Following directives by President Edgar Lungu that wearing of facemasks in public should be mandatory, the two associations have embarked on making them available.
Judo president Alfred Foloko, who is also Olympic Committee of Zambia president, revealed that using the bulk of materials availed by NIF, his association had started sewing facemasks which would be distributed in various camps.
The two bodies have already donated facemasks in Maheba refugee Judo camp in Solwezi and have promised to sew more and ensure that all judo camps have enough masks to use.
“As you are aware, the government is quiet stretched and in an effort to supplement their efforts of never leaving anyone behind, as a concerned association that works with sports men and women who to some extent, most of them are vulnerable children, so we thought it wise to come in promptly following the presidential order to give a hand too of never leaving anyone behind by at least making available these masks. As sports people and given this global catastrophic Covid-19 situation we are in, we want to use Judo as a tool to help society,” said Fokolo.
“So, the masks that will be made here (Maheba) will be distributed evenly to all refugee camps where we have Judo presence and those Community Camps such as Maramba in Livingstone, Kanyama, Chibolya and others in Lusaka, Kabwe, Mazabuka camps, just to mention but a few. Zambia Judo has always been known as an Association that talks less but do more works on the ground.”
The Foloko-led executive spearheaded the first-ever Judo hall construction at Maheba Refugee Camp in 2016 with the support of the Norwegian NIF.
The two associations have laid down plans to construct a similar hall in Mayukwayukwa Refugee Camp later this year in 2020.
The Judo association further boasts of having launched the first-ever Judo for refugees in Zambia in 2016.
In 2019, Sensai Masters called ‘Judo for All’ was launched where persons with disabilities were brought on board and a tournament for them was initiated.