Location and general information

Location Cambodia
Start date 01/15/2019
End date 12/01/2020
Cost of the project €21,930
Foundation funding €21,480
Project identifier ASI-2018798
Partners Indochina Starfish Foundation (ISF)
Categories Access to Sport - Children with disabilities - Personal development


As Cambodia continues to recover from the impact of the Khmer Rouge’s destructive reign, corruption and inequality remain prevalent and extreme poverty continues to affect young people, who make up almost 60% of the population. The pressure on young people to find employment is very high and school dropout rates, especially in rural areas reflect this. Children as young as five work to help financially support their families and are often taken out of school to make ends meet. The poverty they experience not only denies them the chance of education, but also strips them of their right to be children and to play.

Across the country, particularly in rural areas, 19% of girls marry before their 18th birthday. Sporting opportunities for girls are very limited, and most are excluded from participating in sport and the social engagement that comes with it. In this way, disadvantaged and marginalised children and young people miss out on interaction with their peers and the vital life skills that are not taught in the classroom but are learned through sport, play and socialisation.

Project content

This programme will work directly with 500 disadvantaged children and 200 young people and adults who live in communities where poverty, social exclusion and lack of opportunity regularly lead to harmful behaviour. It will provide opportunities for children to access their right to play and right to education, promoting healthy life choices, equality and diversity.


  • The Indochina Starfish Foundation (ISF) believes every child has the right to education, healthcare and play. Therefore, the project aims to:
    • provide children, including girls, with access to sport and play;
    • improve children’s health and well-being;
    • provide a safe space for children to explore social issues such as children’s rights and child abuse, gender equality and disability inclusion, HIV, alcohol and drugs, and gambling;
    • develop children’s confidence, leadership, teamwork, problem-solving and resilience;
    • empower girls and women and change local perceptions through sport;
    • promote and encourage young people, especially girls, to remain in school.

Project activities

The pilot outreach project is about empowering coaches in rural areas to provide access to sport and learning to socially disadvantaged children in Cambodia. ISF will start running three coach development courses in 2019.

Two hundred coaches and aspiring coaches from schools, community organisations and NGOs around the country will participate in five intensive days of training focusing on football for social impact. The training, developed in partnership with Coaches Across Continents (CAC), will teach participants to deliver social impact football training using fun games and activities, engaging children in locally relevant social issues such as gender equality, disability and social inclusion, drug and alcohol abuse, gambling, education and health.

Participants will be trained to deliver a bespoke 12-month ISF/CAC social impact curriculum while developing children’s football skills, confidence, leadership, teamwork and decision-making skills in a fun and safe environment.

Expected results

Throughout the course of the pilot project, we expect the 20 ISF-supported coaches to run 480 outreach sessions, reaching approximately 500 socially deprived children, and three coach development courses focusing on social impact through football. In addition to the 700 direct beneficiaries of this project, the objective is to have 3,000 indirect beneficiaries.


Other projects in Asia

Play It Safe
Girls Community League (GCL)
Football for Equality and Education
Flexible Education and Sports for Children out of Education System in Afghanistan