Syrian Refugee Camp in Turkey is WTF’s Second Humanitarian Mission


Turkey is leveraging its strong infrastructure in taekwondo to help refugees in Kilis


The World Taekwondo Federation announced the expansion of its humanitarian project to Kilis, Turkey, as it aims to use taekwondo to bring hope and joy to people in refugee camps around the world.
The decision was made after WTF President Chungwon Choue visited the Oncupinar Accommodation Center in Kilis, situated near Turkey’s border with Syria on Jan. 15, 2016. The WTF leader made the visit with European Taekwondo Union President Athanasios Pragalos and Turkish Taekwondo Federation President Metin Sahin ahead of the European Qualification Tournament for Rio 2016 in Istanbul, Turkey.
The Turkish Taekwondo Federation has been successfully operating a taekwondo program in the camp for the past two years. There are currently 60 students learning taekwondo, which not only keeps them physically active but teaches them respect, self-discipline and understanding.
After his visit to the camp, Choue said:
“We are delighted to announce that the WTF will make this center a WTF-run Taekwondo Academy.”
“The Turkish Taekwondo Federation has been doing a fantastic job with its taekwondo program in Kilis and working with them we will ensure that it has all the materials and instructors required,” he continued. “We will continue to work hard and contribute to global sustainable development.”
During Choue’s visit, new taekwondo uniforms and shoes were distributed to young Syrian refugees aged between 10 and 14 who demonstrated the taekwondo techniques they have learnt.
The Oncupinar Accommodation Center was established in March 2012 for 15,000 refugees. That number has reached 25,000 with a second stage of the facility having been built.
The WTF initiated its first pilot project in Syrian refugee camps of Zaatari and Azraq in Jordan in December 2015. After the Turkish project, the WTF turned its attention to Nepal in early 2016. The expansion of the WTF projects will continue; the WTF is currently considering refugee camps in Ghana, Ethiopia, Colombia and Greece as future locations for WTF taekwondo academies.