worlD taekwoNdo an examPle for International federatiOns to folLow on wOrld Humanitarian daY
World Humanitarian Day is the annual campaign by the United Nations (UN) to celebrate and advocate for humanitarian services around the world. It is an international day dedicated to focusing on the unsung heroes who work tirelessly to make a difference in times of crises.
The Taekwondo Humanitarian Foundation (THF), launched by World Taekwondo in 2016, supports refugee camps in the following countries: Djibouti, Jordan, Nepal, Niger, Rwanda and Turkey.
The foundation is a charity that strives to be part of the solution to the global refugee crisis by providing temporary relief to the physical and mental struggles of camp life.
As part of the cooperation agreement signed in May 2016 with the THF, World Taekwondo founded the World Taekwondo Cares programme and, in April 2016 launched the Taekwondo Academy (now the Humanitarian Taekwondo Centre) in the Azraq refugee camp in Jordan.
Stretching more than 15 kilometres, the Azraq Camp is one of the biggest refugee camps in Jordan. Home to 35,752 registered Syrian refugees, the camp was created in 2014 by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, in conjunction with the Jordanian government, to accommodate victims of the Syrian civil war.
The Humanitarian Taekwondo Centre offers training sessions up to four times a week by two taekwondo instructors. The not-for-profit organisation empowers refugees by training them in the martial art of taekwondo in order to improve the quality of life in refugee camps and equipping these individuals as citizens of the world.
The aim is that refugees who are offered a home in a new country will have an immediate social network through their local taekwondo club.
Taekwondo offers all-round physical and mental health benefits, improving stamina, agility, and flexibility. As a martial art, taekwondo gives individuals balance in their lives and harmony within their environment.
World Taekwondo President and founder of the THF, Chungwon Choue, said:
“World Taekwondo and the THF are committed to fulfilling its social responsibility and contributing to the international refugee crisis. Just last month, World Taekwondo and the THF joined forces with United World Wrestling to host the first-ever joint Olympic sport training event in the Azraq refugee camp. It was a truly historic event which was an example of our ongoing commitment to promote humanitarian, peace and social-development initiatives.
“Aspire 2gether for Peace is a fantastic initiative to promote sport as a powerful vehicle towards peace. Through this collaboration we hope to make a real difference to those who need it the most.”
“Where nearly a quarter of refugees in the camp are children, taekwondo provides life lessons such as discipline, self-esteem and teaches strong values of respect, tolerance, teamwork, and fair play.”
GAISF President Raffaele Chiulli said:
“World Taekwondo is a leading example for International Federations when it comes to humanitarian projects. The THF encapsulates the power of sport; bringing a sense of purpose and hope to under-privileged communities all over the world.
“What’s remarkable is that the THF is also bringing those fundamental values alongside other sports such as wrestling, table tennis, judo, hockey, badminton and Muay Thai. The THF is creating opportunities for young people to try new sports and learn valuable life lessons. I want to congratulate President Choue and World Taekwondo, and encourage all IFs to pursue these great initiatives.”