Cambodian Football Superstar Vathanaka Announces Role as Save the Children’s Goodwill Ambassador

Wednesday 1 February 2017

Cambodia’s “golden boy” of football, Chan Vathanaka, today announced he will become Save the Children in Cambodia’s Goodwill Ambassador, supporting the organization’s campaign to reach every last child.

(From left to right) Mrs Elizabeth Pearce, Country Director of Save the Children, Mr Be Makara, Boeung Keth Club Manager, and Mr. Chan Vathanaka.

“I am so proud to be Save the Children’s Goodwill Ambassador. It is really important to me to support children in remote areas to access a high quality education,” announced Vathanaka, who plays as an attacking midfielder for the Cambodian national team and recently signed a one-year loan deal with the Japanese club Fujieda MYFC.

The football superstar, who rose to fame as the most prolific goal-scorer in Southeast Asia in 2015, said he decided to throw his weight behind Save the Children because of their strong record working with the Cambodian government to ensure all children can access a quality education, particularly those living in remote areas such as the floating villages of the Tonle Sap lake.

“I see many children, especially those living in remote areas, who face a lot of challenges accessing education because of problems like a lack of school facilities, long journey times from home to school and a shortage of qualified teachers, and I would like to help them receive at the very least a basic education as committed by the government,” Vathanaka said. “I feel privileged to support Save the Children in their mission to ensure all children fulfil their right to education.”

Save the Children’s Country Director Elizabeth Pearce said the organization was thrilled to announce the partnership with Vathanaka.

“He has a great understanding of the importance of all children being able to access a high quality, inclusive and safe education,” she said.

“As Save the Children’s Goodwill Ambassador, Vathanaka can bring the issues of vulnerable children living in remote areas to the attention of policy makers, NGOs and the general public.

“We believe that, just as he has made the Cambodian people proud through his successes in football, Vathanaka will again make Cambodia proud by promoting and defending the rights of the child, and we look forward to seeing him bring his energy and passion to this work.”