SEOUL, Korea (Jan. 29, 2024) - World Taekwondo and UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, officially inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to fortify refugee empowerment and self-reliance through the practice of Taekwondo.
Established through a strategic partnership, this collaboration between UNHCR and World Taekwondo focuses on utilizing Taekwondo to enhance the mental and physical well-being of refugees. The objective is to contribute to positive and sustainable social integration and foster self-reliance.
The MOU outlines key initiatives, including the establishment of after-school Taekwondo programs tailored for refugee children within Korea. Additionally, joint campaigns will be launched to promote a more balanced perception of refugees, coupled with collaborative efforts to strengthen cooperation through comprehensive monitoring and evaluation frameworks.
"Taekwondo stands as a powerful symbol of unwavering determination and hope, capable of instilling courage and strength in refugees," said Dr. Chungwon Choue, President of the World Taekwondo. He added, "This agreement is poised to bring about positive transformations in the lives of refugees, emphasizing our commitment to sharing Korean culture and values, particularly through the practice of Taekwondo."
Hai Kyung Jun, Representative of UNHCR Korea, conveyed appreciation for the ongoing efforts of the World Taekwondo and the Taekwondo Humanitarian Foundation in supporting the social integration and growth of refugee children and youth. She highlighted the significance of this agreement aligning with the UN's Global Compact on Refugees, which underscores the "Whole of Society" approaches. Jun further stated, "We hope this collaboration will provide an opportunity to widely acknowledge the role of Korea's unique sport, Taekwondo, in refugee protection."
The collaboration between UNHCR and the World Taekwondo has been in effect since the global partnership agreement in 2016. World Taekwondo, through the Taekwondo Humanitarian Foundation, has established Taekwondo academies within refugee camps to support the physical and mental healing of refugees, assisting them in leading healthy and positive lives.
Through this latest MOU, UNHCR and World Taekwondo aspire to offer new hope and opportunities to refugees, fostering positive integration and collaboration with local communities. The collaboration will initiate various programs, beginning with the "2024 Hope and Dreams Sports Festival," which aims to bring together refugee children to experience and enjoy Olympic sports. This event is scheduled for May 1-3, 2024, in the refugee camps in Jordan.