For those who are new to HFCA, the organisation was formed in 2005 and has been working in Cambodia with disadvantaged youth using football as a vehicle for engagement ever since. Working closely with key partners, the children and youths are given the opportunity to play and have fun in a safe environment where they can make friends and benefit from team participation. Something many of us take for granted. They grow in confidence, learn life skills and get valuable support from friends and role models. All are taught to respect their elders and train hard. They are empowered and supported to set goals, find work and stay away from drugs and alcohol. Football is much more than a game, it teaches children about cooperation, tolerance and team work. It can bring entire communities together and inspire individuals. Play helps teach important life lessons and develops leadership, social and business networks.
The HFCA program currently runs from a great facility in Phnom Penh every Saturday morning for 2 hours, accommodating up to 200 participants placed into various age groups, with 50 participants taking part now in a new program in Siam Reap. Every year a team of youths are selected to represent Cambodia in the Homeless World Cup (over 50 nations now take part) see website for more details www.homelessworldcup.org. All employed HFCA coaches are former players from these tournaments who’ve undertaken a coaching qualification under the HFCA program to enable them to inspire and mentor other participants. More information on current projects can be found here www.hfca.org.au/news or http://m.facebook.com/happyfootballcambodiaaustralia/
Since the DCIS trip in October, a female coach has as planned officially been hired to work with 40 new female participants who have come to HFCA from one of its key partners: Cambodian Children’s Fund (CCF) https://www.cambodianchildrensfund.org/ To give you some context: the coach's wages for one year and the fees for an U18 entry to a female league was possible thanks to the support from DCIS.
A new program has also recently been opened in Siam Reap so up to 50 youths (through a partnership with NGO Build Your Future Today Centre) can have access to similar opportunities and support. Other big news is that HFCA have been accepted into the KMH Champions League, meaning an official HFCA team are now watched weekly by approx. 200,000 people either at the stadium or live on online sports TV via Facebook. The idea behind this is to follow the Athletic Bilbao philosophy and values and so only those from the program are eligible to play. If this means losing many of the games in the beginning so be it! This professional league is providing participants with the crucial ability to dream and to set goals for themselves. Along with the Homeless World Cup (www.homelessworldcup.org) for which a team is selected annually, the participants now have more to aim and work towards.
Thank you again for your donations, they have made a significant difference to the program! Ongoing operating costs and future developments aren’t possible without such funds so if you love what HFCA does and want to get involved please get in touch with me at firstname.lastname@example.org">email@example.com
If you or anyone you know works for a business who may be interested in sponsorship, HFCA presents a great opportunity for businesses to meet CSR requirements whilst getting extensive media coverage at the same time.
Happy Football Cambodia Australia
Fundraising and Liaison Officer