Judo for Peace programmes are built over time so that they last over time and allow as many people as possible to benefit from them. In the days to come, the IJF Judo for Peace Commission, represented by its director Nicolas Messner, will visit several refugee camps and settlements in which judo is in full development.

Work will begin in Zambia with the Mayukwayuka settlement, located in the Kaoma District of the Western Province. Established in 1966, it is one of the oldest refugee settlements in Africa. This is the second camp, after Meheba, in which judo has been successfully established in Zambia, thanks to the work carried out by the Zambia Judo Association (ZJA) led by Mr Alfred Foloko, also President of the NOC of Zambia.

Ministry of Home Affairs and Internal Security

The practice of judo for displaced populations is part of a more global aid to those whom have often lost everything and have had to flee their countries. In Zambia, the entire state is invested in this task which contributes to the stability of the country and the entire region.

On Tuesday 16th April, in order to strengthen co-operation between the different stakeholders, a delegation composed of the Zambia Judo Association, represented by Mabvuto Ng'uni, Secretary General and Carol Chipupu, Administrative Director of the federation, and the IJF, met the representative of the Ministry of Home Affairs and Internal Security, Mr Hezrom Chakanika. At the heart of discussions was the Judo for Peace work undertaken since 2015, but also the leading role that sport can and must play in resolving migratory crises and the trauma linked to them.

Subsequently, the judo delegation met local UNHCR officials, Ms Preeta Law (UNHCR representative) and Ms Stephanie Dianne Perham (an external relations officer at UNHCR). Active co-operation between the IJF, the UNHCR and the Zambia Judo Association was once again at the heart of discussions. Ms Law and Ms Perham stressed the importance of finding solutions to give hope to thousands of refugees, increasing numbers in recent years have been notable. The need to work together with local communities was also highlighted.


For several years, following the MoU signed between the two organisations, the IJF has been collaborating with the UNHCR on several projects, both in Zambia and in neighbouring countries as well as in South Africa and Türkiye. Co-ordinating efforts makes it possible to move mountains and make projects sustainable over time, which is one of the objectives. All this work is made possible by integrating as many institutional and sporting partners as possible, but also partners from the private sector. We can thus mention in Zambia, the crucial role played by the NIF (Norwegian Olympic and Paralympic Committee and Confederation of Sports) which has already enabled, among other things, the construction of dojo facilities in the camps.

In the coming days, after Mayukwayuka's visit, the Judo for Peace Commission and the ZJA will also visit Malawi and Zimbabwe where similar programmes are active. The Southern African region thus becomes a hub for aid to refugees who, by practising judo, can find hope for a better life, a life perfectly integrated within their respective host communities.

See also