Live together on April6 – Young refugees from Zaatari and Azraq camps share a moment of joy through sport
On the occasion of the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace (IDSDP), children from Zaatari and Azraq refugee camps in Jordan had the opportunity to take part in online training sessions aimed to transmit to the young participants the positive values of sport and to encourage them to stay active and healthy during these challenging times.
Over 150 girls and boys participated with great enthusiasm in this virtual celebration, organized by Peace and Sport in cooperation with the Taekwondo Humanitarian Foundation (THF), Blumont, and with the support of UNHCR Jordan. Even if they shared a moment of fun in the distance, discovered new sports, and experienced together the joy of practicing sport.
The coaches of the “Live Together” program in Zaatari camp and Taekwondo Academy in Azraq combined their coaching experience with their knowledge on sport for development and peace to educate the young participants on the role that sport can play in their lives. Thanks to the training sessions on Kickboxing, self-defense, Table Tennis, Taekwondo, and Teqball, the young participants shared a fun experience, and at the same time, they learned values that will help them to overcome challenges and become respectful and peaceful persons.
The joint performance of the “Poomsae for Peace” choreography designed by THF’s coaches contributed to creating bonds among boys and girls living in Zaatari and Azraq refugee camps, and the virtual interaction with two Champions for Peace, Maria Toorpakai, a professional Squash player from Pakistan, and Pascal Gentil, Taekwondo Olympic medallist from France, provided a great moment of sharing and exchange for all children and coaches.
Joël Bouzou, President and Founder of Peace and Sport, said: “This virtual April6 celebration, connecting children and coaches from two different refugee camps, once again demonstrates that sport has no barriers. Even in the most difficult circumstances, sport brings people together; it gives hope and promotes resilience. This is the message of April6, and through this virtual celebration, we made it a reality.”
Dr. Chungwon Choue, World Taekwondo, and THF’s President, added: “The COVID-19 pandemic over the past year has been devastating, not only in the millions of lost human lives but also in terms of depriving sport and good health to the masses. Sport is also an enabler that makes the world a better place. In this regard, this year’s International Day of Sport for Development and Peace is a reminder of our shared responsibility to contribute to a peaceful and inclusive society through sport. For many youth and children in the Azraq and Za’atari refugee camps, sport provides them with a dream to overcome their realities. I am happy that World Taekwondo and the Taekwondo Humanitarian Foundation are teaming up with Peace and Sport on April 6th; this time with Table Tennis, Teqball, Kickboxing and self-defense activity. Let’s help end the pandemic by ensuring everyone is protected from COVID-19. Let’s level the playing field and recover better. #OnlyTogether through #SportDay can we make a positive difference to the world. #PeaceisMorePreciousthanTriumph”
All participants also joined the rest of the world by participating in the global #WhiteCard campaign launched by Peace and Sport to celebrate IDSDP. By raising their #Whitecards, the young participants and their coaches shared a message of resilience, solidarity and hope.
The “Live Together” program introduces sport as an innovative tool to tackle the social issues affecting refugees in Zaatari camp. Three sports are currently implemented in partnership with: ITTF Foundation, WAKO and FITEQ. The program is supported by the Gouvernement Princier de Monaco and the Jordan Olympic Committee.
Photo credit: UNHCR Jordan.