World Taekwondo and UNHCR support refugees through Taekwondo.

World Taekwondo and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) have officially signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to strengthen the empowerment and self-reliance of refugees through the practice of taekwondo.

Established through a strategic partnership, this collaboration between UNHCR and World Taekwondo focuses on using taekwondo to improve the mental and physical well-being of refugees. The aim is to contribute to positive and sustainable social integration and promote self-reliance. 

The MOU outlines key initiatives, including the establishment of after-school taekwondo programmes tailored for refugee children in Korea. In addition, 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 is 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. "This agreement will make a positive difference in the lives of refugees and underlines our commitment to sharing Korean culture and values, particularly through the practice of taekwondo," he added.

Hai Kyung Jun, Representative of UNHCR Korea, expressed her appreciation for the continued efforts of the World Taekwondo and the Taekwondo Humanitarian Foundation in supporting the social integration and development of refugee children and youth.

World Taekwondo President Dr. Chungwon Choue (left) and UNHCR Korea Representative Hai Kyung Jun.
World Taekwondo President Dr. Chungwon Choue (left) and UNHCR Korea Representative Hai Kyung Jun.

She emphasised the importance of this agreement being in line with the UN Global Compact on Refugees, which stresses "whole of society" approaches. Jun further commented: "We hope that this collaboration will provide an opportunity to widely recognise the role of Korea's unique sport, taekwondo, in refugee protection." 

The collaboration between UNHCR and the World Taekwondo has been in place since the Global Partnership Agreement in 2016. World Taekwondo, through the Taekwondo Humanitarian Foundation, has established taekwondo academies in refugee camps to support the physical and mental healing of refugees and help them lead healthy and positive lives. 

Through this latest MOU, UNHCR and World Taekwondo aim to bring new hope and opportunities to refugees and promote positive integration and cooperation with local communities. The collaboration will initiate various programmes, starting with the "2024 Hope and Dreams Sports Festival," which aims to bring together refugee children to experience and enjoy Olympic sports. This event will take place on 1-3 May 2024 in the refugee camps in Jordan.