Community development is a core part of our holistic approach. We work with communities marked by extreme poverty and insecurity. The families of many of our students moved from Cambodia’s rural provinces to the capital city of Phnom Penh in search of a better life. Without a strong network or the skills needed to succeed in an urban environment, what they found instead was a life of vulnerability.

Many families survive on less than $2.50 a day, and most cannot even rely on this. They live in rented rooms and are often subject to arbitrary land grabs and evictions. This daily stress leads many to unhealthy coping mechanisms, such as gambling and substance abuse. These are the conditions that many of our students go home to at the end of their school day.

We believe that a quality education and a stable and loving home life mutually support each other, and one struggles to survive without the other. We work closely with the community and village leaders to make sure our Education Centres do not exist in a vacuum but serve to foster community development. Our goal is to create a good foundation for the children in our programmes and opportunities for their families, so that they have the skills to change their own lives for the better.

Saren dreams of becoming an English teacher and footballer

2019-07-08T12:29:55+07:00June 26th, 2019|

Saren dreams of becoming an English teacher and footballer Receiving an education is an opportunity that ten-year-old Saren* has grabbed with both hands. Life for him isn’t easy but he manages to attend school every day, to study hard, to help his mother sell fruit in the evenings and to play football [...]

Books are bringing hope to Phnom Penh’s poorest communities

2019-07-05T13:53:03+07:00June 21st, 2019|

Books are bringing hope to Phnom Penh's poorest communities Mother-of-four Leang Ey moved to Phnom Penh five years ago in search of better economic and education opportunities for her family. Originally from Kandal Province - a southeastern province, bordering Phnom Penh - Leang struggled to make a living as without owning any [...]

ISF brings Coach Development Courses to Siem Reap

2019-06-28T15:39:51+07:00June 16th, 2019|

ISF brings Coach Development Courses to Siem Reap Hot on the heels of the culmination of the ISF-AIA Youth League 2018/19, four of our coaches -  Panha, Channa, Makara and Thanin - traveled to Siem Reap Province to lead a football coach training workshop to teach others how to use football as [...]

It’s never too late to learn how to read

2019-07-05T13:55:10+07:00June 1st, 2019|

It’s never too late to learn how to read At the age of 63, Yoat Lim is discovering a whole new lease of life thanks to her local community library which has not only given her books to read but given her the tools she needed to learn how to read. Lim [...]

Yoam’s Story: Illiteracy is like a life sentence

2019-07-05T13:57:00+07:00May 1st, 2019|

Yoam’s Story: Illiteracy is like a life sentence 44-year old mother-of-two Ken Yoam is one of ISF’s community library users and a recent beneficiary of our Adult Literacy Course. Yoam moved from the countryside to Cambodia’s capital city Phnom Penh 22 years ago to work as a garment factory worker. Life for [...]

Soap for Hope: Reducing health and sanitation-related risks

2019-07-01T09:17:58+07:00April 27th, 2019|

Soap for Hope: Reducing health and sanitation-related risks Fifty-five year old Ok Sokoan is a single mother of three who has faced more adversary than most in her life. Both of her youngest children, Vanna and Sreymom*, joined ISF’s Catch-up Education Programme in 2016 and Sreymom is currently studying in grade 6 in [...]

Advancing women’s economic empowerment in Cambodia

2019-07-08T16:20:24+07:00April 27th, 2019|

Advancing women's economic empowerment in Cambodia In Cambodia’s capital Phnom Penh, 25% of the population live under the poverty line of $1.90 per day. Of the city's urban, poor inhabitants,  50% live on less than $1 a day. A lack of education and access to resources means many are trapped in a cycle [...]

Ten-year-old Ratha dreams big

2019-05-27T17:21:35+07:00April 6th, 2019|

Ten-year-old Ratha dreams big Ten-year-old Ratha* used to kick a football about with his friends and dreamt of one day leaving his rural hometown in Cambodian’s southern Prey Veng Province to become a professional football player and play for a real team. Although Ratha did leave his village it was because his [...]

Community Development: ISF libraries get computers

2019-04-02T16:03:48+07:00March 20th, 2019|

Community Development: ISF libraries get computers We work closely with community and village leaders to make sure our education centres do not exist in a vacuum, but serve to lift up the wider community. Our goal is to create a good foundation for the children in our programme and opportunities for their [...]

2018: Year in review

2019-07-04T14:05:08+07:00January 2nd, 2019|

2018 has been a successful and exciting year for all of us at ISF, in Cambodia. We’ve received international recognition in the form of awards and shortlists for our Football Programme and we’ve welcomed 80 new students into our Catch-up Education Programme as well as seen many students graduate and progress to state school and [...]

Adult Literacy Project making all the difference in Cambodia

2019-04-11T12:36:13+07:00December 27th, 2018|

Mana, 38, a mother of four living in Chbar Ampov, Phnom Penh, Cambodia, and her family are students and beneficiaries of ISF’s Education Programme. Due to illiteracy, Mana was unable to find a job outside the home and the task of financially providing for the family fell solely on her husband, a construction worker. Understanding her [...]

Experiential learning field trip: Sambo Prei Kuk temple

2019-01-10T16:36:17+07:00December 1st, 2018|

In November, our Chbar Ampov staff took 45 state school students on a field trip to Sambo Prei Kuk temple (English translation: temple in the richness of the forest) in Kampong province, located approximately 200km outside of Cambodia's capital Phnom Penh. Sambo Prei Kuk, built in the late 6th and early 7th century was declared [...]