WTF President Chungwon Choue has visited the Markazi Refugee Camp in the Djiboutian town of Obock to see how the sport can assist its 1,500 Yemeni residents ©WTF

World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) President Chungwon Choue visited the Markazi Refugee Camp in Obock in Djibouti to see how the sport can assist its 1,500 Yemeni residents.

Choue was accompanied by Djibouti Taekwondo Federation President Fardouza Moussa, Regional Council of Obock vice-president Ahmed Ali Mohamed and WTF director general Roger Piarulli.

He noted that taekwondo is popular in Yemen and suggested that talent produced in the camp should aim high and dream of one day competing at the Olympic Games.

"I thank you all for your warm hospitality and I am committed to supporting young refugees in this camp, in close cooperation with the Djibouti Taekwondo Federation," Choue said.

"We will provide an indoor sport facility at this camp so that children here can take part in taekwondo activities under comfortable conditions."

The sport's global family has been working to empower refugees with taekwondo since 2015.

The main vehicle for this activity is the Lausanne-based Taekwondo Humanitarian Foundation (THF), which has been offering programmes for Syrian refugees in Jordan and Turkey, and for persons displaced by the 2015 earthquake in Nepal.

Choue doubles as President of both the WTF and the THF.

In an effort to deliver effective and sustainable taekwondo programmes, the WTF and THF have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Djibouti National Olympic Committee (CNOSD) and the Djibouti Taekwondo Federation in a joint commitment to empowering young refugees in Djibouti.

Representing the CNOSD at the signing of the MoU was President Aïcha Garad Al, an International Olympic Committee (IOC) member. 

Choue and Moussa represented their respective parties. 

WTF President Chungwon Choue was welcomed by Djibouti's taekwondo practitioners ©WTF
WTF President Chungwon Choue was welcomed by Djibouti's taekwondo practitioners ©WTF

After visiting the camp, Choue watched a demonstration performed by members of the Djibouti Taekwondo Federation.

He said he was impressed by the passion of the taekwondo practitioners, and promised to send instructors to Djibouti to further develop taekwondo programmes in the nation.

During his trip, Choue also visited Hassan Mohamed Kamil, Secretary of State for Youth and Sports, to discuss development plans for taekwondo in Djibouti.

Kamil asked for cooperation from the WTF in ensuring access to women and less-privileged people, and the sending of qualified instructors to Djibouti.

Choue committed to continued and sustainable supportive programmes and also proposed that taekwondo should be adopted at elementary schools.

Abdul-Razack Ishak, a senior field assistant in Markazi for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), praised the WTF for its "wonderful activities helping refugees".

"The weather is getting hot here and it would be great if we could have indoor facilities where kids can learn and play sports," he added.