IOANNINA

“Sport frees the mind, it is a lot of fun, it brings such a positive energy and it connects people without speaking the same language.  I really like the concept of bringing people together via sports… I could experience how the sports community created a strong bond amongst everyone” – Alice, former volunteer.

HSR Collaboration

Habibi & Sport with Refugees’ (HSR) started as a collaboration between several organisations:

Habibi.Works, an intercultural maker space and platform for education, empowerment and encounters for refugees and Greek locals in the North of Greece! The driving force behind this extraordinary project is the young German NGO Soup & Socks e.V.

KOIZ – founded in 2016, KOIZ is a free digital platform whose main purpose is the creation of a space for the production, exchange and dissemination of Postcolonial and Decolonial Studies, through collaborative work between academia, social movements, NGOs and others.

MAIKA’I Project: A group of crazy and motivated climbers who want to change the world through climbing sport and values.

And, of course, Yoga & Sport With Refugees! YSR’s goal is to empower refugees in Europe to believe in themselves, their dreams, and their strength! YSR helps refugee athletes build important skills, create a purpose and become part of a strong community. They do this through yoga activities and sport—gym training, running, swimming, classes, martial arts, dance, climbing and more.

HSR Gym

The gym space is located near Habibi Works and is in close proximity to the refugee camp of Katsikas in Northern Greece. More than 3000 refugees and asylum seekers live in the region of Epirus, most of them without access to education, psychological support, the labour market, dignified living conditions or Greek society. People in the asylum process have little control over major or minor decisions in their life. Sport brings back some sense of agency, belonging and ownership, in addition to the benefits of sports to physical and mental health. This is why, we aim to have the community engaged at every step of the construction of the project: from community meetings where we set up our timetables to their actual participation as community teachers where they become leaders in the sport of their own choice.

Volleyball Courts

Many of our activities are also happening outside, in the Pedion tou Areos Park which is located only 2 kilometers away from our Gym. We run there everyday and we do a lot of our big groups training there. It is a very green and welcoming park where we can meet many new sport students who wants to join our classes. We do there running and kickboxing! We enjoy training outside and inspiring new people to join us!

Football Field

Our gym in Athens is one of the rare places in Athens offering sports for free. We have a great variety of people joining our activities and the female community in our gym is very strong. The project in Athens focuses more on integration. Athens is a more permanent place where people have to start building their future.

Climbing Wall

Many of our activities are also happening outside, in the Pedion tou Areos Park which is located only 2 kilometers away from our Gym. We run there everyday and we do a lot of our big groups training there. It is a very green and welcoming park where we can meet many new sport students who wants to join our classes. We do there running and kickboxing! We enjoy training outside and inspiring new people to join us!

Mountains

Of course, if part of the collaboration involves an organisation that’s crazy about climbing, then days of rock climbing in nearby mountains, with lots of safety equipment, is a must! The students are about to challenge themselves, climbing outside the gym’s climbing wall. Activities build trust, along with a lot of grip strength amongst the group!

Yoga Space

While many activities and classes are held in the main gym area next to the colourful climbing wall, including yoga classes, some are also held in a separate area around Habibi Works.

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