Friday, July 2, 2010

ISF Launched “Play Football, Win Against Drugs” Education Program

BY BUTH REAKSMEY KONGKEA

The Indochina Starfish Foundation (ISF) and Sports And Leadership Training Academy (SALT) in partnership with the Australian Embassy to Cambodia have launched the “'Play Football, Win Against Drugs” Education Program on June 24th at the National Stadium in Phnom Penh to raise awareness on drug abuse and the dangers of addiction.

Kate Griffin, Country Manager of the Indochina Starfish Foundation, said that the program, which is a part funded by the Australian Embassy to Cambodia, was designed to reach the children served through the ISF/SALT football program in Phnom Penh and Battambang province.

The Country Manager noted that currently there are about 2,500 children which are supported by ISF and SALT in Cambodia. These children come from disadvantaged backgrounds and are some of Cambodia's most at risk children for becoming addicted to abusive substances.

“The program teaches the dangers of drugs, alcohol and gambling. From this program we expect to educate children (using fun, engaging, interactive lessons) on the effects of addictive behaviors for their health, family, community and country, for all participants to understand why people develop addictions, how they can become addicted and also how to prevent it; learn how to say no to peer pressure; know where to go if there is a problem; create healthy players and coaches who respect and value themselves; and create coaches who are role models and ‘anti-addictive agents’ in their community,” she put forward these questions during an interview with The Southeast Asia Weekly on June 24th.

The Country Director said that there are about 50 children who will learn the first lesson and then they play football afterwards. The program is taking eight weeks and all of the teams are under the sponsorship of ISF/SALT, which will receive training during the next league season which commences in October. She added that the children who will attend this event are all from Stung Meanchey areas in Phnom Penh.

To promote and encourage poor children to enjoy the sport as well as to promote their health and studies in Cambodia, ISF will organize the second annual Barclays Capital ISF League which will invite all the teams from the organizations that her organization has sponsored to participate in weekly matches in October 2010 in Phnom Penh, she added.

The ANZ Royal SALT league will run in Battambang province at the same time, and both events will be used to teach lessons on the dangers of addictive behaviors, she noted.




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