Happy Football Cambodia Australia (HFCA), an NGO which helps the poor and homeless youth of Srah Srong village in Siem Reap province, has found a new partner in Wing Bank.

Founded in 2005, HFCA aims to empower poor youth in Cambodia through football.

“Our main goal is to do our best to ensure that poor youth receive high quality training. This teaches them to build strong relationships within the team and could lead to employment as professional players or coaches. The environment here supports well-being, mental health, self-esteem and, most importantly, provides a path to more opportunities through the development of soft skills that will help them to succeed in education and employment,” said Paraic Grogan, founder of the organisation.

Thanks to the benefits that come from playing football, HFCA has in the past established partnerships with both Scott Neeson, founder and executive director of the Cambodian Children’s Fund (CCF), and Long Setha, founder of Build Your Future Today (BFT) to contribute to educating children in these two organisations in additional soft skills.

On November 17, HFCA signed a contract to establish a partnership with Wing Bank. Wing’s one-year full support will help HFCA to continue its work with some of the poorest young people in Siem Reap.

“HFCA is honored to partner with one of the most reputable financial institutions in Cambodia, Wing Bank. We are very pleased that Wing Bank will sponsor our football events in Srah Srong – this will bring great benefits to the youth in the village,” said Grogan.

HFCA has been conducting weekly football trainings in Siem Reap town since 2017. In February 2020, the organisation started hosting events in the villages of Orong, Chub Smach and Srah Srang. HFCA was the first organisation to officially run sports events in the three villages, and many boys and girls participate in football practice and training on a regular basis.

Hak Sreyveat, a 13-year-old girl from Srah Srang village who attended a press conference at Wing Bank’s headquarters on November 17, said: “I would like to thank Wing Bank for supporting our events and supporting our football dreams.”

Han Peng Kwang, CEO of Wing Bank, said that caring for the community is inscribed in the core content of Wing Bank’s corporate vision, and the bank strives to encourage its employees and business partners to participate in many social activities. For example, Wing Bank supports the Angkor Hospital for Children and the Kantha Bopha Hospital Foundation by providing additional funding and donations from the public, so Cambodian children can receive free treatment.

“This one-year partnership is a great example of our commitment to supporting rural communities in Cambodia, both through our excellent financial and non-financial products and services, as well as by providing much-needed support to local communities,” he added.

Wing Bank’s contribution to the community was recognised by the American Chamber of Commerce and received their Excellence in Corporate Social Responsibility Award in 2021.

“Playing football is not only good for the health of young people, but also helps them work together as a team. This will build unity in the community,” said Han.