The Yoga and Sports community was established in Lesvos, Greece at the end of 2017, understanding the huge necessity to bring relief, positive energy, and a health alternative for refugees stranded in the island while they endure the long-lasting and gruelling asylum process.
Yoga and Sport for Refugees improves the physical and mental well-being of refugees by empowering them through sports, and building a strong and passionate community together, nurturing a sense of belonging for people to feel safe, supported, and motivated to begin to rebuild their lives.
Since the beginning of this year we also run our own Gym, where we welcome more than 300 asylum-seekers every day. We offer many activities, from bodybuilding, Muay Thai and Kung Fu to dancing, and fitness for women. Our Gym is a safe place where everyone can come to exercise: refugees, locals, volunteers, travellers, everyone is welcome to do the sport they like or want to discover.
Our coaches are all refugees from the community who stepped up to help their peers and offer them intense and joyful sport classes.
How can you help?
We are 100% funded through independent donations.
It is with the help of our donors and volunteers, with YOUR help, that we have managed to keep on growing and that we are now able to welcome more and more asylum-seekers every day. However our Gym can only continue to be opened with YOUR support. The access to the Yoga and Sport For Refugees Gym is free of charge and we want to keep it that way so that anyone can access it.
What will the money be used for?
With your help we can provide the members of our community with clothes, equipment and pay for the rent and maintenance of the Gym.
We only need 60 people to donate 10 euros per month to afford the rent and general maintenance.
The rent of our YSFR Gym is 350 euros and we need 150 euros per month for maintenance.
- 30 euros will buy a pair of boxing gloves for the different martial arts practises;
- 20 euros will provide one of the members with sports clothes;
- 25 euros will buy a pair of boxing pads for the training;
- 20 euros per month will cover the costs of the cleaning products and laundry detergent we need to keep the gym as hygienic and clean as possible.
What difference do we make with sports?
Our impact is not only on the body, it's also on the mind.
More and more medical studies, more and more doctors see sports as a way to escape depression and mental health disorders. We do dancing and boxing for the same reason: contact with each other, coordinate our movements, make our brain work, get more oxygen to our cells, put a smile on our faces no matter what's around.
For a short time, everyone can forget about their problems, their situation and their uncertain future.
Together we bring relief and joy as we sweat.
Endorphin, adrenaline and dopamine, the three hormones that sport brings are a necessary shield to overpass the difficulties life brings to humans forced to flee their homes.