Breaking Free from an Old Me

“I know how it feels to be discriminated, I won’t do the same to others.” Says the thirteen-year-old Kompheak, one of One Goal’s premier soccer players in Svay Chek, Banteay Meanchey province.

Coming from a poverty-stricken family meant that Kompheak was subject to discrimination in her childhood. This impacted her severely and resulted in her developing negative thoughts towards herself and others. She was scared to make new friends and was very apprehensive in approaching anyone.


Kompheak in football field


After the completion of assessment and outreach sessions in May 2018, Kompheak was chosen to participate in One Goal’s program. “Initially, she was very shy and reluctant in mingling and participating with others. She was extremely defensive and used to constantly withdraw from interacting with men,” says Ravy, Technical Programme Coordinator for Youth.

“What I like most about the programme is the football because it is fun and it allows me to meet many people and make new friends.”


“We noticed a dramatic change in her behaviour after the second session of life skills teaching, she was braver in answering questions and participated more actively in group discussions.”, continues Ravy. Kompheak is a lot more active in class and on the football court; she likes to help her friends, she is keen to learn and contribute ideas and find solutions as an active member of the team. In fact, she hasn’t skipped class even once. “I have learnt a lot from this programme including how to think positively, how to cope with stress and how to work in a team,” says Kompheak with her charming smile and bright eyes.


Kompheak with her team


She goes on further to say: “What I like most about the programme is the football because it is fun and it allows me to meet many people and make new friends.” And without any hesitation, she says: “Alcohol and Drugs are bad for one’s health and are socially disvalued, that’s why I say NO to them. I’d rather spend time playing a sport for health and fun.”

Apart from school and One Goal’s sessions, Kompheak spends her time doing household chores and teaching kids in her village. She shares: “I like to teach them; it makes me happy and reminds me of my childhood when I first learnt how to pronounce alphabets.”

Her renewed energy of boldness and confidence has resulted in Kompheak actively involving herself in other events conducted by World Vision to promote child rights and against child violence. With a beautiful dream for her future in mind, Kopheak shares: “I want to be an NGO staff. My neighbour says I am brave when I interact with people and it’s what this job requires.” she ends enthusiastically.


Kompheak and team


With support from Smart Axiata, World Vision’s One Goal programme targets adolescents and youth experiencing vulnerability and engages with them by providing high-quality football and life skills training. One Goal works with and supports the youth to value themselves, form strong relationships with their peers and communities and enables them to make positive decisions and take control of their future. As part of a year-long project, One Goal is expected to create a positive impact on the youth by driving them away from violence, drug abuse and other negative habits through training in resilience skills and by introducing them to the positive power of sport.

In 2018, 1,200 young people from 11 districts across Cambodia have been positively impacted by this programme. Next year the programme will scale further and will directly benefit 2,000 more young people.

This story is written by Chanthany Chea, a communicator with World Vision.