LAUSANNE, Switzerland (May 21, 2020) – The Taekwondo Humanitarian Foundation (THF) Board of Trustees meeting took place via videoconference today, with the THF projects for 2020 at the centre of the discussions.
The global coronavirus pandemic has caused significant disruption to the THF’s existing projects in Jordan, Rwanda and Turkey, as the respective refugee camps remain under quarantine. However, the THF is working to ensure that young refugees continue to keep active to protect their physical and mental health. Across the camps, some athletes and para athletes are maintaining hopes of qualifying for future Olympic or Paralympic Games.
To support with training, THF coaches are sending videos to their athletes while they are not able to provide on-site coaching. In addition, the Board agreed to renew the THF projects in Jordan, Turkey and Rwanda and to start projects once the global restrictions have passed, but no earlier than the next Board meeting in November.
The Board also voted to host the first-ever WT-THF Peace Forum during the next World Taekwondo Championships in Wuxi in 2021 to coincide with the 40th anniversary of the UN International Day of Peace, which was endorsed by UN in 1981 by Dr. Young-seek Choue’s proposal. International Federations (IFs) that have signed Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) with World Taekwondo and the THF will be invited to the Peace Forum along with other high-level officials.
THF Chairman Chungwon Choue said:
“The global coronavirus pandemic has significantly impacted the THF, like it has organisations all around the world. With many refugee camps under quarantine, our THF projects are on hold and new projects are delayed. However, this awful global pandemic will not stop refugees from training. We have been heartened to see so many refugees keeping active through taekwondo. It is a reminder of the universal accessibility of taekwondo and its power to bring people joy and health benefits no matter where they are and what the circumstances are.”
Information was also shared on the creation of a joint education project between the THF, World Taekwondo and the IFs that have signed MOUs with them. Resources will be allocated to work on an education toolkit that will keep refugees engaged and help them to maintain their mental health.
The next THF Board meeting is scheduled for 7 November in Lausanne, pending travel restrictions being lifted.