The end of 2017 brought some exciting developments for the International Jiu Jitsu Education Fund. First off, a few generous donors ended our year with serious holiday cheer by graciously giving over $1500 to our organization. That money will be used directly to support children training free in IJEF academies worldwide. It will also help us as we look to launch new directions for IJEF in 2018.
Which brings us to our next point… We ended 2018 by forging fresh relationships with countries that are not yet home to IJEF academies. Some expansion will continue our strong presence in Central America. The IJEF mission team who visited Coach Oswaldo in Guatemala took a couple extra days in Central America to make a quick 2-day trip to the bordering country of El Salvador.
The highway from Guatemala was long, windy, and frequently held up by small town traffic and road construction. But our team made the 12-hour trek after saying goodbye to Coach Oswaldo and the results were well worth it. Firs, they met with Claudia Reyes, the director of Social Development for the City of Santa Tecla – the second largest municipality in El Salvador, with about 200,000 citizens. With her, we discussed plans for establishing an IJEF academy in one of the city’s central locations, an idyllic park called The Cafetalón, which houses many positive activities for children.
Following that exciting meeting, our team trucked over to the city of San Salvador, the capital and largest city of El Salvador, in order to meet with Glasswing. This amazing international non-profit works to provide public school children with extracurricular activities, hopefully diverting them from the streets and into science, math, and sports programs. There our team discussed instituting jiu-jitsu classes as part of Glasswing’s existing sports program. Be on the lookout in 2018 for developments on these wonderful fronts!
Where else will IJEF find itself in 2018? Only time will tell – but we can confirm some movement has been made to bring us to Southeast Asia and to new locations in South America! We hope 2018 will be a banner year for spreading jiu-jitsu to vulnerable communities around the world, and we especially hope you’ll join us for the ride!
Happy 2018 from all of us at the International Jiu Jitsu Education Fund, and THANK YOU for your support!!!!