Sep 22, 2021

Tackling the ongoing challenges of COVID-19

Online workout session
Online workout session

By now, we wish we could report that ISF’s football pitches were full again of aspiring footballers playing games, learning skills, and having fun. However, Cambodia is still facing restrictions as it fights the ongoing repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

With organised sport still banned, the forced suspension of our Football Programme has put a halt to team’s weekly training and matches. Sadly, our annual tournaments and Youth League remain postponed and we currently do not know when they will be able to take place.

Your generous support has enabled ISF to continue employing our Football Programme coaches and staff as well as adapt our activities to ensure COVID-19 does not have a long-lasting impact on the team. We are looking forward to resuming our regular face-to-face training sessions and hosting weekly matches as soon as we are able to. Until then, we continue to take advantage of technology to provide online workouts and coaching sessions to players to keep them engaged, healthy, and active. 

The team are also organising a rare opportunity for youths both in our Football Programme and throughout the country to continue having access to sporting opportunities during restrictions. Professional player Prak Mony Udom, from Svay Football Club, and one of Tottenham Hotspur Football Club’s esteemed coaches will host an online workshop to share their journey on becoming involved in the sport on a professional level, as well as getting participants involved in practising their skills. 

This exciting workshop will be concluded with the launch of ISF’s Juggling Football Competition to put players’ football skills to the test. You can see who can keep the ball in the air for the longest and follow the updates on ISF’s Facebook page.

Join us in breaking barriers to education for disadvantaged Cambodian children 

The ongoing COVID-19 restrictions are not only disrupting our programmes, but for many of the families ISF support they are at risk of being forced further into poverty. Living in extreme poverty, these families often survive hand-to-mouth and continue to face the devastating economic repercussions of the pandemic. Sadly, this threatens youths' schooling as many are at risk of dropping out in order to find work to help support their families. 

ISF is working hard to mitigate these risks and continue breaking barriers to education for these disadvantaged children through ongoing support and additional aid. While our Football Programme is suspended, we would love it if you would join our Break Barriers to Education for Cambodian Children Project. Going forward, you will continue to receive updates from ISF and what we are doing via this project. 

We hope you enjoy future updates about our Education Programme and thank you once again for your kindness and generosity to ISF.

Links:

Sep 21, 2021

Helping Cambodian girls build brighter futures

Theary
Theary

Poverty, domestic expectations, and cultural traditions already present major barriers to education for Cambodian women and girls. As schools across the country remain closed, ongoing COVID-19 restrictions threaten to exacerbate these vulnerabilities as they create further obstacles for disadvantaged girls. 

ISF has pivoted to remote support to make sure students’ education is not further disrupted. Students like Theary are benefiting from a wealth of online lessons and resources so they can continue their learning, alongside monthly data-top up cards to provide internet access. Her family can also receive additional livelihood support – including access to extra monthly food parcels and rental subsidies – to ease increasing financial burdens. 

With many state schools not having the finances or resources to offer online classes, Theary recognizes the magnitude of the opportunity to continue learning through ISFs initiatives. However, she shares that the virtual classroom has introduced new obstacles - like stress from social isolation and trouble focusing due to a poor internet connection.

Fortunately, with the help of ISF, she’s come up with a creative way to battle these challenges. Her teachers have allocated more time to work one-on-one with students who have missed lessons due to an unstable internet connection and she communicates with her teachers and peers via mobile apps like Telegram. This all ensures she is getting the support she needs to prepare for her upcoming exams in October. 

Before the pandemic, Theary shares that she didn’t have much experience in technology. In response to the shift to online learning, she's developed transferable skills - such as using technology to supplement her studies - which she’s excited to implement in a post-pandemic world. Despite the new challenges faced, with your help ISF is continuing to educate, motivate, and empower vulnerable students so they can continue their education. 

Thank you for helping young women build brighter futures. 

Join us in breaking barriers to education for disadvantaged Cambodian Children 

As Cambodia continues to tackle the outbreak of COVID-19, ISF is unsure when we will be able to welcome our students back in-person to our Education Centres. Unfortunately, restrictions are also having an ongoing impact on our fundraising activities with our annual events once again being postponed. To streamline our efforts, going forward we will be focusing our fundraising activities through our Break Barriers to Education for Cambodian Children Project

Inspiring, empowering, and educating girls and women remains at the heart of all our initiatives and the holistic support provided to girls to ensure they can remain in school is incorporated into this project. You will continue to receive updates from ISF and what we are doing to break barriers to education for vulnerable children via this project. 

We hope you enjoy future updates about our Education Programme as a whole and thank you once again for kindness and generosity to ISF. 

Links:

Jun 30, 2021

We are not giving up thanks to your support!

Studying online
Studying online

By now, we wish we could report on our classrooms at ISF’s Education Centres being filled once again with the sound of students learning. However, a sudden surge in COVID-19 cases across Cambodia in February 2021 saw tough restrictions introduced and sadly schools remain closed. 

One of the biggest challenges faced during school closures is reliable access to online resources. Too many students in Cambodia do not have access to internet devices or a stable connection and one in three children are not engaging with remote learning (World Vision, 2021). As a result, many of Phnom Penh’s public schools cannot offer online classes and youths are in danger of dropping out of school entirely.  

Despite these challenges, ISF’s education team and students are not giving up. With the help of supporters like you, we continue to provide remote learning initiatives to 708 disadvantaged youths so they can continue studying safely at home.  

We have pivoted to online classes for all students in our Education Programme, and we are providing students in state school with extra classes so they do not fall behind on their studies. To overcome internet issues, monthly data top-up cards are available to all those who need it, alongside the loaning of tablets so every child can access online resources. ISF is also providing regular Online Abuse and Internet Safety workshops to keep our students safe while they are reliant on virtual learning. 

Despite ongoing school disruptions, we are delighted to share that 93% of our catch-up students have passed their recent exams and are moving to the next grade. It is so motivational to see how our students' hard work in the online classroom leads to progression and success. You can also read all about how older students like Sun Savun are not letting COVID-19 negatively affect their educational goals here.

This has only been possible with your support and we would like to take this opportunity to thank each and every one of you who pledged a donation to us during this challenging time!

While recent measures - which included a four week city-wide lockdown that saw businesses and markets closed across Phnom Penh - succeeded in lowering cases, infection rates are still high and school closures are not the only battle our students are facing. The inability to work and economic repercussions of the pandemic continues to take its toll on many of their families, who live hand-to-mouth and have never had the luxury of accruing financial savings. They have been left struggling to pay rent or buy food and many students are under increasing pressure to find work to help support their families. 

To prevent widespread malnutrition and homelessness, and ensure our students' education is not further disrupted, we have been providing additional holistic support to 555 struggling families. This support includes: 

  • Additional nutritional supplies for families, on top of their food package provided monthly by ISF, to prevent food insecurity and malnutrition.  
  • Hygiene packages, containing masks, soap, and sanitiser, to protect families’ health.
  • Rent subsidies for struggling families so no one is made homeless.
  • Emotional support to those directly affected by positive cases. 

As we continue to extend our support to those most vulnerable to the pandemic, your ongoing generosity is crucial.  Every $1 truly makes a difference in keeping vulnerable children in education and achieving their goals of a brighter future. For those willing and able, you can make a donation here. We are extremely grateful for any further support you are able to give. 

Thank you once again for helping ISF continue making a difference, one child at a time.

Remote learning with internet devices
Remote learning with internet devices
Additional support to ISF families
Additional support to ISF families

Links:

 
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