The Spirit of Soccer project was founded in 1996 and is still going strong to this day.The organisation has had immense success for 2 decades in which they have touched the hearts of tens of thousands of children and families in Cambodia.
The Civil war in Cambodia lasted nearly three decades where Landmines were placed in populated areas which posed a huge risk to the local populace to maximize human damage.Over 40,000 Cambodians are missing a body part in which 40% are young victims.It remains one of the worlds most heavily mined areas.The Cambodian Mine Action Center (CMAC) have stated that it would take 100 years to clear the region.
There may be as many as four-to-six million mines and unexploded ordinances in Cambodia and, according to estimates, at the present rate it would take 100 years to clear them all.
The Philosophy of the project is to educate children about the dangers of land mines and to raise the awareness of the dangerous consequences of war especially surrounding the ERW (Explosive Remnants of War) in post conflict regions. The program expanded to Cambodia after successful projects in Bosnia & Herzegovina where for ten years they worked to reach the same goals.
The success is easy to quantify in the amount of participants and children they have reached as in 2006 alone they reached 22,000 children and over 80,000 altogether which educated them on the risks and prevention methods of Land Mines which is a huge number to reach for a project of this type.One of the many impressive elements to this story is that they use football education to spread the message which allows for other benefits such as keeping the children off the streets, reducing crime and enhancing the prevention of drug abuse.
The group has also impacted strongly in funding in the region having donated thousands of footballs and equipment whilst also delivering thousands of sessions ,advice and coaching methodology per year to the youth of Cambodia.
Dream Big …. Football Changing Lives for Hope
Through Football for Hope’s support, Spirit of Soccer has been able to expand its activities in Cambodia to other affected regions of the country and to reach over 20.000 children per year on the dangers posed by land mines – FIFA