Happy feet – shooting goals in life

The Story of Borneo International Football Academy

Borneo Football International Academy started operations in 2015 with fourteen children.

The Academy now has 340 players including three all girls’ teams. It reaches more than 3,000 students via partnerships with many local schools through football training, health and education programs.

With minimum wages below $200 each month, many parents cannot send their children to school and have no capacity for extracurricular activities. BFIA players participate in a range of football training activities as well as health and educational programs.

With weekly training sessions and official tournaments that test out their new skills, the children can also take part in clinics and summer camps playing with international players and the best of Indonesian talent.

The wonderfully named “HAPPY FEET” program supports low-income families with shoes, uniforms, socks and jerseys.

Central Kalimantan has one of the highest child stunting rates in Indonesia and many young players were underweight and below average height.  BFIA therefore launched a wonderful program to provide nutritional drinks during practice sessions, deliver health education and assessments to help improve this dire situation. 

One third of children in the age range 7-15 drop out of school due to economic pressure, so BFIA has stepped in with education materials and subsidies towards school fees along with English or computer classes and some wonderful conservation activities. 

Many of the people who work for BFIA do it purely for the love of football and to give back to the community.

During 2022, the Borneo Team celebrated a new addition with a full-time staff nurse providing first aid assistance for training sessions and further extending the Health and Nutrition Program.   Financial literacy training has also been introduced helping the children with concepts of savings and life planning.

Jannah and Windari are part of the first Borneo Football all girls team. They are now assistant coaches and attend the Hospitality and Tourism course at YUM. 

Meet Stevano one of the young players that has been participating for a number of years.  

Dharma Care has so far raised $79,390 towards this project.  We are currently seeking tax-deductible donations of $76,000 to complete their indoor stadium.  This will allow soccer games and related programs to run even during the region’s long wet season. 

BFIA now does much more than teach soccer skills. It has become a vehicle to help children in so many ways.  It really is an exciting project.

Please donate below if you would like to support this fabulous project.  The success stories in this article show just how effective this project is in transforming lives. 



“I had the privilege of travelling to Kalimantan in 2019 to witness firsthand the work BFIA is doing to help those less fortunate.  …  nothing can really compare to being able to see things in real life and having an opportunity to interact with the children and their surroundings.  We take many things for granted in Australia: food, clean water, accommodation etc.  Seeing children with so little and the positive difference BFIA had on them through providing food, nutrition, education and importantly, an opportunity and a purpose, was a truly humbling experience.  It has been a privilege to watch BFIA grow from humble beginnings to today where it is assisting in excess of 3,000 children.  I look forward to continuing to support BFIA in the future and would encourage anyone else wanting to make a difference to do the same!” 

Eugene Tse – Australia