The Taekwondo Humanitarian Foundation (THF) has been a priority for World Taekwondo following a successful launch by President Chungwon Choue at the United Nations (UN) headquarters in New York City on September 21, 2015.
Choue was speaking on the UN's International Day of Peace, an event first proposed in 1981 by his late father Young Seek Choue, who at the time headed the International Association of University Presidents General Assembly.
The THF was officially established in April 2016 in Lausanne, Switzerland.
Its aim is to send teams of taekwondo coaches to teach in refugee camps, helping refugees gain superior physical fitness, upgraded mental attitudes, self-defence, self-belief and self-respect.
Funding is required for:
- The establishment and administration of the THF
- The travel and living expenses of coaching teams
- The travel and living expenses of visiting champions on motivational visits
- Uniforms, mats, protective gear and kicking pads for the refugee trainees
"As fellow members of the human family, we face a crisis," Choue said.
"There are about 20 million refugees in camps throughout the world.
"This figure does not include those internally displaced inside their own nations, nor those seeking asylum.
"According to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), one in every 122 of our fellow humans is now a refugee, internally displaced, or seeking asylum.
"If this number were the population of a country, the UNHCR reports, it would be the world’s 24th biggest nation.
"Most heartbreakingly, half of the world’s refugees are children.
"It is time to act.
"World Taekwondo, which administers the Olympic sport globally, is doing just that.
"We have helped establish the Taekwondo Humanitarian Foundation in April 2016 in Lausanne, Switzerland.
"Its mandate is to deploy taekwondo coaches to refugee camps worldwide, bringing the benefits of fitness, sport, self-defence, self-belief, and self-respect to those who need it most.
"Taekwondo is an economical, easily deployed deliverable that can help raise the quality of life for refugees in camps worldwide, both children and adults.
"As an International Federation of the International Olympic Committee, World Taekwondo is fulfilling its social responsibility.
"And our sport has precedents for helping people overcome adversity.
"Taekwondo was a core curriculum item in Korea, building a resilient national physique and a determined national attitude at a time when the devastated nation was birthing an 'economic miracle'.
"Now a globally popular Olympic sport, it will, in 2020, enter the Paralympics in Tokyo.
"And since 2008, the World Taekwondo Peace Corps has been dispatching coaches on missions to developing nations worldwide.
"I hope you will consider joining us and becoming one of the founder sponsors of this new NGO (Non-Governmental Organisation), one that is needed now, and will be needed more urgently than ever in the future."
The Taekwondo Humanitarian Foundation in action
The THF has previously spoken of its encouragement by the number of youngsters hoping to join the organisation's set-up at the Azraq Refugee Camp.
An Academy teaching taekwondo has been established at the camp in Jordan.
Residents living there have fled the conflict in neighbouring Syria and children have been using the martial art as a way to help rebuild their lives.
As well as Jordan, THF projects are up and running in countries including Burundi, Djibouti, Nepal, Rwanda and Turkey.
In November 2018, the work of the Taekwondo Humanitarian Foundation (THF) was showcased at the inaugural Paris Peace Forum.
The organisation was one of only two sports projects selected to appear at the event in the French capital, where 120 initiatives from around the world were displayed in all.
More than 850 projects applied to be showcased at the Forum, a new event designed to promote good governance, international cooperation and peace.
THF delegates on site included executive director Roger Piarulli, World Taekwondo Council member Nadin Dawani and consultant Massimiliano Di Cola.
The organisation also featured in a panel discussion on peace-building and reconciliation, and the "golden alliance" of sports and diplomacy.