€535.00raised of €1,000.00 goal goal
No more donations are being accepted at this time. Please contact the campaign owner if you would like to discuss further funding opportunities
“No one puts their children in a boat unless the water is safer than the land” [Warsan Shire]
Currently, approximately 50,000 refugees live in Greece awaiting the hearing of their asylum applications and those whose applications have been accepted or rejected. In comparison to the Greek Islands, Athens represents a more permanent place to stay for the refugees. In Athens, they have to start building their future.
Yoga and Sport with Refugees (YSR) was born in October 2017 on the island of Lesvos, Greece, in response to the massive need for healthy safe spaces, the sense of community and a place to work on mental and physical health. In September 2020, the project expanded to Athens and in 2021 YSR started Habibi and Sport with Refugees in Ioannina.
The project aims at improving the refugees’ physical and mental health alike and empowers asylum seekers and refugees to believe in themselves and their dreams. Through activities such as yoga, bodybuilding, running, swimming, martial arts, climbing and many more, Yoga and Sport with Refugees creates a community and supports asylum seekers and refugees to build important skills during their time in Greece.
One of the project’s fundamental objectives is the empowerment of the refugee community. Therefore, the sport activities offered are mostly led and coordinated by the refugee community themselves. The refugee coaches are professionals and Yoga and Sport with Refugees trains them to become even more confident in their role by developing important skills for their future.
Yoga and Sport with Refugees strives to bring positivity and shed light on the strength of asylum seekers and refugees. By sharing and showing to the world what refugees can accomplish despite the harsh living conditions, positively affects the view everyone holds on this vulnerable group. It brings inspiration, empathy, and hope to other refugees, but also to the rest of the world. Such inspiration and empathy can even accelerate the asylum policy process, as more positive attention will be held on the situation, and fewer obstacles will be held against the inclusion of refugees in European society. Hence, by fostering strength, hope, community, and everlasting friendships, sport can play an integral role in breaking down barriers and facilitating successful integration into Europe.
YSR is 100% funded by private donations. The coaches and students rely on these donations to be able to continue their training. All donations go directly to the projects, coordinators, teachers and students. Financial support will be used for renting and maintaining the gyms (both on Lesvos and in Athens), renting the fields for e.g., soccer, providing teachers and students with sport equipment such as boxing gloves, bodybuilding equipment, running shoes, shirts, and shorts, etc. You can also support the project by a direct donation through their website and / or make monthly donations, which make it easier for the project to plan and create budgets for their activities. If you prefer to make an in-kind donation instead, please feel free to reach out to me to inquire which items are specifically needed at the moment.
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