There are currently nearly 20 million refugees worldwide, and many millions more displaced internally or seeking asylum. If these persons were combined as a nation, it would be the world’s 24th largest country.
Many refugees are in poor physical, mental health. Refugees in many camps often have little to do. And half of global refugees are children.
The Taekwondo Humanitarian Foundation, or THF, was designed to be part of the solution to this grave global crisis. It is the brainchild of World Taekwondo, or WT. The two organizations share the same president, Dr. Chungwon Choue; the WT supports the THF in some of its operations; and the two organizations share office space in Lausanne, Switzerland.
However, the THF is not part of the WT. It is a charitable foundation established under Swiss law in April 2016. The two bodies, the THF and WT, are financially and organizationally independent.
The THF was officially announced to the world in a speech to the UN Headquarters in New York by Dr. Choue on Sept. 21, 2015.
The THF empowers refugees and displaced persons worldwide by training them in the sport and martial art of taekwondo.
It supports them with necessary equipment, infrastructure and related educational programs teaching the values of Olympism and global citizenship.
By doing so, it improves their quality of life in refugee camps and their future prospects as global citizens.
In a secondary mission, the THF helps WT carry out its responsibility as an international federation. It offers WT members and clubs the opportunity to do good by donating to or volunteering for THF programs.
Easy to Deploy
Taekwondo requires minimal space, equipment – just the human body. It can be practiced anywhere, at any time, by anyone.
Taekwondo delivers a 360-degree physical fitness program (flexibility, agility, stamina, strength) that can be calibrated for people of all ages.
Delivers personal balance to live in harmony with the environment. Taekwondo values are a concentrate of those desired by society: the pursuit of enjoyment, self-improvement, perseverance, moral values, physical prowess and respect for others. Taekwondo delivers self-confidence, self-belief and self-defense.
Taekwondo is an Olympic event with a global network and global visibility. It inculcates a spirt of internationalism and cooperation across all barriers – gender, age, language, color, creed.
Those refugees who are offered homes in new countries will have an immediate social network – their local taekwondo club – while those with black belts will have a marketable skill – taekwondo – that they can teach.