On World Refugee Day was 20th June, a day dedicated to showing how we stand with refugees, supporting their inclusion and protection through the unifying power of sport. As a member of the Sport for Refugees Coalition, the IJF is dedicated to supporting long-term solutions for refugees, fostering the idea that we live in a world where refugees are welcome!

Zambia is one of the countries where the IJF, in partnership with the Judo Association of Zambia (JAZ), the UNHCR and the Norwegian Olympic Committee, has been developing an important and powerful Judo for Peace programme. Today, two refugee camps (Meheba and Mayukwayukwa) run judo activities for refugees. The 2024 World Refugee Day offered the possibility to showcase the power of judo.

This year, the Judo for Peace clubs in Meheba and Mayukwayukwa received a significant boost with the donation of 60 judogi offered to Zambia by the Japanese Embassy. Celebrations were held across the two refugee camps, Meheba in the North-Western province and Mayukwayukwa in the Western province. The ceremony was attended by the JAZ Secretary General and Vice President alongside representatives from the UNHCR Zambia, country and regional representatives, the Commissioner for Refugees, and delegates from the Japanese embassy. This gathering highlighted the collaborative efforts to support forcibly displaced individuals through the sport of judo.

"We were delighted to receive the invitation, courtesy of UNHCR Zambia and through the office of the Commissioner for Refugees, following our enhanced partnership and collaboration," expressed Mabvuto Ng'uni, the JAZ Secretary General.

JAZ, UNHCR and the Ministry of Home Affairs, through the Office of the Commissioner for Refugees, (https://www.ijf.org/news/show/unhcr-ministry-of-home-affairs-and-judo-association-of-zambia-sign-tripartite-mou) recently signed a tripartite Memorandum of Understanding, which has enhanced long-term sustainability to support the forcibly displaced individuals in refugee camps and make them part of the development of judo.

The general secretary further highlighted that the invitation extended to JAZ to take part in the celebrations symbolises the commitment that the 5 year tripartite agreement brings on board, giving hope to people within the refugee camps. There were a lot of smiles on all participants' faces during this sunny day. There was hope as well, hope of a brighter future, thanks to the power of judo.

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