Our Work2017-05-23T17:16:06+00:00

ISF Part of a Global Partnership

On 25 September 2015 the world came together and agreed on 17 new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to be achieved by 2030. This global agenda for development is an action plan to end poverty, improve education, and ensure prosperity for all. For the goals to be reached, everyone needs to contribute: governments, the private sector, civil society and ‘ordinary’ people.

ISF is proud to be doing its part to achieve the SDGs in Cambodia. Our work focuses on alleviating poverty and hunger, promoting good health and gender equality and providing quality education among the poorest of the poor living in Phnom Penh. Together, we can create a world where every child is educated and lives a happy and healthy life. Click on the links to your right to find out more about the SDGs.

Education in Cambodia

Cambodia is still recovering from the Khmer Rouge’s brief but destructive reign between 1975 and 1979. One in four Cambodians were killed under the regime, and the country’s economy and social structures were destroyed. Following Khmer Rouge rule, 20 years of civil war were imposed on impoverished Cambodia; displacing further 600,000 Cambodians to refugee camps along the border between Thailand and Cambodia. Lack of stability and civil war had a devastating and long-lasting impact on the Cambodian population and its’ educational system.

Today, 32.2 % of the Cambodian population is under 15 years old. Only 1 in 3 is enrolled in secondary education. Access to education and dropouts are serious issues for poor urban children in Cambodia. Poverty is the main thing keeping children from school; poor parents cannot pay the school-related expenses or are forced to take their children out of school to work to earn money to supplement their families’ income.

Our Communities

The vast majority of families ISF supports lives in the slums around Cambodian capital -Phnom Penh. The parents’ lack of skills and education leads to high unemployment levels among the families, resulting in their inability to meet the children’s basic needs. In order to survive, parents often end up collecting recyclable garbage on the streets earning as little as US$1.5 per day.

Not having another option, many children (some as young as 5) are also sent out to work. As a result many do not attend school or attend for some months or years but drop out. The challenges go beyond just a lack of education: poverty, domestic violence and substance abuse leaves many children vulnerable. Without ISF’s support, these children would be forced into a cycle of extreme poverty with no hope for education and a better future.

Our Programmes

ISF currently operates two community-based programmes on Education and Football.  We focus on the poorest of the poor; children from the slums of Phnom Penh and impoverished rural communities, whose family’s live on less than US$2 per day. We have been working on education and football in Cambodia since 2006. For a brief overview of our milestones click here


Education is a fundamental human right. We believe that every child, regardless of where they were born, has the right to education, healthcare and support. Our work focuses on increasing access to educa­tion, improving school retention, and strengthening the quality of educational experience for severely underprivileged children and young people living in the slums of Phnom Penh.  Read more…


The children in our programmes do not exist in isolation; they live in vibrant, close-knit and complex communities. ISF believes it is essential to work with our children’s families, who live on the fringes of society and experience economic hardship every day. We support their families to ensure that when our students go home at the end of the day, they arrive in safe and caring homes. Read more…


ISF uses football as a tool for development; delivering interactive and informative education to the children in our programme. We teach all players about the dangers of drugs, smoking, alcohol and gambling. In addition, ISF provides regular training on social issues such as human rights, trafficking, domestic violence, gender equality and self-respect to the players. Read more…