Cyprus

PeacePlayers International - Cyprus (PPI - CY) is a locally led, independently registered charity in Cyprus that uses the game of basketball to allow 11-15 year-old Greek-Cypriot and Turkish-Cypriot boys and girls to play together, learn together and build positive relationships that overcome generations of mistrust and formidable physical barriers to interaction.

PPI - CY is currently the only year-round bicommunal youth sports organization on the island. By facilitating regular, frequent, and structured interaction, it helps reverse prejudices built steadily over years in segregated communities and fosters the long-term trust necessary for true friendship.

In its current programmatic year, PPI - CY works with over 320 children. Cyprus Girls

Core Programs

PPI - CY's programs include:

  • Twinned Basketball Clubs

    This island-wide network of basketball teams provides boys and girls ages 11-15 in Greek-Cypriot communities, Turkish-Cypriot communities, and a small number of "mixed" communities basketball and life skills education sessions three times each week, culminating in monthly integrated "twinnings" with teams from the island’s "other" communities.
  • Professional Development Program

    The Professional Development Program offers professional training to the Greek-Cypriot and Turkish-Cypriot young adults who serve as coaches and mentors for PPI – CY’s Twinned Basketball Clubs. Three integrated trainings take place each year, providing coaches with advanced basketball instruction and comprehensive training in PPI’s peace-building curriculum.
  • Leadership Development Program

    Founded in 2006, PPI - CY is beginning to develop the core group of veteran participants necessary to start its own Leadership Development Program, a framework for the cultivation of socially aware young leaders already implemented successfully by PPI in South Africa, Northern Ireland and Israel and the West Bank. The Leadership Development Program is scheduled for launch in the summer of 2011.
Staff Contact: 
Jale Canlibalik
Managing Director
Home for Cooperation - PeacePlayers-Cyprus, 28 Markou Drakou Street, UN Buffer Zone, Nicosia 1102, Cyprus
Phone: 
+357 22 660 061

Testimonials

"It’s hard to live without my parents, but my PPI coach is always there for me. He’s really more like a brother."
Sihle Cele, Participant, PeacePlayers International – South Africa
"Basketball has added a new dimension to our sporting activities. Of course, it improves coordination and also improves communication between the kids themselves. It’s wonderful that PPI has become...
Jennifer Sonasundrum, Principal, Merry Hill Primary School, South Africa
"If she takes one thing away, it’s to know that there’s no differences from the other community, that everybody’s equal, and that she has great enjoyment with PeacePlayers."
Nula Doherty, Parent, PeacePlayers International – Northern Ireland
"A lot of kids believe that one kid on the other side is a good person, but every other one is a bad person, and they then carve out these narrow exceptions. What [PPI’s] curriculum is doing is...
Chad Ford, Director, David O. McKay Center for Intercultural Understanding, Brigham Young University
"At the start [playing together] wasn't weird, but it was different because we would never have gotten the opportunity to go out and meet Protestants and be friends with them."
Ann Murphy, Participant, PeacePlayers International – Northern Ireland
"I met new players I didn't know before, and learned how to play with new people. The best part was learning things from new players and different areas coming together. I learned you don't have to...
Amir, Participant, PeacePlayers International – Middle East
"We work in an education system that is divided…PeacePlayers program is pointed towards the integration of those children. You’re getting children to mix in an environment where there’s not the...
Derrick Harkness, Principal, Carrs Glen Primary School, Northern Ireland
"In the beginning I participated for the basketball, but then I made friends with the Turkish-Cypriots. Now we play and we all have fun together."
Evripidis Kardamilas, Participant, PeacePlayers International – Cyprus
"I was on the train one day with my Jewish friends and they started making fun of an Arab woman…I told them to stop and that she was embarrassed and that she just wanted to go to work. I then told...
Adiel, Participant, PeacePlayers International – Middle East
"I was scared to death at first. But by the end of the match, I realized we were all the same."
Geina Mdungo, Participant, PeacePlayers Interational – South Africa
"By focusing on the game of basketball and the values of sportsmanship, the youth learn to break down stereotypes to contribute to an environment whereby children who play together can learn to live...
Bicommunal Support Program, U.S. Embassy in Nicosia, Cyprus
"We find that the PeacePlayers program brings in life-skills in a non-threatening way, and is helping to educate children on the big issues of HIV…We also find that in the PeacePlayers program, we...
Pamilla Mudhray, CSI Manager, Sasol, South Africa
"I’m glad that Ronnie’s taking part in PeacePlayers…hopefully Ronny doesn’t have to go through what I went through at Ronnie’s age.”
Manny Macauley, Parent, PeacePlayers International – Northern Ireland
"We typically use activities such as art and drama to bridge divides between the youth. We always knew that sport had the potential to do the same, but PPI - ME's sport day went way above and beyond...
Yael Gur, Project Manager, A New Way, Israel
"When you get to know your teammates, it doesn’t really matter what their religion is."
Aoife Doherty, Participant, PeacePlayers International – Northern Ireland
"Programmes like this that work at the grass roots level with the young people in our society are vital to achieving sustainable peace within our communities. We are committed to supporting and...
Denis Rooney, CBE, Chairman of the International Fund for Ireland, Chairman, International Fund for Ireland