SALT Academy was founded in 2006, and today reaches over 5’000 youths and 1’000 young adults across the three Northwestern provinces of Cambodia: Battambang, Poipet, and Pailin. We thrive to empower young male and female leaders through sustainable community-based football programs which combine sports coaching with LifeSkills workshops, vocational training, and community engagement. We have chosen to work with football because it provides a forum where children’s rights to play can be reconciled with the need for gradual, grassroots change in local Cambodian society.
SALT Academy has four main programs, each targeting a different demographic so as to impart best suited skills to groups of children with varying ages and goals. Taken together, these programs are intended to create a development strategy with the potential to spur the growth of young leaders who can bring new skills back to their community and thus have a long-lasting impact.
- YOUTH LEAGUE
The structure of the Youth League allows us to work closely with community groups in three provinces of Northwest Cambodia: Battambang, Pailin and Poipet. This program aims to develop local football leagues, where weekly games are organized during the two annual seasons. These games provide the teams with a chance to showcase what they have learned, provide a place for healthy competition, and encourage interaction with youth from other communities.
- MIGHTY GIRLS
For girls to play football in Cambodia is to challenge nearly everything it means to be a woman. Khmer girls are supposed to be gentle, reserved and obedient; as such, playing football goes against the traditional norm. However, a growing number of girls and women are today redefining what it means to be a woman in Cambodia.
This trend now includes the Mighty Girls, who today play on Cambodia’s National Women’s team. These girls are thus rapidly becoming role models at the local level, as they gain confidence and leadership abilities both on and off the field. As such, the change they are spurring is slowly reaching out to all parts of Cambodian society.
- SUMMER SCHOOL
SALT’s Summer School program began in 2010, with the goal to provide supplementary education and football training to an ever-growing number of girls from the city of Battambang and the surrounding communities. The Mighty Girls are instrumental to the program’s success due to the role they play in its organization, particularly as players and assistant coaches. The summer of 2015 will be the Summer School’s 5th season.
Please contact us for more information.