Kiziba Taekwondo Academy

Location: Kiziba refugee camp, Karongi district, Western Rwanda
Active since: April 2017
Number of students: apx. 200
Partner(s): Rwanda Taekwondo Federation

Our taekwondo academy in Kiziba refugee camp, Rwanda has been active since April 2017, and is run in collaboration with the Rwanda Taekwondo Federation.

Kiziba refugee camp was established in 1996 and hosts more than 17’000 refugees, primarily from the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Covering more than 27 hectares, Kiziba is one of the biggest refugee camps in Rwanda.


Currently, 180 students are practicing taekwondo in the academy and many more are eager to start. At present, two local taekwondo instructors are working for the academy offering three training sessions on a daily basis according to age classification.



Individual success stories: Benjamin
Born in 1997, Benjamin NKUNDISHYAKA has been living in Kiziba refugee camp since he was 2 years old. He is currently studying at Amahoro College and will graduate next year. Previously practicing karate, Benjamin decided to switch to taekwondo once the Kiziba Taewkondo Academy was established due to his appreciation of the sport’s discipline and Olympic spirit. According to the young man, through Taekwondo, he has made new friends whom he now considers family and has hope for a brighter future. Additionally, Taekwondo has helped Benjamin become more disciplined allowing him to improve his grades at school.



Individual success stories: Andrew
Born in DRC in 1996, Andrew Sibomana was forced to flee his home country along with his parents when he was just 2 years old due to war and insecurity. They found refuge in the Kiziba refugee camp and have been living there ever since. Andrew is now a student at Kepler University and has always been a sport enthusiast. Hence, when the Taekwondo Humanitarian Foundation along with the Rwanda Taekwondo Federation founded the Kiziba Taekwondo academy he jumped on the opportunity to take part. Andrew states that Taekwondo has allowed him to live a more fulfilling and happy life by allowing him to become fitter, build self-defense skills and be more at ease with his social surroundings. The academy has also provided the young man with the opportunity to get out of the camp for special Taekwondo events and competitions where he has been able to meet people from different cultures and communities.



Individual success stories: Elie
Meet Elie Niyonzima, an 18-year-old student at THF’s Kiziba academy. Elie was born into the Kiziba refugee camp and currently lives with his parents and 9 siblings. At the moment, he is in secondary school, in senior 2, and is doing very well, much thanks to the discipline he gained through taekwondo. Elie only began practicing the martial art, 10 months ago when THF’s academy first opened in the camp. Initially, the young man took up taekwondo to be the best out of all his peers, but after having studied Olympic values through the academy, his goal is now to become an Olympian and protect himself and his family. Taekwondo has had a strong impact on Elie’s life, helping him to make new friends, bringing him hope for a better future and disciplining him allowing him to obtain better grades at school. THF hopes to help him progress and one day allow his dream of becoming an Olympian come true.

Individual success stories: Ingabire
Ingabire Mutoni was born into the Kiziba refugee camp in 2001 after her parents found refuge in the camp fleeing from war and political instability. Therefore, the only life the young woman has ever known is that of a refugee camp. She is currently studying at secondary level and enjoys singing. She has also always been an active person, highly enjoying sports and other physical activities. Ingabire was one of the first members of the camp to join THF’s Kiziba academy when it was established claiming that it has allowed her to practice sport in a more organized and structured way. Taekwondo has also helped Ingabire build self-confidence as a young woman allowing her to make new friends. Additionally, whenever she is feeling low, practicing Taekwondo brings her hope and helps keep her spirits up.



Future plans - extension of operations to Mahama refugee camp
Mahama Refugee camp, also located in Rwanda, currently houses more than 60’000 refugees from Burundi. One of the camp’s residents is a former para-taekwondo athlete who competed for the Burundi Taekwondo Federation. On his own initiative, he started to offer taekwondo lessons to other residents of the camp and has acquired a good number of students amounting to more than 50. The instructors of the Kiziba Taekwondo Academy have been helping him by visiting him in Mahama camp to improve his training methods and refresh his taekwondo skills. THF plans to officially extend its operations in Rwanda to the Mahama camp and to help the set-up of a THF Taekwondo Academy inside the camp under the supervision of this coach, together with the help of the Rwanda Taekwondo Federation.



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