News Youth from Oroong Village, Siem Reap benefiting from HFCA football program

HFCA and our long standing partner (BFT) Build your Future Today launched our football program in Oroong Village in February 2020 which is 122km northeast of Siem Reap city.

When BFT first started working with the community in 2012 the poverty levels were shocking. Initially BFT did an extensive census/survey and found the village population was 1,150, made up of 230 families and 225 children attending the local primary school. There was no Secondary school and Oroong village children's education would finish after primary school

None of the families had access to a toilet in their home so families would dig a small pit 30 to 40 metres at the back of their property. There was no running water in any of the homes and all water was accessed via local ponds or rivers. 30% had access to a water purification system and the remaining villagers drank the water untreated.

Oroong villagers celebrate the opening of a new well in 2019. Image BFT

The impacts of such living conditions were serious and 30% of the children had worms and many villagers had skin problems. Impact of living in such poverty meant an estimated 50% of the village was dealing with anxiety and 30% suffering from some form of domestic violence. Seasonal Malaria and dengue were common.

Alcohol abuse was causing issues in the family homes. With decent health care over 122km away on bad roads, villagers were accessing medical care and medicines 35km away from medical practitioners whose qualifications were in doubt.

Two families delighted with their new toilets installed at their homes by BFT in 2019. Image BFT

Oroong was a village that was desperately in need of help and hope. BFT stepped in and they have made significant improvements in the last ten years. Building on a model of community engagement, infrastructure development and empowering people to be self-reliant, life in Oroong is much improved.

BFT team set up a new water purification system in 2020 at a shared community facility. Image BFT

More than 30 giant bore wells have been installed since 2019 so that people have a cleaner water supply and have stopped sourcing water from ponds. 70% of the village have their own toilets built by BFT in their home and the % of people who properly filter their water has increased from 30% to 60%. Families are better educated about good hygiene and have access to better quality health services. 

In 2021 BFT built the 1st ever Secondary school in Oroong village so children can continue their education after finishing primary school. Image BFT

When HFCA started working in the village at the local school it was the first formal sports program these children had ever attended and we knew that we had much to live up to. Adults in the village are wary of strangers and after eleven months of community engagement in 2019 and BFT vouching for HFCA we started work in February 2020.

HFCA training venue in March 2022 in Oroong which allows youth plenty of space to train. Image Sovatha Long

HFCA feel truly honoured that the village leaders, parents, elders and teachers have trusted us and with an average of 50 youth attending each training session including 25 girls the program is going well. Compared to BFT our contribution to the well being of the village is small but we are committed to Oroong Village.

In March 2022 Coach Sovatha does warm up exercises with HFCA players. Image HFCA

"The opportunities provided by the involvement of HFCA to the poor children living in remote villages like Oroong can be life changing. Learning life skills such as the value of teamwork and the benefits of supporting others will benefit the children well beyond the sheer joy they get from learning football skills. Together with changes such as the schools and access to clean water which BFT has brought to Oroong in recent years, HFCA is helping to build a better future for the children"

- BFT founder Sedtha Long shared his thoughts on the benefits of the program.
27 girls at HFCA training in Oroong village on 9th Sept 2022. Image Sovatha Long

"Parents, teachers, and village leaders are all delighted with the change and growth they have already seen in the children since beginning the HFCA program. All of them would like to extend their deepest appreciation and gratitude to all the compassionate commitment and contributions from HFCA in making the better future of their children and communities"

- Long continued

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