From October 9-12, the International Judo Federation was present in the Maheba refugee settlement in northwestern Zambia to review the Judo for Peace programme launched in November 2016. The Maheba camp welcomes nearly 20,000 refugees from nine African countries. A joint initiative of the IJF and the Zambian Judo Association (ZJA), the project aims to offer children, who represent almost half of the population, and young adults, a fun and educational activity that is essential while many of them have experienced very difficult personal situations.

During the visit, Mr. Nicolas Messner, IJF Judo for Peace Director, Mr. Alfred Foloko, President of the ZJA, and his team, Mrs. Diane Huffman, representing the Norwegian National Olympic and Paralympic Committee (NIF), Mrs. Birgit Ryningen, representing Judo For Fred (Norway), and representatives of the Irish Embassy in Zambia were present. The delegation was able to meet with UNHCR's local representatives and camp officials, and could extensively talk with the project's coach, Faustin, himself a Burundian refugee who had been present in Maheba for nearly two years.

Faustin, who has been assisted by other refugees for the practice of judo and by Mr. Gift Mvula for the administrative management of the project, has already done an extraordinary job in less than a year. The international and the Zambian delegation's were able to witness this during the judo animation organised in the center of the settlement and which brought together all the judokas and their families. For nearly two hours, dozens of children tasted the happiness of being on the tatami heated by the sun. The laughter and the bursts of joy filled the atmosphere of Maheba.

"The arrival of judo in Maheba and of the judo for peace programme last year changed our lives. We all went through the torments of war here and being able to practice judo daily, on the one hand gets us busy and on the other hand brings us the comfort and the desire to live together, something that we all need.“
Faustin, coach at the Maheba refugee settlement
During the visit, the delegation proceeded to an important donation of judo equipments as well as clothes, which were distributed to all the young judoka and their families.

Mr. Nicolas Messner, Judo for Peace Director, said: "It's amazing to see what has been done since the opening last year. We started here with 13 judoka. They are now over 100 and this is just the beginning. Despite the difficulties of life, judo gives hope."

Alfred Foloko, President of ZJA, said: "This program of the International Judo Federation is very important for all these young people. But it is also crucial for our development in Zambia. We have a duty to integrate all these people and to offer them a better future. I am also very pleased to see that we are building a true partnership with the Norwegian NOC and Judo for Fred, who are already accompanying us on other major projects such as the one in Livingston, Victoria Falls." (Watch the Judo for the World Zambia:https://youtu.be/n-WJNzBQHpM).

All the participants of this visit to Maheba left enchanted despite the thirteen hours of travel by road (see image below) which was required to reach the city of Solwezi which is left to Maheba. Life is difficult there, especially when you have to live in the conditions of these thousands of refugees, but sport and judo in particular certainly has a positive impact. The day after the judo animation, 43 new judoka came to register bringing to nearly 150 the number of practitioners in Maheba.

Recently, young refugee judoka were able to participate in their first competition in Lusaka, the capital of Zambia, which is a great first, and "This is only the beginning" said President Foloko, before adding: "We plan to do even more with the support of all our partners. We rely heavily on the Zambian authorities and on UNHCR to support us in the months and years ahead."

During the stay in the camp, an important presentation on the violence against women was also conducted by the ZJA. Back in Lusaka, Mrs. Birgit Ryningen (Judo for Fred) led a judo session exclusively for young women, which took place in the historic dojo of the Central Judo Club. A few weeks ago, the ZJA also organised its first judo tournament only for women and organised by women.

At the same time, international representatives were able to see that the IJF dojo is under construction in Lusaka with the presence of a team of IJF architects: "A tool that will help us to become even more professional," concluded Alfred Foloko, as he left the meeting evaluation of the eight-year-development-plan of Zambian judo, that was defined in 2015.

See also
International Judo Friendship in Ethiopia

10. Dec. 2018 / Johannes Daxbacher is the chair of the IJF MP commission for 2018. He has also been very active in Ethiopia ...

Ruben Houkes: The Passion to Transmit

26. Nov. 2018 / Ruben Houkes (born 8 June 1979) is a Dutch judoka who won the -60kg world title at the 2007 World Judo ...

Judo for Children
Training Camp for Deprived Communities in Sierra Leone

26. Oct. 2018 / From October 10-18, 2018, the Sierra Leone Judo Federation hosted a training camp for children coming ...

