Sport for Poverty Reduction through a Cambodian Organization

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The Homeless World Cup (HWC) is an annual futsal event for homeless people. Almost 600 homeless players sent by national partners from over sixty countries participate. These national partners are currently conducting daily activities in 420 venues worldwide. Happy Football Cambodia Australia (HFCA) is an organization that aims toward poverty reduction; it has held futsal activities in Phnom Penh, the capital city of Cambodia. To clarify the contribution of sport activities toward poverty reduction in Cambodia, the authors conducted fifty-one face-to-face interviews and four participant observations from October 2015 to December 2017 to view the outcomes of HFCA and HWC. As a result of the context analysis, certain achievements were observed in almost all of the ex-players throughout their participation in the HFCA and HWC. Analysis showed that many ex-players self-reported improved life skills and mental and physical toughness, which they attributed to their participation in HFCA activities. Additionally, some players realized the possibility of applying their domestic experience in society through the process of participating in HWC. HWC appears to build on the achievement outcomes of the HFCA activities along with trends in the rapid economic development in contemporary Cambodian society; consequently, many players had materialized social participation by engaging in learning, working, and playing football.