Community Development Through Sport in Battambang, Cambodia

Project code: KHCT-1100548 | Location: Battambang, Cambodia


Cambodia is still recovering from decades of violence and foreign occupation. From 1969 until 1998 Cambodia was gripped by civil war that destroyed the country’s economy and education system,1 and which left a legacy of devastating consequences for generations of its people. For instance, Cambodia Mine Action Centre estimates that there are still 4 – 6 million active land mines in Cambodia, and over 63,000 people have been killed or injured by landmines and UXO in the country. Subsequent governments have struggled to redevelop the country politically, economically, and socially.


Toy playing tennis in 2017

About the project

The Apostolic Prefecture of Battambang in Cambodia runs three centres which aim to address the various needs of people with disabilities and at-risk children. These centres are the Arrupe Centre, the Metta Karuna Centre in Tahen and House Lidy. Between the three centres, the project coordinators have observed that sports are key tools for children to improve their health and facilitate their physical development. This project therefore aims to provide disadvantaged children with the opportunity to practice various sports (mostly football, tennis and basketball) in proper sport facilities, and to facilitate the integration of people with disabilities into society by allowing kids with and without disabilities to play sports together.


Children from the Arrupe Centre playing soccer

Arrupe Centre’s incredible 12-month sporting transformation

See the results of a 12-month transformation of the Arrupe Centre.

Project activities

The objectives are to promote values (e.g. respect, team work, discipline, companionship, etc.) in children through the practice of sport so as to make them better persons and citizens. It is hoped that through this project, there would be an achievement of the complete integration of each child in the group, in particular disabled and/or disadvantaged children, helping them to respect each other and to develop good relationships between them.

Girl Player

A female player getting ready to go on the field

  1. Children and Young Adults Supported
  2. Girls and Young Women Playing Sport

Participants At The 2018 Battambang Bishop Cup

Participants at the 2018 Battambang Bishop Cup

Sports: A vehicle for fraternity

Pope Francis says the unifying nature of sports make them a rare and powerful "vehicle for fraternity" which builds a culture of encounter towards a world of peace.

How you can make a difference

The Khmer Rouge Regime in Cambodia left behind over 10 million landmines. Battambang province is one of the worst affected areas in the country. The community centres run by the Apostolic Prefecture of Battambang creatively direct funding toward the progress and holistic development of the most vulnerable children in the area.


A young man playing tennis

A contribution to this project through Catholic Mission would demonstrate sincere solidarity with people living in difficult circumstances.

“We believe that sports is a key tool for kids to improve their health and facilitate their physical development and it also allows them to learn and develop positive personality characteristics and life values.” – Project Coordinators, Battambang, Cambodia.