VIDEO
JFTW Italy - On the Side of Legality

24. Oct. 2018 / Scampia near Naples, Italy, is considered as one of the most dangerous suburb in Europe. This is where ...

Video
Judo for the World Italy - Trailer

22. Oct. 2018 / In August, the IJF met the Maddaloni's family in the heart of the popular Scampia neighborhood in the ...

Gender Equity
Judo Championship for Men and Women Successfully Held in Pakistan

15. Oct. 2018 / Pakistan is often talked about in the news because of the violence that has been prevailing for many years. ...

IJF Announces new Ideas to Support Refugees

07. Oct. 2018 / On the eve of the Youth Olympic Games taking place in the Argentine capital, Buenos Aires, from October ...

Judo for Peace
Judo Makes History

27. Sep. 2018 / Take two teams that know each other without really knowing each other, two teams that everything could ...

STORY
A fight for life

26. Sep. 2018 / Ali Khousrof (YEM) is in Baku..

Finland: Judo for Schools takes its first steps

11. Sep. 2018 / A few weeks ago, several Finnish judo clubs received a much anticipated delivery of equipments as the ...

Friendship Games are bringing together Burundi, RDC and Rwanda

17. Aug. 2018 / Peace and Sport is finalizing the preparation for the 9th Friendship Games edition, which will take place ...

IJF Supports Refugees in Jordan

03. Aug. 2018 / In partnership with the Peace and Sport Organisation, based in Monaco, the International Judo Federation ...

Amazing adventure for the Judo for the world Judoka

31. Jul. 2018 / In July, the members of the Judo for the World program (South Africa) let by IJF coach, IJF academy graduated, ...

Judo For Peace, a Door Opener to World Peace

21. Jun. 2018 / On the occasion of the World Refugee Day (June 20, 2018), President Marius Vizer delivered an important ...

Judo for Peace
Judo builds bridges between Germany and Romania

10. Apr. 2018 / This is the first part of an original program that has just taken place in the Oradea region of Romania. ...

BUSY MONTH IN SOUTH AFRICA

01. Mar. 2018 / JUDO FOR THE WORLD - January and February have been very busy months for judo in South Africa as the IJF ...

JUDO IS OUR RIGHT

20. Feb. 2018 / IJF JOINS #WithRefugees CAMPAIGN AND LAUNCHES JUDO FOR PEACE ACTIVITIES IN MALAWI. Malawi is probably ...

Judo will sparkle in Malawi

02. Jan. 2018 / The Judo Association of Malawi is set to launch a comprehensive Judo for Peace program. Located in southern ...

Judo Changed Carmi’s life

18. Dec. 2017 / Roberto Orlando, a second level International Judo Federation Academy teacher, is leading the IJF Judo ...

Clear and Transparent Election of Alfred Foloko

10. Dec. 2017 / For many years Mr..

Nelspruit Open - Judoka Refugees on Fire

23. Oct. 2017 / Roberto Orlando is leading an important refugee program in South Africa. On October 14th, his young athletes ...

Judo for Ethiopians is in full swing

05. Oct. 2017 / During his last eigth-day-Judo-trip to Ethiopia in September 2017 to run the „Judo for Ethiopians“ ...

Launch of a large social program in Morocco

18. Sep. 2017 / The Moroccan Royal Federation of Judo and Assimilated Martial Arts has launched the great project of popularizing ...

SOCIAL ACTIVITIES HELD IN ROMANIA

17. Sep. 2017 / Athletes from Judo Phoenix Club (Timisoara, Romania) together with over 100 children from the General ...

Judo Demonstration in Maheba Refugee Camp

02. Jun. 2017 / The IJF and the Zambian Judo Federation officially launched a refugee camp program in Zambia in November ...

IJF and ZJA conducting IJF level one course

20. May. 2017 / Zambia is currently hosting the 2017 IJF academy Instructor level one coaching course taking place at ...

In Peru Judo oscillates from one wonder to another

09. Mar. 2017 / As the Peruvians like to repeat, their country is the cradle of many wonders such as the Amazon River ...

Judo for Peace in Israel

17. Nov. 2016 / For several years the International Judo Federation and the Israel Judo Association have been discussing ...

Judo for the World Finalist of the Sportel Awards

28. Oct. 2016 / After a very successful first day for the International Judo Federation at Sportel Monaco 2016, the world’s ...

Judo Educational Journey Through India, Colorful, Spicy and Successful

12. Oct. 2016 / In the international sports landscape, judo in India does not look as something that stands out, the country ...