One Goal that Makes All the DifferenceBy Chanthany Chea
“I know how it feels to be discriminated against, I won’t do the same to others,” says 13-year-old Kompheak, one of the participants of World Vision’s One Goal programme in Banteay Meanchey Province, Cambodia. The programme engages with adolescents and youth experiencing vulnerability by providing them with high quality football and life skills training.
Coming from a poverty-stricken family meant that Kompheak was subject to discrimination during 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 apprehensive about approaching others.
After the completion of an assessment and outreach sessions in May 2018, Kompheak was chosen to participate in One Goal’s programme. “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 Coordinator of the programme.
“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 pitch; she likes to help her friends, she is keen to learn, contribute ideas and find solutions as an active member of the team. Moreover, she has not skipped class even once. “I have learnt a lot from this programme, including how to think positively, cope with stress and how to work in a team.” says Kompheak with her charming smile and bright eyes.
She adds, “What I like most about the programme is the football, because it is fun and allows me to meet many people and make new friends.” And without any hesitation, she continues, “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.”
Her renewed energy of boldness and confidence has resulted in Kompheak actively engaging in other events conducted by World Vision to promote child rights and speak out against child violence. She also has a beautiful dream for her future in mind. “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 says, enthusiastically.
One Goal works with and supports young people 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 youth by drawing 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. This year, the programme will upscale further and directly benefit 2,000 more young people.