia: Schools in Uganda have lots of difficult challenges to overcome but it gives them a chance to be a child (than when at home). School for them is full of freedom, a place for the opportunity to dream, think big, and aspire to be more.
[09:12] The children in Uganda recognize that with education, they can go on and be a game-changer themselves. Whatever it is they want to be, to have the ability to read and write can really change the course and future in their life.
[09:54] Enhanced Ugandan Curriculum in Foundation School for Life: implements active learning methodology, group-based learning; engages their imagination, and helps them to think creatively and critically about the world.
[12:02] With COVID19, the school had to shut down. But we did not give up. Modules and learning materials are delivered weekly in motorbikes and teachers regularly call parents in mobile phones because online learning is impossible with their situation. We work with families so that they get access to the right information and to enable us to support the community rather than leave them behind.
[13:55] We certainly thought we'd be shut down by the pandemic but we adapted because everyone is determined to continue the work. If you're really driven by the purpose, you will find a way, no matter how many obstacles may stand in your way. Focus on your purpose when the going gets tough and things get uncertain. Go back to what you stand firm for, what drives you and motivates you. Don't let all the noise overcome you.
[16:07] Life changed a lot when my dream came to fruition. The sense of responsibility shifted significantly-- not just for selling a dream but for the future and outcomes for many families. It was elating but also terrifying. But you'll learn along the way. It just showed what grit and determination can really achieve.
[19:12] In challenge and in difficulties are the times that we grow and we do find within ourselves what we're capable of. Try to find those dark times as times to ensure growth in different ways. There will be times when there seems no way forward. But you'll always find the strength within yourself to just put one foot in front of the other even if you don't know your way.
[21:05] One thing that you can control is your mindset. Get a really firm hold on that in order to succeed.
[22:33] Attracting values-driven people is critical. Align the team with the purpose. Purpose-driven people attract one another and tend to create a movement and community around it.
[24:14] You'll never be ready. You'll never know everything. You won't know until you try. Believe deeply in yourself. If you're passionate, you'll be successful. But have a great work ethic as well. Don't think about what could go wrong; think about what could go right.
“You'll never be ready. You'll never know everything. You won't know until you try. Believe deeply in yourself.”
- Annabelle Chauncy
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