Minister for Women Pru Goward with 2015 Young Woman of the Year Annabelle Chauncy. Photo: 2015 NSW Women of the Year Awards, Family and Community ServicesFORMER Canyonleigh resident Annabelle Chauncy has been recognised for making a difference to the lives of hundreds of women and children in Uganda.
She has been awarded the 2015 Harvey Norman’s NSW Young Woman of the Year award which recognises the outstanding contribution women across NSW make to industry, community and society, and celebrates their significant achievements.
Ms Chauncy is co-founder of the School for Life Foundation which focuses on delivering high quality education in rural Uganda. The School for Life Foundation provides the support students need, including health care, clean water, uniforms and three meals a day.
Ms Chauncy said she was extremely humbled to receive the award.
“I was extremely happy and grateful that young women are highlighted in the awards program and commend NSW Women for creating a category for under 30 year olds,” Ms Chauncy said.
“It’s important to recognise young women making a difference across our country, to inspire others to aim high and not be afraid to take risks.”
She said young women should be role models and mentors to other young women as they embark on leadership journeys, supporting one another in each and every endeavour. Big things are happening at School for Life, with another 80 students just enrolled, bringing enrolment to 300 students, and this year a pre-school was introduced.
“Our students are from the poorest of the poor backgrounds, living in mud huts with no electricity, running water or amenities,” Ms Chauncy said.
“As such, we were finding that the first six months of the children’s education in Kindergarten was being spent developing fine and gross motor skills, learning routine and doing things like teaching students to hold a pencil, do up buttons on a shirt and tie shoe laces.”
She said the pre-school would bridge the gap between the village and school, enabling students a stronger start to their education. “We are currently constructing an assembly hall, tailoring centre and pre-school adjacent to the school which will be ready in the next six months.”
This year School For Life acquired 30 acres of land 10 kilometres from Katuuso and another primary school will be built, as well as a secondary school twice the size on recently.
“The land is currently being farmed with crops to feed our students three meals a day, and we are developing an animal husbandry program with pigs, goats and cows to generate an income which goes directly back into the operations of the school,” Ms Chauncy said. “We are excited to be able to educate more than 1400 students in the next three years.”
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