Our coaches are all refugees from the community, who stepped up to help their peers and offer them intense and joyful sport classes.

Jawed Ahmadyar

 Jawed has excellent skills in judo to train and teach. He trained in Afghanistan for eleven years and took part in many competitions.


Mahmoud is a trained a lifeguard and a swimming coach. He was already a professional swimmer and coach in Iran and he now continus sharing his passion with others.

Mahdi Khavari

Mahdi has been training in Muay Thai and Kickboxing for several years in Iran. He is now sharing his passion with the Team Energy and more athletes who want to join. Mahdi is always positive, laughing and bringing happiness to all the guys around him, he has the power to motivate others and keep dreaming high! He aspires to become a great Muay Thai champion one day!

Mona Sheikh Ali

Mona is a very passionate yoga teacher who started practising and teaching yoga in Lesvos and Athens with the Yoga and Sport team.

Hamid Nowroozi

Hamid is our K1/Kickboxing trainer in Athens but he is first of all a great fighter! He has been teaching with Yoga and Sport in Lesvos since September 2019 and has developped training sessions that are intense and full of energy! He is one of the founder of the Team Energy, a team of talented and motivated kickboxing athletes who passed through Lesvos refugee camp. Hamid participated in several international fights in his carreer and wants to reach the best rings of the World! He always finishes his trainings with an extensive speech where he explains that all humans are equal and that we should always work hard to reach our goals!


Jawad is our football coach in Lesvos. He is coaching together with Aman and they are able to train the guys in different groups. Jawad is very passionate about football and he takes the training very seriously. For him, every player has to give his best on the field.

Ahmad Yaqoobi

Ahmad is our breakdance teacher in Lesvos. He started doing breakdance and parkour in 2018and participated in different shows. He was previoulsy a parkour and gymnastics teacher in Iran. Here in Lesvos, he started to teach and motivate students to join this sport in order for them to enjoy and forget about the difficult conditions in the camp. He produced a serie of different choreographies which allowed us to put together a very good breakdance show in One Happy Family community Center as well as in Mytilini.

Vahid Eskandari

Vahid has been wrestling since he is a kid and he has developed his skills in Iran. He has been participating in many competitions and wishes to pursue his dream of becoming a wrestling champion one day.

Ehsan Ahmadi

Ehsan is our Kung-Fu teacher. He has been practicing for 10 years and participated in many competitions. He has pedagogy and he masters the art of teaching since 5 years. Ehsan loves kung-fu and wants to become a better figher and teacher, sharing his discipline with kids as well as with adults.


Rakhan is our breakdance teacher. He has been practicing for 2 years. He is now teaching since August 2020 with a great interest to develop this discipline more in the heart of Project Hiwa and to give the students more confidence in their movements and figures. He is very skilled and passionnate about breakdance and loves to teach as many people as possible.

Mohadese Azimi

Mohadese is our yoga teacher. She is doing yoga since 2019 with Yoga and Sport and she is now a teacher in Athens. She is a certified yoga teacher since September 2020 as she followed the training offered by Yoga and sport in Lesvos. Her soft energy and focus make her a very good yoga teacher. She is also a very strong athlete as she practises kickboxing, self-defense and running.


Dana is our very first teacher on Lesvos and he helped creating the organisation in 2017. He teaches taekwondo, leads some running sessions, give self defense classes. He has exceptionnal pedagogical skills and he knows how to teach kids. He is the founder of the sport part of Project Hiwa in Athens which became the new YSR location in Athens since September 2020.

Sayed Habib

Sayed Habib is a very experienced fighter and coach. He has been doing kung-fu and boxing all his life and that is why he fell in love with Yoga and Sport team and decided to join in 2020.


Navid is our boxing teacher in Lesvos. He has been practising since 2015 and he has a very good understanding on how to teach to different students.


Sangali is our Kung-Fu teacher on Lesvos. He has experience in Muay Thai, Judo, Kung-Fu boxing and Nunchaku. He has been practising Kung-Fu for many years and has a great approach to teach.


Aziz is our bodybuilding coach in Lesvos. He has been practising in congo for around 10 years and has been an athlete all his life, practising judo and boxing as well. He loves to train and to coach with others, it makes him feel gooda and surrounded. Here in Lesvos, he takes his role very seriously and embraces the responsabilities of coaching others. Being part of the Yoga and Sport community makes Aziz feel like he is with his family, and this is very precious to us.

