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Excellent Hakizimana, from a refugee camp in Rwanda to the Tokyo Paralympic Video games

A member of the Refugee Paralympic Staff, Parfait Hakizimana competes in taekwondo occasions in Tokyo. Significantly wounded by bullets on the age of eight throughout an assault by armed males in Burundi, he recovered from this tragedy due to sport.

On the Tokyo Paralympic Video games, Parfait Hakizimana has the excellence of being the one athlete to have come to Japan instantly from a refugee camp. This taekwondo champion lives within the Mahama camp in jap Rwanda, the biggest within the nation with round 46,000 individuals. It was there that he arrived in 2015, fleeing violence in Burundi, to rebuild himself after a number of private tragedies.

“It is a safety for me”

Parfait Hakizimana was born 32 years in the past in Musaga, a district of Bujumbura, the capital of Burundi. When he was solely eight years previous, within the midst of a civil conflict, he discovered himself in the midst of an assault by armed males. His mom is killed and the younger boy is significantly injured within the left arm. “It’s the worst impediment I’ve encountered in my life. I used to be heartbroken. It’s an unforgettable day in my life,” he instructed the United Nations Company web site. for refugees (UNHCR).

For 2 years, he was handled in a hospital, however his arm remained disabled. “In Africa the medical care is just not good, my arm was badly affected and it took me a very long time to heal,” he instructed the official Paralympic Video games web site. The destiny persists. Three years later, her father died in a bike accident. At 11, Parfait Hakizimana discovered himself an orphan and disabled.

To beat his loneliness and his bodily difficulties, he took refuge in sport. He found taekwondo on the age of 16 and shortly excelled. He collects the rewards. In two years, he obtained his black belt and even opened a membership in Burundi. “Sport particularly helped me overcome the ache I skilled in my childhood,” he summarizes. “It is a safety for me.”


“Sport helps them overlook their issues”

However in 2015, post-election violence in his nation compelled him to flee. He took refuge in neighboring Rwanda, within the Mahama camp. His ardour for taekwondo doesn’t depart him. He recreates a membership that draws greater than 100 refugees. “It is a huge group, they’re like my taekwondo household,” he describes. “Refugees haven’t got numerous issues. However sport helps them overlook their issues.”

On the identical time, Parfait Hakizimana continues his sports activities profession. In 2017, he participated within the African Para Taekwondo Championships, the place he was eradicated within the quarterfinals. 4 years later, he was chosen together with 5 different athletes to be a part of the refugee staff on the Tokyo Paralympic Video games.

Even when his profession was strewn with pitfalls, his coach Zura Mushambokazi salutes his dedication. “He brings hope to others. He is all the time smiling now, as a result of he discovered his household in sports activities. However at first it was not that straightforward,” she mentioned. instructed on the Paralympic Video games web site. “After overcoming all these difficulties, it doesn’t matter what occurs [à Tokyo], he has already received. “


The taekwondo champion will enter the competitors on Thursday. Regardless of the outcome, he is aware of he’s already making a distinction each day. Whereas ready to someday be capable of return to his nation, he’ll discover after the Video games the members of his membership within the Mahama camp, in addition to his spouse and his 18-month-old daughter. He hopes that someday she follows in his footsteps and learns that “a refugee is an individual like another on this planet”. For this everlasting optimist, “it’s a must to be brave and affected person, good issues will occur someday”.

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