Indochina Starfish Foundation

In brief

Indochina Starfish Foundation’s mission in Cambodia is to increase access to education, healthcare and sport, enabling underprivileged children and their communities to lift themselves out of poverty. The SOL Foundation assists with the Football For Change Outreach Project.

In the focus, a variety of regular activities, increasing access to sport, building life skills, promoting equality and inclusion and improving the quality of life for underprivileged youth in poor urban and rural communities across Cambodia.

Problem to be tackled

High levels of poverty in Cambodia, particularly in rural areas is depriving children of their basic rights to education, nutrition and play to name but a few. Many children are engaged in informal work in order to support their families and have few opportunities to engage in organised sport or play.

Local partner

In 2019, 202 coaches and aspiring coaches from schools, community organisations and NGOs around the country participated in intensive five-day training modules and were taught to deliver social impact football lessons. 20 of these coaches from under-resourced rural areas were selected to receive ongoing support from Indochina Starfish Foundation (ISF), enabling them to deliver bi-monthly football and social-awareness training.

Using a 12-month curriculum developed in partnership with Coaches Across Continents (CAC), these coaches are using the medium of sport to engage children in addressing important social issues faced in their own communities, such as drug and alcohol abuse, domestic violence and lack of education.


The project targets for children from socially and economically disadvantaged backgrounds, aged 8-16.

According to UNICEF, 44% of children living in Cambodia continue to live in multidimensional poverty. In rural areas, this is as high as 54%. These children are largely deprived of education, nutrition and sanitation, and lack opportunities and pathways to break the cycle of poverty.

SOL’s contribution

With support from The SOL Foundation, Indochina Starfish Foundation will be able to continue to share their expertise and resources to train and empower Cambodian coaches to deliver football for social impact activities in their own communities across the country – football for change outreach activities, raising awareness about social issues and developing children’s football skills, confidence, leadership, teamwork and decision-making skills in a fun and safe environment.

Project partner

Indochina Starfish Foundation (ISF) is an award-winning non-profit development organisation working with urban poor communities in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, where most survive below the poverty threshold of just USD$ 1.90 per day. The children ISF works with have grown up under extremely adverse conditions, lacking nutrition, sanitation, healthcare and education and often spending their childhoods scavenging garbage to contribute to their family’s income. When they join ISF, children are given the chance to catch-up on missed schooling, enjoy their childhood and build brighter futures through a comprehensive and holistic programme of support combining quality education, health and well-being, sport and community outreach.