The Taekwondo Humanitarian Foundation (THF), the City of Paris and the French Taekwondo Federation (FFTDA) signed a Common Agreement on the 29th of January on the occasion of the 25th World Men’s Handball Championships in Paris, France. The agreement was signed by Dr. Chungwon Choue, President of WTF and THF, Mrs. Anne Hidalgo, Mayor of Paris and Mr. Denis Odjo, President of FFTDA.
Through this agreement, the three parties agreed to work together to further the shared goals and the mission of empowering refugees and displaced persons through providing opportunities and access to the sport of taekwondo in the local community of Paris. In addition, the city of Paris was named as “THF Ambassador City”.
On the 27th of January, Dr. Choue visited the Humanitarian Aid Center in Paris. He was welcomed by Mr. Jean-Francois Martins, Deputy Mayor of Paris in charge of Sport and Tourism, Mr. Lejoindre, the Mayor of 18th Division of Paris, and Mrs. El Hassak, Deputy Director of Emmaüs Solidarity.
“Discovery Workshop of Taekwondo” at this center was kicked off today in collaboration with the City of Paris, French Taekwondo Federation and THF. The center was opened on November 10, 2016 in the north of the 18th arrondissement. This center is financed by the City of Paris and the French State, and operated by 120 professionals who received a special training by the nonprofit organization Emmaüs Solidarité.
Since it opened, it has welcomed more than 4,500 refugees coming from Sudan, Afghanistan, Somalia, Eritrea and other countries. It can accommodate 400 people for 10 days, before they are offered a solution adapted to their situation. The center offers a dignified, humane shelter, and access to help in processing their asylum applications, as well as food, sports equipment and medical care, with the help of the NGO Médecins du Monde.
The THF, which was established with Choue as its president in April 2016, has the mission of empowering refugee children by teaching them the sport and martial art of taekwondo. As one of the most economical and easily deployed sports on earth – one that requires virtually no equipment – it is ideal for refugees, who often have little or nothing to do all day.
The WTF and THF are already operating a taekwondo academy in a CARE facility in the Azraq camp for Syrian refugees in Jordan. In addition, taekwondo training program is being run in Nepal and in Turkey. Following that, another project will be launched in 2017 in Rwanda, Ethiopia and Djibouti.