Judo For Peace
Initially created within the Norwegian Judo Federation (Judo for Fred) and still active in Norway, ‘Judo for Peace’ became a European Judo Union project in 2005, under Mr. Vizer’s leadership, before it was set up as a permanent IJF commission in 2007 when Mr. Vizer was elected as International Judo Federation President.
For many years the Judo for Peace Commission has been very active in different regions of the world. Three kinds of region are concerned by the activities: the conflict region, the post-conflict region and the area with social disorders.
Some of the projects led by the JFP commission are pure peacekeeping and peacemaker projects. In some others places, JFP was part of a more global program such as the Judo Educational Journeys Through a given territory (China, Canada, Oceania).
The IJF signed a Memorandum or Understanding with the United Nations Office on Sport for Development en Peace in order to exchange best practices in the field of peacebuilding. Thus the JFP commission regularly participates in the UNOSDP Youth Leadership Training Camps.
The JFP commission also regularly collaborates with the other IJF commission involved in education and particularly, with the Educational and Coaching commission and the Judo for Children commission.
Judo For Peace Programs
Syrian Refugee Camps: Under the supervision of the IJF and led by the Turkish Judo Federation a refugee camp program was launched in the Kilis Region (Turkey) in 2015. Judo activities are proposed to young children of an important refuge camp sitting on the Syrian border. Equipments and expertise are provided. So far already 500 children are concerned. In 2016 with this project, the IJF won an important prize (Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Creative Sports Award) and already reinvested part of the prize in supporting the young refugees (https://youtu.be/utJCdr5UKIA).
Great Lake Region of Africa: The JFP program has been successfully running since 2006. Starting with 80 judoka in 2006 and three clubs in Burundi, there are today 1,500 judoka an 17 clubs in the country. The program is also active in Rwanda and eastern Congo. A national dojo is under construction in Bujumbura which will help the development of judo in the whole region. Equipments are regularly sent to support the activities. In 2014, Burundi obtained its first medal at the continental level (cadets African Championships).
Zambia: An extensive program is running in Livingston that involves 600 children in three clubs. This program is led by the Judo for Fred committee of Norway under the leadership of the Norwegian Judo Federation with the support of IJF, which sent equipments and expertise.
South Africa: several activities were set up over the past years in South Africa to help to support the development of judo in difficult and disadvantage areas.
Chad: From 2013 to 2014 the IJF supported the development of Judo for Peace activities in Chad.
Afghanistan: For many years the Judo for Fred (JFF) committee of Norway has been supporting the development of Judo in Afghanistan and is regularly present on the field. The IJF has been supporting with equipments and a reinforced cooperation between JFF and JFP will strengthen the program. This program focusses on street children and girls.
Other places where Judo For Peace was active to promote the judo values : Algeria, Haiti, Mauritius and Tunisia.