“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 could experience how the sports community created a strong bond among 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.


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 in 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

As one of our most popular sports, we play volleyball wherever we can! Sometimes we play on courts in the city, sometimes on the courts next to our football field. Wherever we are, it is always welcoming, fun and full of energy.

Football Field

Our football field is located near Habibi.Works, overlooked by some beautiful mountains. It is a great space for people to come and unwind, feel the team spirit and enjoy nature. Come rain or shine, our team is out there training.

Climbing Wall

Thanks to our collaboration with Mai’Kai we have an amazing climbing project in our Ioannina gym. It is a space welcome to all, from beginners to experienced climbers. We coach and challenge each other. We motivate each other when it’s not a good day. We take each other to the next level and have a lot of fun while doing it!


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 always 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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