Location: Kilis refugee camp, Kilis, Turkey
Active since: 2014
Number of students: 725
Partners: Turkish Taekwondo Federation
The Kilis refugee camp was established in 2012 in the town of Kilis located near Turkey’s border with Syria, to accommodate victims of Syria’s ongoing civil war. The camp currently hosts more than 15 000 refugees with many more having settled in the town nearby, now outnumbering locals.
The Kilis refugee camp has been praised to offer its residents a relatively good standard of living. Run by the Turkish government, the camp has good infrastructure, electricity, suitable schools and clean water. It is also known for being clean and safe. Different activities are offered in the camp with refugees being able to learn various skills.
In 2014, the Turkish Taekwondo Federation began to operate a taekwondo academy in the camp. Since 2017, THF has partnered with the Turkish Federation to develop the Academy’s scope of activities and capacity, and to secure training equipment.
Currently, there are more than 600 Syrian refugee children attending taekwondo classes in Kilis camp, offered up to 12 times a week. Taekwondo has offered all these students a fun and proactive way to pass the time as well as providing them with key self-defense skills and important values such as respect, discipline and hard-work.