New NonProfit Partner: Yoga & Sport with Refugees Athens

Élanoura is honored to partner with Yoga & Sport with Refugees Athens on a two-part volunteer activity during our Global Founder’s Retreat Greece in September 2024. 

Yoga and Sport with Refugees was created in October 2017 on the island of Lesvos, Greece, in response to the massive need for healthy safe spaces, a sense of community, and a place to work on mental and physical health. In September 2020, they expanded to Athens. Across four locations, they have adopted a unique model that is focused on putting community in the lead, which is why over 70 different sport coaches coming with a refugee background have been trained.

The refugee crisis began in 2015, following a dramatic increase of people fleeing persecution, war and danger, particularly from countries such as Syria, Afghanistan, Congo, Egypt and more. Since then, every day, people have been taking dangerous routes, deemed illegal by EU authorities, in order to cross international borders, to reach Europe.


Sport can unite people from all backgrounds; we envision the development of a more tolerant and inclusive society by harnessing the power of sport.


YSR’s mission is to change individual’s lives and to create better opportunities through sports. Together, we co-create a place where all people can pursue their passion, work on their goals and be together.

The YSR model is unique – YSR is passionate about leading a non-profit and privately-funded organization that ensures the community themselves decides what happens and how they receive our support. Classes are led by coaches from refugee backgrounds; all locations have a coordinator from the community itself and we work in consultation with YSR students.

The YSR teams are intentionally diverse – comprised of volunteers from the international, Greek, and refugee community alike – so that we can learn from each other and become truly #STRONGERTOGETHER. 

Through sport, YSR brings people together and fosters connection and belonging. Sports can break ethnic and religious barriers, thus creating a safe meeting space for cooperation between cultures where everyone participates and becomes a family. YSR works together to build people’s skills by promoting an environment conducive to continuous learning throughout the organization.

“Yoga and Sport with Refugees is open to everyone who wants to do sport and find a sense of belonging. We welcome people from all nationalities, ethnicities, religions and cultures. At YSR, diverse people find common ground through yoga, sport and personal relationships. Our community and programs integrate and blend the best that each participant has to offer with the talents of other individuals.”

– Estelle Jean, Founder

Global Founder’s Retreat Greece

The women founders we bring with us to Athens, Greece will join in a body activation session led by Brianna Diaz of BriGainz and YSR’s refugee women coaches with the intention of bringing the power of women and community together (and have a lot of fun in the process!).

10% of retreat fees will go to our local nonprofit partners to support their continued efforts in empowering women refugees. 

Join us in Greece to inspire and be inspired by the women of Yoga & Sport with Refugees!

Learn more about Yoga & Sport with Refugees and how they create positive impact for refugee communities:

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