I had the pleasure of interning for PeacePlayers International at their Washington, D.C. headquarters this past summer. I have truly never met a group of people so passionate about and dedicated to their mission of bringing children together through sport. They are providing real hope for the future in places across the world where that has seemed impossible. Over the course of the summer, I had the chance to interact with staff, participants, and supporters of the PeacePlayers program. They are a special group of people whose passion for sport for development is contagious. While I no longer work there, I will be a lifelong supporter of PeacePlayers.
As a licensed social worker and certified mediator, I have interacted with many international development, youth services, and conflict resolution organizations over the years. PPI stands out as an organization with that truly lives and achieves it goals. Conflict resolution principles are utilized throughout the organizational culture in inspiring and innovative ways. Previous fellows, board members, staff, and participants speak about PeacePlayers with a passion and commitment I have rarely seen in other nonprofits. I had the privileged of interacting with PPI Middle East participants multiple times during their recent exchange in Washington, DC and New York City. Getting to meet the participants and hear about their dreams to become leaders and peace-builders was truly inspiring. The participants exemplified PPI’s principles in every conversation and instilled hope for change and peace in future generations.
I have had the pleasure of being introduced to PeacePlayers through my son who did
a fellowship in South Africa for two years and now works with the organization in DC.
It's wonderful to watch how my son has grown from the experience in so many wonderful ways.
The organizations mission is one which can only enhance the world we live in today.
After working with PeacePlayers South Africa for over 2 months now, it is clear how vital they are to the growth of an equitable society in South Africa. They fill an essential void by providing after school engagement to youth that simply do not have access to it due to their socio-economic circumstance. There are plenty of other resources that need to be delivered to these youth to grow them into contributing citizens, however, PeacePlayers effort is a bold and effective start.
I call PeacePlayers my home, my family. After losing my mom at the age of 18 with 2 younger siblings I was in a bad space and needed to keep busy in order to remain sane. Fortunately and unfortunately at that age I had never seen the sport of basketball live as it was not a big sport in South Africa. I attended for my first training session bare foot, wearing a skirt and just fascinated with this heavy orange ball. I fell in love instantly at PeacePlayers Leadership Development Program. I never looked back since. When I was studying Sport Management in University I went back and I was hired as a coach then an area coordinator and now I am an international fellow in Northern Ireland. PeacePlayers gave me and many other young people a purposeful life and a chance to directly change people's lives for the better. PPI has a way of giving hope where it lost and truly change perception while bridging divides to it brings out the best in people.
I have been working for PeacePlayers in Northern Ireland for just over a month. In my first weekend I help coach at one of our many projects called the game of three halves. It was my first real experience with PeacePlayers, and when asked if I could tell the which participants were from either side of the divide, I could not answer. It truly was an environment where children were playing and learning to live together. Since then I have been involved in many of our cross community programmes which have showed me the PPI way. PeacePlayers is able to use sport for good, and I have seen how it has inspired so many children, young people and adults to change their perception of those on the other side of the political divide. I am excited to continue my work with such a great organisation.
I'm a regular follower of the PeacePlayers blog because its anecdotes of hope on the ground are an antidote to the cynicism of big picture policies and stories of continued war. To see Israeli and Palestinian teens arm-in-arm and young Cypriots swooshing baskets makes my day.
I've had the pleasure of following PPI's work for 3 years now, reading their blogs, visiting their offices in DC and Nicosia, and seeing their staff in action with kids playing basketball. I'm really amazed at the dedication of their coaches to bring out the best in each child, while providing real training in both the sport and in leadership skills. (Also especially like their videos.) Real social change, from the ground up!
I started volunteering with PeacePlayers last year because I was very impressed with the people I met there. I continue to be involved with the organisation because of the great work that they do and the impact they have on over 2400 people each year. Northern Ireland is a much better place because of PeacePlayers.
I have been a coach at PeacePlayers-Cyprus for the past year and have seen great things happen from this organization. The way they use basketball to create a common bond between two individuals is amazing. The work they do is unbelievable and is the only year round bi-communal sports program on the island.
I have had the pleasure of working with PP Cypus for several years. They are the only NGO that has something to offer all year around to young Cypriots from both sides of the divide. They mix sports, conflict resolution and leadership training and bring young people from all over Cyprus together. I strongly believe that it is very important that those who grow up learn that those who come from the other side are just like themselves if a lasting solution is to be found for Cyprus.
I urge Cypriots to support PP and companies to sponsor this fantastic NGO.
Ambassador of Norway to Cyprus