Sultan Ali Bostani

Sultan is our Acro yoga teacher in Lesvos. He has a warm, calm and welcoming attitude. He knows how to give his students new daily challenges that grow their spirit of achievement. He creates new challenges and prepares all his lessons, which are adapted to the level of  the students to keep the group motivated. His professional skills as a teacher are exemplary. 

Mohammad Qurbani

Mahdi is our dancing teacher. He started to teach with Yoga and Sport since almost a year as he has been very inspired by Edu, one of our former coordinators, who is a very talented dancer. Mehdi followed Edu’s steps and he is now very serious in teaching different dances and choreograhies. He is also a certified 200 hours Yoga teacher. Last but not least, since 8 months he is studying performance theater and now he can say he is also an actor.

Aman Hussaini

Aman is our football coach. He has been coaching football with the Yoga and Sport team since beginning of 2020. He loves football and in Afghanistan he played in the Premier League in Herat city. Unfortunately, two years ago in Afghanistan, he injured his knee in a match and he could not continue playing football. When he came to Greece, he started training again. His knee is not completely healed yet, but he feels good that he cans play football again. He will never give up!

Iqbal Alikhail

Iqbal is our boxing teacher. He has been practicing for 2 years in Afghanistan and already won several competitions. He is teaching boxing since 8 months with Project Hiwa. He is a very passionate boxer and trains to improve his technique and speed every single day. He knows how to adapt his training for different levels of students and knows how to control his training.

Nasim Ahmadi

Nasim is our karate teacher, he has been practising kyokushin karate for 4 years. He has entered and won several competitions. He can teach kids, women and men since he has very good communication and pedagogical skills.

Morteza Alimi

Morteza is our running coach in Athens. He started running first with Yoga and Sport in Lesvos and discovered a passion for this sport. He has been now practicing for about 2 years. He is now coaching for 1 year. His trainings are always balanced, including speed training and long runs.

Nasrin Soltani

Nasrin is our zumba teacher. She is an inspiration for all the women around her. She started the Zumba class and also took over the Hip hop lessons. Her energy and her motivation are endless. She always wants to help others and to encourage women to start physical activities, because she is really conscious of how positive it can be.


Zakhi is a great athlete and a new yoga teacher since he followed the 200 hours yoga course last summer in Lesvos. Before he was mainly practising parkour and theater with one of the other yoga teacher, Yadullah.

Yadullah Mousawi

In Afghanistan Yadullah was very involved in theatre, both as an actor and as a teacher for young people, and because of his vocation for teaching he has been able to help us start a yoga project for children and teenagers that we are carrying out together with the School of Peace.

Estelle Jean, Founder, ED

Estelle Jean, founder and executive director is based on Lesvos, Greece. Estelle is a humanitarian worker and a passionate athlete. She holds a Master’s Degree in Political Science and Management from the ISMaPP-Paris. She was an accomplished equestrian for 18 years and a competitive swimmer for 8 years. She now runs marathons and competes in amateur Muay Thai fights.

Estelle founded YSR to raise awareness of the positive impact of sport for all people, especially displaced populations. Her passion spreads virally among her peers and creates a community. Besides managing the day to day operations of YSR, she also teaches women sports and swimming, supports the coordination team and tries to always be there for the refugee teachers and the community.

Nina de Winter, Director

Nina joined YSR in the summer of 2019. She first came as a running coach, but quickly became more involved. She has a background in International Relations and Higher Education policy.

She is running since she is a little girl and never stopped. She has been the coach of our running team on Lesvos for over 2 years, until she moved to Athens to support the project there. 

Nina is based in Athens, working on the organizational part of the NGO. She is responsible for the day to day finances, fundraising, human resources, and the teams in Athens and Ioannina.

In Yoga and Sport, Nina found her second family, she became part of the community and she strives to create more of this everyday.

Coordination Team

Our coordination team is always on the ground. They are always in contact with people as they manage the day-to-day operations.
They are all long term volunteers who know the situation and have been involved in Yoga and Sport for over a year.

Lesvos coordination team

Louise Holm

Volunteered for YSFR in september 2019 and returned to Lesvos in February 2020 as the volunteer coordinator for the project.

Louise is involved with the women activities and as of september 2020 she is also a certified 200h yoga instructor.

Miren Bardaji Maiza

Yoga and women sports teacher, project coordinator.
Collaborating in Yoga and Sports for Refugees since she arrived to the island in August 2019.

