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
I have seen first hand from a visit to Cyprus how PeacePlayers has an extraordinarily positive impact on the people it touches. From players to coaches to volunteers, PeacePlayers has successfully created an international and multicultural community that is together working tirelessly to unify the small, divided island. I look forward to seeing this organization impact this region in the future!
I am a Turkish-Cypriot from North Cyprus and I have seen what PeacePlayers International has done for my country. By brining children together from divided communities, PeacePlayers is providing hope that peace is possible in my country.
I was fortunate enough to witness firsthand the amazing work being done in Israel by Peace Players International. The looks of excitement and joy on the kid's faces as they interacted with the staff and each other was wonderful to see. Here were kids who were taught fear and hatred sharing this experience together and learning they are not so different. What a unique and special organization PPI truly is. They truly are making a difference.
PeacePlayers International is a unique and outstanding organization that uses basketball to bridge divides between young people in areas of conflict and post-conflict. I am amazed by the stories I hear about PeacePlayers participants that are now best friends with children they previously had no contact with or understanding of. PeacePlayers uses basketball to not only change perceptions, but also to educate children and cultivate leaders of tomorrow through their Leadership Development Program. The organization has changed many lives and is helping bring about peace in our world.
My experience with PeacePlayers International has not only opened my eyes to divided communities overseas that are still entrenched in conflict, years after physical violence has ended, but has also taught me the power of sport as a means of bringing together communities of divided children. PeacePlayers' use of basketball instead of a more internationally acknowledged sport like soccer is an intentional effort to use a game that is not traditional to either side of any of the conflicts they work with. Additionally, their emphasis on leadership development makes their program unique. The Leadership Development Program helps train former PPI participants to not only become leaders in the PPI program, but to become leaders in their communities. This organization truly is one of a kind.
I was able to observe Peace Players in action in Israel. I was impressed by the both the capabilities and dedication of all of the individuals in the PPI organization. They care deeply about the children and the love they show the kids is clearly reflected back by the children. When you see the kids playing together and not hating each other, it is hard to imagine this program not having a profound effect on these kids as they get older. I was privileged to be able to be able to spend a week observing the program and getting to know the PPI people and the children. It is a wonderful organization.
I recently completed an internship with PeacePlayers International, and it was the best professional experience I've ever had. PeacePlayers is doing incredible and important work: bringing children in divided communities together through basketball to help them build a more peaceful society.
I had the great pleasure of meeting the leaders from PeacePlayers' four sites in the Middle East, South Africa, Cyprus and Northern Ireland during a conference, and their dedication to the children they work with and their passion for peace was inspiring. Over the course of the week, the leaders themselves developed close bonds with one another. Even though they came from different backgrounds, PeacePlayers united them.
Everyone I worked with in this organization embodies a positive, encouraging and inclusive spirit that is at the heart of PeacePlayers' mission.
Through writing and editing blog entires and updating their Facebook and Twitter accounts during my internship, I strove to increase awareness of PeacePlayers' incredible work and to get as many people as possible to be just as enthusiastic about it as I always will be.
I am so impressed by the work of Peaceplayers International. I have been following their blogs, and the stories of unity and understanding that is being fostered with children through basketball is truly inspiring.
PPI makes me realize the importance of changing the hearts and minds of the world's youth in the goal toward ending conflict and achieving peace.
Peace Players International strives to achieve one of the most difficult but important goals in the world: World Peace. Many talk about the importance of this goal, but few make the effort to achieve it. Peace Players International does. And it does it through those who are most likely to change people's ideas, attitudes, and behaviors in the future--children. My wife and I had the extraordinary opportunity to attend a PPI basketball tournament in Israel. The players were Palestinian and Israeli girls. We were deeply moved by the cooperation between the girls and the respect, compassion and affection they showed each other. In attendance were parents of the girls. The parents shared with my wife and me how challenging it was for them to support their daughters' participation in PPI, but they said they did it for their daughters' futures. What could be a more important reason--and one that would not exist if there were no PPI.
I have been following PPI since spring 2010 and I have been an enthusiastic supporter ever since. Their ability to do so much as a pretty small organization, their commitment to quality in everything they do, and their dedication to improving the world one basketball practice at a time is admirable. I love that they work hard to reach out to donors and also maintain an excellent blog where anyone can see their work in a more personal way. I also appreciate their willingness to welcome visitors to their offices - went I visited Belfast 2 years, I had the pleasure of meeting the local and international staff and attending a coaches' training. After over a year of reading and hearing about their methods, it was awesome to see them in action. PPI is most definitely one the nonprofits I look up to the most and one that I am proud to support.