Traditional Taekwondo Academy
Defend with Integrity – a Jakaranda Children’s Home Initiative
Jakaranda Child and Youth Care Centre (CYCC) is a non-profit organization (NPO) that looks after the welbeing of abused children. The children are mainly placed in our care by the children’s court due to abandonment, neglect and abuse (sexual, emotional and physical). Our main goal in caring for these children is to fulfil their basic needs such as love, security, stability, healthcare, food, clothing and education.
Jakaranda CYCC strive to dismiss the development hindrances that its children have experienced and introduce them to a wide range of opportunities, develop their skills and aid them in reaching their full potential.
The Jakaranda CYCC caters for a number of different activities, all with a therapeutic undertone. One of the many group activities in our programme is ‘Defend with Integrity’.
In June 2012 the undersigned social worker started Defend with Integrity with the support of TTA (Traditional Taekwondo Academy) in Pretoria, head instructor ma’am Anecke Viljoen.
She made her club available for the children involved in this project in order to practise and learn the beliefs and principles of a martial art style (in this case – Songahm Taekwondo) as well as to create an opportunity to learn valuable life skills.
Defend with Integrity aims to develop the skills and self-esteem of some of the children in the children’s home. It is such a joy to see the children achieving new skills.
Taekwondo is a martial art which is possible for everyone. It builds one’s confidence to achieve different types of life skills while practising and master the various forms within the martial art style.
The children in the children’s home were mostly confronted with situations which they cannot control. Defend with Integrity give the children the opportunity to be in control. They have control to take away some of the fear in their life and experience success, within the safe structure of this Martial Art Style. The children, involved in this activity’s, outlook of the world changed, as they learn how to overcome bad situations that has an impact on their self-esteem. Defend with Integrity give them the confidence to believe in themselves to handle situations they are facing.
When you start to do Songahm Taekwondo, you learn to communicate what you have been taught. People start to respect you and you learn to respect them.
By providing a sport like SongahmTaekwondo, the children are given an opportunity to use martial arts as a medium for their emotions. Comments like: “Tannie ek is nie meer bang om vir myself op te staan nie”, Defend leer my om boelies te keer wat my wil seer maak” makes this project worthwhile. To see the children’s school results improve and children to function more socially with respect and confidence in the community without being scared and shy for their background is a great achievement. Thirty-two children are currently involved in this group activity. The numbers vary during the year due to new placements in the CYCC as well as children being reunited with their families.
Defend with Integrity focuses on:
- Self-defence – allowing the child to emphasize many of their natural strengths while learning a method of self-defence,
- Fitness – strengthening the personal development of the mind and body,
- Building character development skills such as discipline, honour, self-control, respect, courtesy, perseverance, integrity, self-confidence, loyalty and building self-esteem,
- Self-confidence – as the children accomplish new goals, their confidence levels increase.
It is wonderful to see how positive the children are and to see how their once very low self-esteem is now bubbling with confidence. The children trust more and realize that they need to sometimes rely on others and work together.
With TTA (Traditional Taekwondo Academy) club, especially the head instructor, ma’am Anecke Viljoen being our biggest volunteer and the involvement of other companies and individuals we will be able to make a difference in these children’s lives and have a sustainable project. We are grateful to practise with ma’am Anecke in her club in Wonderboom South, Pretoria. In order for this group activity to be sustainable we need support and assistance from the community in terms of Taekwondo equipment and accessories to maximise the full impact of this project.