Having spent most of 2019 and early 2020 in the planning and development stage we were excited to see what 2020 would bring for our new venture, then a few weeks later Cambodia and the world as we knew it changed forever. The three programs had a stop-start existence from their initial launch to March 2021.
Now as Cambodia enters the next stage of living with Covid-19 and the country slowly reopens, HFCA is looking forward to restarting our programs in Srah Srong, Oroong and Chub Smach Villages. Whilst it will take time to restart the programs, the community development work HFCA did in 2019 has paid off as we ensured we had support from the Village Chiefs, local Elders, parents, school principals and most importantly local youth prior to opening in February 2020.
It would have been impossible for HFCA to start these three new programs without the close support of our long standing partner BFT (Build your Future Today) and its Founder Sedtha Long. HFCA and BFT have been partners since 2014, working mostly in Siem Reap city. With BFT having extensive experience of supporting communities in over fifty villages in Siem Reap province, HFCA and BFT agreed it was time to expand our football programs beyond Siem Reap city and into the countryside. The villages we are now working in have never had any formal structured sports program before so it's a huge privilege for HFCA to launch our football programs in these villages and who knows maybe find the next Lional Messi or Samantha Kerr!
According to Sedtha Long, 'Most of BFT's work is done in remote rural villages in Siem Reap Provinces where people live in abject poverty. It is particularly exciting to see HFCA extend its program to include the villages of Srah Srong, Oroong and Chub Smach, giving children coming from situations of great disadvantage a tremendous opportunity to succeed with access to a program that has so far only been available to those in towns and cities"
Sedtha Long very much values the new opportunities presented by this HFCA initiative, in particular for girls in the villages ''BFT has a history of working closely with Villagers to give all of them opportunities to improve their lives, both males and females. The children, boys and girls, are all so enthusiastic about working hard to improve their lives that it will be wonderful to see the girls able to participate in the incredible opportunity being made available to all of the children by HFCA.
Support for the HFCA program to work with BFT in the villages of Srah Srong, Oroong and Chub Smach will give children with very few other opportunities a new way in which they can improve their lives and give them hope and choices for a better future."