Taekwondo Draws Out New Confidence in Refugee Children | Camps to Champs

Taekwondo Draws Out New Confidence in Refugee Children | Camps to Champs


(ZAATARI REFUGEE CAMP, JORDAN) (IN THE MIDDLE OF THE SYRIAN
REFUGEE CRISIS (A TAEKWONDO ACADEMY
IS FLOURISHING.) I could go for a jog.
I should do. How hot is it? 35 degrees,
nine o’clock in the morning. We’re jogging
with the Taekwondo kids around the camp
in our Taekwondo outfits. If you didn’t know about it
already, you’re going to learn
about it now. (CAMPS TO CHAMPS) (THE POWER OF SPORT
FOR THE DISPLACED) (THE ZAATARI TAEKWONDO ACADEMY
IS SUPPORTED (BY THE WORLD TAEKWONDO
FEDERATION.) (SAMANTHA MURRAY (GREAT
BRITAIN) MODERN PENTATHLETE) (LONDON 2012 SILVER MEDALLIST) Here we are. Taekwondo. Hi, nice to meet you, I’m Sam. My name is Dr Charles Lee.
I founded KRP Korea. (THE WORLD TAEKWONDO FEDERATION
PARTNERS WITH (THE KOREA REFUGEE PROJECT
(KRP) BY SENDING THEM (EDUCATIONAL
AND MEDICAL PERSONNEL (AND TAEKWONDO INSTRUCTORS.) (THE KRP TAKES
A HOLISTIC APPROACH (COMBINING SPORT
AND EDUCATION.) (THEY ALSO EQUIP
SYRIAN CHILDREN (WITH FARMING EXPERIENCE
AND SKILLS ALONGSIDE.) And as the main project, we’ve established a school
at the Zaatari camp. There we teach Taekwondo to refugee children aged 5-17. I am Lee Se Jong, I am a Taekwondo instructor
at Zaatari refugee camp. Since these children went
through a war, they are hurt and traumatised. When I first heard about
the project I was doubtful how refugee
children would learn Taekwondo, but when I actually saw it,
I saw the energy in them. But the energy was very chaotic
and disorderly. Through Taekwondo, we teach
them to love their neighbours and contribute to the community putting others
before themselves. As soon as you meet
the right guide, you will be all right. I believed so. They’re all coming in now.
Very noisy. Today is even more exciting because it’s grading day
for the children. And girls and boys, this is
the first time I’ve seen them interacting together,
which is really interesting. Here they’re equal
with the boys. They’re coming in,
they’re saying the same chants, wearing the same clothes, they’re in the same room
as the boys. This is completely different
to anything I have been told of or seen about the culture
here at the camp. Some ignorant people would
interrupt what we do forcing us to close the school. And there were people
against me. But now so many people
support me that the opposing people
have changed their minds. Eventually we gained respect
in the camp. I was surprised because the girls showed more
confidence than the boys. The girls demonstrate much more
power and confidence than the boys
in their voice and movements. I was surprised, happy
and satisfied to see that. Thank you. It’s priceless, isn’t it? I mean, where else are
they gonna find it? I’ve never…I’ve never seen like charity in action
like this and I’ve been touched so much. It isn’t a case of, “Here’s a Taekwondo mat,
here’s a football…” This is real life skills
in the making for these people. These young people,
the next generation, they’re learning here. A lot. – Ha!
– Ha! Now that I have done it, you know, you feel empowered
after doing it and that’s…that’s the reason
why they’re here, isn’t it? To give them strength. To give them that inner
fight almost. If we keep going like this, receiving support from them, great things will happen
to these children. And I truly believe they will
grow up to be great leaders. We do say as athletes that
you have to train your mind just like you train your body and that was definitely
happening there. It wasn’t just a physical
release for these children, they were learning
about Taekwondo, about the martial art,
and also about themselves. I just thought it was genius. I thought Dr Lee’s
whole concept and then having the classrooms, this farm and the pond
where he’s going have fish, the chickens, the whole eggs… He obviously started
with the idea and with maybe
one or two people and it’s just gradually
grown and grown and grown and now it’s this great project that’s helping hundreds
of children at the camp. This is it.
This is what is needed This is what should be
a refugee camp.

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