News Melbourne school and HFCA celebrates ten years of friendship

Ivanhoe Grammar School first worked together with HFCA in 2008 as we coordinated the Cambodian team to attend the 2008 Homeless World Cup in Melbourne and the school students were our biggest supporters during the whole tournament cheering our team every game.

In 2008 they were the first overseas school to visit our program in Cambodia. Its been a great experience working with such a fantastic school. 

Ivanhoe Grammar School has been educating young people since 1915, and while much has changed since our humble beginnings at St James' Church, Ivanhoe, the philosophy of our founding Headmaster, The Reverend Sydney Buckley, is still at the core of our practices. He believed that academic excellence and the development of individual character were paramount and encouraged a strong ethos of service to others.

- Gerard Foley BEd, MEdLeadership, Principal, Ivanhoe Grammar School, Melbourne
Ivanhoe Grammar School teacher Andrew Fox and HFCA's Vibol Chao point to the 2008 HWC Melbourne logo where our two organisations first met. Picture IGS.

HFCA very much share these values, especially the development of individual character and service to others, hence it was in many ways a natural fit for our two organisations to come together in 2008.  Ten years later and the relationship is stronger now that it was ever was. Everyone at HFCA is very grateful for Ivanhoe Grammar School's commitment to our work in Cambodia. The Ivanhoe Grammar staff are always professional and a joy to work with. They are passionate about helping HFCA improve. The Ivanhoe students who visit each year make a huge effort to engage with our players.

Group shot at end of training. Picture IGS.

In 2008 when the Homeless World Cup Came to Melbourne due to our existing involvement in Cambodia, Ivanhoe Grammar School adopted the Cambodian Team to support for the tournament and from this has sprung a wonderful partnership with Happy Football Cambodia. Over the past 10 Years, Ivanhoe Grammar School’s Service Project Teams have been visiting HFCA each year in Phnom Penh joining them for soccer (with mixed results) and more importantly friendship and cultural understanding. It has been wonderful for us to witness the growth in the soccer program over these years and the countless lives it has impacted.

- Ivanhoe Grammar teacher Andrew Fox shared his thought on the relationship.
Ivanhoe teacher Andrew Fox shows he still has the skills on the pitch. Picture IGS.

Commenting on this years visit Andrew said ''Our visit this year was once again a highlight for our team and even though the weather was hot (for Melbournians in Winter) and the competition fierce, the day was full of fun and laughter as many new friendships were made.  Ten years on we are still delighted to support this program and wish Vibol and our friends at Happy Football Cambodia all the best for the future and especially at the Homeless World Cup in Mexico City in November."

Girls from Cambodia and Australia come together to celebrate a great morning of fun and friendship.​ Picture IGS.

One of the main benefits of these annual visits is that the teenagers from Australia come to our program and who don't judge HFCA players because of their poor backgrounds. A lot of our HFCA players come from extreme poverty so in many cases people look down on them. When Ivanhoe Grammar students treat them with a high level of respect and don't discriminate against them it makes our players feel proud.

- Vibol Chao. HFCA Country Manager
Cambodian team in Melbourne for the 2008 HWC with some supporters from Ivanhoe Grammar School. The opening parade is about to start as we walk together to Federation Square. Picture IGS.

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