Phnom Penh, 13th September 2017: Non-profit organization Pour un Sourire d’Enfant, better known as PSE, and leading mobile telecommunications operator Smart Axiata announced a 4-year partnership for the running of a socio-sport school at # 402, Village Trea Steung Meanchey District. The event was gracefully presided over by H.E. Dr. Hang Chuon Naron, Cambodian Minister of Education, Youth and Sport and Rosa Roncal, Real Madrid Foundation International Manager.

The Smart-PSE-RMF Socio-Sport School was inaugurated together with a brand new international-size artificial football pitch, fully sponsored by Smart Axiata (“Smart”). This initiative will be facilitated by PSE alongside international humanitarian entity Real Madrid Foundation (“RMF”) who has previously signed a collaboration agreement with PSE in 2015, to help children without proper education have a better future.

THE IMPORTANCE OF SPORT IN EDUCATION

At the partnership launch event, H.E. Dr. Naron congratulated all parties for their commitment to bring positive change to the lives of young Cambodians through education, social-skills and sports. “I am thrilled that both Smart and PSE, who have been creating a strong impact in society, have decided to partner on this new initiative. Hundreds of children yearly will now be empowered with better education, values and life skills – many of whom would never have dreamt of such an opportunity,” H.E. Minister said.

Borithy Lun, PSE General Director, welcomed the new direction for the School, acknowledging the strengths of both key partners: “As host of the launch event and on behalf of PSE children and our Founders, we are excited to begin this partnership of the Socio-Sport School, guided by the generous contribution and noble support from Smart and RMF. With this tripartite alliance, I believe that we will be able to accelerate our efforts to help underprivileged children become integrated citizens in Cambodia.”

A SUSTAINABLE PARTNERSHIP

With the concept initiated by world-renowned RMF, a non-profit in itself, this school in Phnom Penh aspires to promote sports among children and youths, while providing comprehensive character development. “The shared goals are clear – sport, skill and social development,” said Rosa Roncal, RMF International Manager. “Not only will this Socio-Sport School benefit the many students who come through PSE’s doors to play and learn, but also the many coaches and trainers whom we will provide world-class training for this purpose.”

In the spirit of RMF’s Social Sport School model, children aged 6 to 17, regardless of gender, have the golden opportunity to undergo training and study without financial burden. Selection for enrollment is not based on athletic criteria, but rather the prioritization of those form disadvantaged socio-economic conditions.

These parameters are not unfamiliar to Smart, an avid advocate of sustainable development. “We are pleased to announce this partnership as part of our portfolio of Sports for Development programs, which is a very powerful tool to promote education amongst young talent in Cambodia,” said Thomas Hundt, Smart CEO. “Considering that Community Sports is one of Smart’s key CSR pillars, there is much common ground between all partners to build a brighter future for young Cambodians. We also decided to additionally sponsor a football pitch to enhance the experience of the students going through the program,” Thomas added.

Smart and PSE’s exclusive partnership for the School is likely to be extended and developed further into the future. In the course of the existing contract, over 900 girls and boys are expected to benefit from this initiative – they will not only learn how to play football, but also internalize values like team spirit and solidarity as well as healthy lifestyle habits. Due to RMF’s support, PSE staff will also benefit from high-quality training and educational techniques and be upskilled in line with methodologies used globally.

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