Involved in the sport since she was a child, first competing in swimming, until she got caught up with acroyoga.

Toryalay Bakhtari

Toryalay joined Yoga and Sport since 2021 in the boxing team first and afterwards as a community volunteer. He has now taken over the logistics coordination responsabilities.
Toryalay manages the on the ground logisitics of the project and supports the community volunteers.  

Athens coordination team

Fatemeh Jafari

Fatemeh joined Yoga and Sport community on Lesvos in 2020 as a yoga student. Very quickly she became passionate about yoga. She joined the yoga teacher training in the summer of 2020. She is a certified Yoga teacher. She is now our volunteer coordinator in Athens.

Her passion is to help people and she strongly believe in the work of Yoga and Sport to help people to choose their own life.

Aref Gholami

Aref is also our program coordinator in Athens. He is learning and developing his skills everyday. He is also our taekwondo teacher in Athens. He is an athlete who has amazing pedagogical skills to teach every level and ages. He has been learning in Afghanistan and he has particpated in many competitons.

Claude Jonkmans

Claude works as the Project Coordinator. She first was a volunteer on Lesbos and has a background in Hotel-and Project-Management.
Since she was a little girl she has been practicing many different sports from 7 years of figure skating to 13 years of rugby to cross country skiing, yoga and dance. She loves to move and try out new sports and is also involved in the project as a women’s fitness teacher. Thanks to the challenging K1 classes she joined on Lesbos she is now focusing on martial arts.

Non-Executive Board

In 2019, YSR created an advisory board of five members—a lawyer and volunteer running coach, a former marketing executive and now advocate for corporations to “give back,” a retired Episcopal priest and fund raiser and a world class photographer are the current members.

Puck Purnell

Puck Purnell is a retired Episcopal priest who lives in the U.S. state of Connecticut. He served as a Naval Aviator, worked draft horses in the Maine woods, was an educator and an entrepreneur. As a parish priest, he had a long-time relationship with a school in Carrefour, Haiti and, when the 2010 earthquake struck, he lead a medical mission to the area, caring for over 12,000 women, children and men. He has been on numerous non-profit boards and now is the Chair of the Seabury Charitable Foundation at Seabury Retirement Community in Bloomfield, Conneticut.

Hilde Honerud

Hilde Honerud, artist and photographer, she has produced a large number of exhibitions, seminars and publications in recent years. She is an associate professor at University of South-Eastern Norway.

Burr Purnell

Burr Purnell is an award-winning Executive Creative Director and serves as the Director of Social Good at VidMob Gives, VidMob’s 501(c)3. In this role, he helps supply the tools to make it easy, fast, and affordable for nonprofits to amplify their message to the world through video. VidMob Gives has supported numerous nonprofit organizations including YSR, UN Foundation, CDC Foundation, Movember and Equality Now. Prior to joining VidMob, Purnell worked as Executive Creative Director at the performance marketing agency, ROI·DNA in San Francisco, where he led the creative team in shaping brands throughout the full spectrum of media. Before that, he held the position of Vice President & Group Creative Director for MRM Worldgroup overseeing direct marketing and online campaigns for a variety of clients including Microsoft, AMD, MasterCard, and Charles Schwab.

Andrew Tripp

Andrew lives in Montpelier, Vermont with his excellent wife Rebecca and two superb kids Zoe and Nico. All four of them spent much of 2019 in Lesvos working with the refugee community. He coached the runners at YSR while in Mitilini and then remotely in the months leading to the 2019 Athens Marathon. According to Andrew, his time at YSR was among the most meaningful of his life: “the community of solidarity, love, laughter and respect that Estelle and the team have built is remarkable.  A real beacon of light in a world with too much darkness”.

His professional life has been as a Union, Community, and Civil Rights Organizer in the US and abroad.  For 25 years he has organized unions, negotiated contracts, built and run organizations and campaigns, and passed legislation.

In addition, for the last nine years he has coached at U-32 High School (Cross Country, Nordic Skiing, and Track) where his teams have won 19 State Championships.

Supporting People

In 2018, YSFR created an advisory board of five members—a lawyer and volunteer running coach, a former marketing executive and now advocate for corporations to “give back,” a retired Episcopal priest and fund raiser and a (need something for Helga) world class photographer are the current members.






Fundraising, Partnerships, Data Maagement










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