Every month we give you news about the Judo for Peace South Africa programme, which has been funded and supported by the International Judo Federation for several years, in collaboration with UNHCR and in partnership with Nike, Three2six, Future Families, Grassroots Soccer and Judo South Africa. To date, judo is present in 6 clubs and 11 schools co-ordinated by Roberto Orlando, an IJF Academy alumnus.

Once again, March was a busy month for all the beneficiaries. One of the key moments was the celebration of International Women's Day on 8th March. "We celebrated International Women’s Day in style at our main dojo in Berea. Thanks to the UNCHR, all the girls received dignity packs and a rose from the JFPSA male judoka," explained Roberto Orlando.

The day after, JFPSA, together with the Japanese Embassy, organised a seminar at the Alexandra Dojo where young judoka could meet with Marlon Acácio, a two-time Olympian, and Jacque Joubert, a visually impaired Paralympic competitor.

Marlon Acácio, previously known as Marlon August, competed both for South Africa and Mozambique and at both -73 kg and -81kg. He won a bronze medal at the 2008 African Championships and reached the quarter-finals at the 2008 Olympics. Born in Johannesburg to Mozambican parents and married to Evagelia August, he co-owns the Conscious Healing Centre, a wellness and personal development facility in Johannesburg.

Jacque Joubert explains that, "Being a professional sportsman and teacher, I'm committed to health and fitness through participation in sport and the promotion thereof. Through sport I have learned a lot of lessons which I apply to everyday life i.e. self-discipline, time management, resilience, interpersonal skills, respect, loyalty, independence and leadership skills." The exchanges with the children and young judoka were therefore very positive and gave them a lot of food for thought.

The JFPSA team then participated in the Masakhane Team Event held in Pretoria at Tyger Valley College. They performed well and got good results, a 2nd place for the male adult team, 2nd place for the boys’ team, 3rd place for the women and 2nd for the girls’ team. Congratulations!

Last but not least, Dante Alighieri, one of the programme members, together with the Alliance Francaise (AF), hosted and celebrated the International Mother Tongue Day at the French Institute. The team participated in activities and performed an interactive judo demonstration.

We can't wait to see what JFPSA will have to offer us next month.

See also