After selecting the first BFT student Kimhong to attend the 2015 Homeless World Cup in Amsterdam, we have worked closely together to give life changing opportunities to disadvantaged youth in Siem Reap province.
From 2016 onwards, three more young men from BFT have attended the life changing HWC and in October 2017 we opened a weekly training program in Siem Reap, a city where 50 youth from BFT get access to high quality training facilities and training.
Everyone at BFT is excited about our recent agreement to extend our partnership with Happy Football Cambodia Australia to 2021. The support of HFCA has made such a huge difference to the lives of young people who would never have had the chances to succeed that HFCA has made possible. Already Thong Kimhong, Long Sovatha, Long Sophearith and Choeurn Socheat have represented Cambodia at the Homeless World Cup football competition. We are hopeful that three more of BFT’s young men will be successful in making the team to compete in Mexico in 2018. These young people are role models for others to work hard to achieve your dreams. And the support for football flows through to other successes for our young people, encouraging them to do well in school and live a healthy lifestyle. Thank you to Happy Football Cambodia Australia for your generosity and ongoing support!- Said Sedtha, after signing our new MOU
Since its founding in 2006, BFT has been dedicated to helping build a better future for Cambodia’s youth. BFT has grown out of Sedtha Long’s personal desire to help give back to his country, BFT’s central motto of Knowledge is Hope, Peace is Development comes directly from both Cambodia’s need for education and BFT founder Sedtha Long personal experience living through the Khmer Rouge.
BFT founder life story is an inspiration to everyone who meets him and has the honour to work with him. Sedtha Long was born in Battambang, a province in north east of Cambodia. In 1968 his family migrated to Phnom Penh, the capital, for better opportunities. By 1975, when he was only a young man, the Khmer Rouge took over, and forced everyone to migrate to the rural areas and work on farms endlessly. After torturous years, and losing many of his family members to one of the worst genocides in human history, he managed to escape to the Thai border, and start a life in the camps.
During his escape he met a lot of orphaned children who he took under his care. Life was not easy in the camps, and he worked hard to feed his family and others by getting involved in whatever was on offer. Being one of the few educated survivors, he started development work in the camps itself. He started teaching in the camps, along with educating western volunteers about Cambodian culture & issues, something he continues to practice today.
Once the civil war was over, and people were allowed to return to Cambodian cities, he realized his primary goal in life had been defined by the struggle inflicted on him. He wanted to build the Cambodian society again, empower the people with economic and intellectual tools to overcome poverty, and attain stability. He realized education was a key to achieving this goal, and all his efforts and resources were focused on this one aim. He returned to Siem Reap with all the orphaned children he has taken under his care, and continued to reach out to many more.
Upon signing the MOU Paraic Grogan said "When I first met Sedtha Long in early 2014 I was immediately impressed by how friendly, warm and humble he was. His personal story of surviving the Khmer Rouge period and the journey he undertook afterwards was inspiring. His life long commitment to social justice and the top class community development programs BFT manage in Siem Reap province are amazing."
Paraic said "Working with Sedtha and BFT has been a great experience for HFCA and we are delighted to commit to another four years of working in Siem Reap Province with our great friends BFT."
BFT's main aim is to empower the Cambodian people with the right intellectual and economic tools to attain self-sufficiency. BFT believe that education is key to developing economic stability and personal well-being along with peace for the individual family, and hence the whole of Cambodian society. BFT are highly committed to providing the opportunity for people, especially children who have been living through hardship and poverty, with effective solutions to improve their lives.
HFCA is committed to but not limited to ensuring the following outcomes for our partner Build your Future Today
-50 weekly football training sessions for 50 BFT youth per year at our Siem Reap program.
-12 trips annually for up to 4 youth from Siem Reap to attend our training program in Phnom Penh.
-Opportunity for Siem Reap youth to represent Cambodia at the international football tournament, the Homeless World Cup.
-Opportunity to be part of the HFCA team competing in the KHM Champions League.
-All coaching and management positions at the Siem Reap program to come from HFCA program graduates.
-Ongoing training for staff in coaching, project & event managements, finances , IT and financial reporting.
Dec. 15, 2020
HFCA (Happy Football Cambodia Australia) was formed in November 2005 to work with underprivileged youth in Phnom Penh who did not have access to football pitches and played on the streets instead. HFCA started small with 20 youth from a local NGO, one small pitch, two footballs and a coach.