The Uganda Taekwondo Federation launched a Refugee Inclusion Taekwondo club in Rwamwanja Refugee settlement on Friday 18th, October 2019.
Rwamwanja Refugee Settlement is a refugee camp in Kamwenge District in southwestern Uganda. It is home to nearly 70,000 refugees.
Most of its current residents are South Sudanese and Congolese who fled the M23 rebellion and other conflict zones.
The launch attracted many locals as all had to come and witness the development the Federation have opened.
The club was started in 2018 when Master Badru Ntulage visited the settlement and saw the need for the expansion of the game to the refugees.
The Club started with over 70 students and the number have raised to over 300 students.
The club accommodates both male and female from three years but limited only to Refugees and local people around the settlement.
The club is fully guided by the parent Body, Uganda Taekwondo Federation.
Spreading the joy of taekwondo in camp is used as a strategy by the Federation to spread it’s wings but also as a a means for survival for the refugees, means to engage positively with fellow refugees and members of the host community.
“I joined and lover Taekwondo when I watched it,” says a refugee teen girl. “It is a good play, it has made me flexible among others.
“As a girl, it has helped me in self defense in many different ways. You can be rapped, but we are now equipped.
“At first when I joined, people laughed at me, demoralise me saying I can’t manage anything but it meant nothing and I stayed focussed on what I want. I want to become a role model for others.”
Taekwond has been greeted with joy in Rwamwanja as it provides a welcome distraction for the refugee youths who might otherwise be overwhelmed by the uncertainty about the future.
Uganda Taekwondo President Ahimbisibwe Kato Hakim noted:
“Its a historical day, we have walked a distance to come to Rwamwanja, we have been training them seriously for their grading. Am very glad that they have all passed their grading tests and it was a success.”
“This is one of our programs that we promised to do in our term to develop Taekwondo also in refugees and you will see refugee teams participating in the competition.
“This will further develop the game as people like the game in different ways. In two years time, we shall generally find the sport developing more.”