Guardian Girls Karate Officially Kicked Off in Cairo, Egypt
As part of the ongoing Guardian Girls program initially created by the Koyamada International Foundation (KIF), the Guardian Girls Global Karate Project (Guardian Girls Karate) was officially kicked off in Egypt.
The project was unveiled in Cairo (Egypt) by its three global creators, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), Koyamada International Foundation (KIF) and the World Karate Federation (WKF) with the cooperation of the Embassy of Japan in Egypt and the Egyptian Karate Federation, on the occasion of the “Karate 1-Premier League” event in Cairo.
Hosted by Ambassador Oka and headed by the Minister of Youth and Sport of Egypt Dr. Ashraf Sobhi, the event was also attended by the head of UNFPA Egypt Country office Ms. Frederika Meijer, KIF Global President Ms. Nia Lyte, WKF President Mr. Antonio Espinós and the President of Egyptian Karate Federation Mr. Mohamed Al Dahrawy, among other officials.
The Guardian Girls Global Karate Project is a far-reaching initiative aiming to promote gender equality and to empower women and girls to defend themselves from all forms of Gender-Based Violence through Karate training. The project premiered in October 2022 in Los Angeles (United States).
Ambassador Oka said:
“Karate is such a wonderful and popular sport. In every corner of the world, young and old are happy to practice it. Today of course we celebrate the successful launching of the Guardian Girls Global Karate Project. This morning I attended the activity and witnessed how eagerly the young Egyptian girls were trying to learn Karate. I am very much looking forward to seeing how far this project will go”.
WKF President Antonio Espinós said:
“For the World Karate Federation, today is a day to remember, a historic day in the 50 years of history of our organization. Our Secretary General Toshihisa Nagura met (KIF co-founder and actor) Shin Koyamada in Los Angeles, and this is how the Guardian Girls Global Karate project started. Then we came to Los Angeles in October to sign the agreement with KIF and UNFPA, and the project was born.
“The activity we did today, with great success, has been the first milestone of many more milestones to come. It represents a further step in the integration of Karate into society, thus showing the real value of Karate."
Ms. Fredrika Meijer, the UNFPA Egypt Country Office Representative, said:
“We believe that providing sports, particularly Karate, to young girls is very important. It gives girls more self-esteem, and self-awareness and enables them to move freely, free of violence in society.
“We have two significant projects here in Egypt, about empowering girls from different economic assets and social assets. But I would also say that we need to build the sports asset. Through sports, you learn leadership skills and also allow the girls to move freely.”
Dr. Ashraf Sobhy, Minister of Youth and Sports, said:
“Egypt have recently succeeded in grabbing the world’s attention and gained the confidence of international sports organizations, in part thanks to our repeated success in hosting major sporting tournaments and events.
“Let me take this opportunity to point out the importance of the protection of women against sexual violence and the promotion of gender equality and empowerment of women to defend themselves from all forms of Gender-Based violence that this project encourages. The Guardian Girls Global Karate Project will contribute to cultivating society by using the strength of Karate values to fight this kind of violence. We will dedicate all efforts and resources to this project, as we believe that there is no major contribution that we can bring to society than helping in the fight against Gender-Based violence. “
Nia Lyte, President of KIF said:
“The problem of gender-based violence will take many years to change because it is very ingrained in the culture. However, history changes when we birth an idea and we have the passion and desire to change the world for the future of young girls. My husband Shin Koyamada and I believe that the world is not only about us, it is also about what we leave behind for the next generation and that is why we created Guardian Girls”.
The reception included a presentation by Ms. Nia Lyte, President of KIF, which contained video messages by UNFPA Chief of Strategic Partnership Mariarosa Cutillo and KIF co-founder and Chairman Shin Koyamada.