From Power Cuts to Pitch Opportunities

Common Goal and adidas have teamed up to support a Cambodia community with an environmental project 

With Phnom Penh, Cambodia, facing new challenges due to the effects of climate change, adidas and Common Goal’s Move For The Planet global activation is looking to help one organisation tackle these problems head-on.   

The rainy season in the Cambodian capital is now lasting longer due to climate change and the more frequent power outages that have resulted have meant Common Goal Community Organisation Indochina Starfish Foundation has had reduced access to their sports facilities.   

For an organisation that seeks to enable access to education and sport for underprivileged children, it is a disadvantage to be challenged by constant power outages arising from the change in rainy seasons.  

Through the funding, these facilities can be refurbished, and the programme will be able to maximise the use of the facilities, meaning an increase in participation for young people in the community.   

“I eagerly anticipate the positive impact this campaign and fund will have on both the environment and our communities,” said Vicheka Chourp, Chief Executive of Indochina Starfish Foundation.  

This project has three core actions that integrate and reinforce the opportunities for the community.  

Developing sustainable sports infrastructures: 

The organisation will install 16 solar lights to illuminate a football field and enhance accessibility for children to play and utilize them. This will also help attract more participants to their program. However, it goes further than this, as the solar lights and the energy generated have the potential to produce income for the community in an environmentally sustainable way.  

Sustainable management process:  

To reinforce the strategy, the organisation will strengthen their programme focusing on reducing plastic waste by replacing single-use plastic items with sustainable and reusable equipment.  

“We are all thrilled to widen our action contributing to plastic reduction and environmental protection,” added Vicheka.   

“Thanks to the Move For The Planet fund, ISF will drastically reduce the use of single-use plastic, increase the use of clean energy and educate the communities we serve to respect the environment.”  

Education on environmental sustainability and sports:    

As part of the education plan for young people in the community, a sports-based environmental awareness education programme, including environmental protection, plastic reduction and climate action, will be delivered to young people in the communities.  

There will also be workshops on plastic overconsumption, reduction and recycling for all staff and students as well as 30 staff partners from schools and NGOs will be involved to act as role models and lead change for new leaders. 

In 2023, ISF Cambodia received training from Spirit of Football (SoF)  to develop over ten new football-for-good games. The new toolkit will be available in the first quarter of 2024. Additionally, ISF football coaches have started implementing these new games, focusing on plastic reduction and waste management, reaching 988 players. 

Their ‘Zero Plastic Policy’ was implemented, and a significant reduction of single-use plastic within the organisation occurred. They are not only working on the policy inside the organisation but expanding this while engaging with local authorities and participants' families. 

ISF Cambodia took steps to reduce single-use plastic by purchasing 910 reusable water bottles and 170 bags for football kits, made by sewing trainees. They also acquired 1,081 sets of reusable cutleries for events.  

Also, the staff trained 339 students and 564 parents on environmental topics, and collaborating with local authorities, they organised clean-up events and engaged communities through initiatives like the ISF Parents Green Committees. 

“Young people in Cambodia need to know how to preserve the environment and about sustainability,” said Pagna, a programme participant. 

“This knowledge is very important to make them change their habits, and love and care about the environment. A good environment makes them live in good health,” the 11-year-old participant added.