A Sporting Chance For All!
"To give the children of Cambodia the tools they require, to have a sporting chance of a better future, for themselves and for their country"
"All children deserve an education and a childhood full of fun, friendships and memories. I believe whole heartedly, that sport plays an integral role in that!"
Cambodia and its people stole my heart. They are the most friendly, generous and caring nation I've ever had the pleasure of meeting. From the late 1970's the nation experienced some of the most tragic events in living history; with the Khmer Rouge totalitarian dictatorship, responsible for the brutal deaths of 1 in 4 Cambodian (1,2). The countries recovery to date has shown incredible strength, and resilience; but this is not always reflected in the livelihoods of rural Cambodian children. I believe we should help these children to grow the unfaltering character of their country by offering them a sporting chance at building a better future.
There are evident problems within Cambodia with child labour; and poor school attendance (3). The problems vary between urban and rural regions; with children from the countryside often moving into the cities in hunt of work at a young age. Without education or protection; they become vulnerable to exploitation, often turning to prostitution where tragic cycles can begin and become difficult to break (4,5). "Evidence shows, these cycles CAN be interrupted with improved education and offerings of extra-curricular leisure activities for children in at-risk communities" (6).
'A Sporting Chance For All' will provide, safe, local facility for children from neighbouring villages to receive these education and leisure services. The centres primary offering will be professional sports coaching and a nutritious snack; developing health and wellbeing, the right to play, and a diversified range of prospects for the future (6).
Sport is a familiar and validated base for children and young people to engage (7); and this platform will be used to nurture involvement with important interventions to prevent exploitation. This will include sexual health education, and key skills such as English Language and responsible tourism; to help gain viable future employment within local industry.
'A Sporting Chance' intends to set-up a centre within the local community; and work in conjunction with the half-day school available to Cambodian children; therefore offering this service for free and without interruption to family life. There is strong research evidence for this provision in developing communities for reducing child labour, improving educational attainment (8) and giving children a better sporting chance in their future ambitions.
The charity will first conduct a 2-4 week research project, within communities in the South-Easterly Kanhchriech District, an area with strong local connections for the founder. It will speak directly to the local communities but most importantly, the children who will be affected by the charity, in order that it can attain, exactly what it is these children would like from the charity, how it can best suited to their needs and desires, whilst also finding out what needs to be done, in order that the children continually attend the charity.
Following this the charity will develop, and then introduce a pilot project within the area. During set-up, the project will always consider a self-sustaining model; qualifying the children and young people of Cambodia as sports coaches to take on educational and management duties within the centre. This will create opportunities for travel and knowledge exchange for the children in the future. During set-up, existing links with local and UK organisations will be utilised; including voluntary services from Virak Vung; UK based sports coaches, The Seaver Foundation Children's rights voluntary service.
1. P. Heuveline 1998
2. H. Locard 2005
3. K. Chae-Young 2011
4. P. Leung - Sex and Tourism: journeys of romance, love and lust
5. M. A. Monto 2014
6. World Health Organisation 2003
7. Heere & James 2007
8. J. D. Hoop & F. C.Rosati 2013