PeacePlayers International - Middle East (PPI - ME) is a locally led charity active in Israel and the West Bank that unites and educates Jewish and Arab young people and their communities through basketball. PPI - ME operates several multi-faceted, year-round programs based on a groundbreaking curriculum developed in partnership with the Arbinger Institute, which combines on-court, experiential learning with frank and open discussion.
PPI - ME works with ethnically and religiously diverse populations, including Ethiopian and Russian immigrants, and is committed to fostering gender equality through sport in both Jewish and Arab communities. PPI - ME works with over 500 registered children in its current programmatic year, over 50% of whom are girls.
PPI - ME’s programs include:
PeacePlayers Basketball Clubs (PPBC)Arab and Jewish children ages 6-15 play basketball on mixed teams and participate in joint peace education and life skills activities. Year-round, frequent, and structured integration enables children who would otherwise rarely interact to form lasting friendships. Activities include: Peace Education Sessions, Basketball Training Sessions, Joint Activities (i.e. Twinnings, Peace Leagues and Field Trips), and Tournaments.
Leadership Development Program (LDP)At the age of 16, Twinned Basketball Club participants that have demonstrated outstanding leadership potential can join the Leadership Development Program, where they continue to practice on integrated teams, volunteer as assistant coaches in their local neighborhoods, participate in dialogue sessions and coach-training activities, and lead neighborhood community service projects.
Professional Development Program (PDP)All staff participate in comprehensive training designed to enhance their capabilities as basketball coaches, intergroup facilitators, educators, and leaders. Conflict management training is delivered by the Arbinger Institute and specially trained on-staff facilitators. Basketball trainings are conducted by Basketball Operations Manager Vito Gilic, formerly the manager of the Maccabi Tel Aviv youth program and a lecturer at the Wingate Institute, Israel’s National Center for Physical Education and Sport.
All-Star TeamsAt the beginning of the 2010-2011 season, PPI - ME entered the first ever integrated teams from East and West Jerusalem in the prestigious Israeli National Basketball League. This program year, PPI - ME has entered four teams into the league through a partnership between PPI and the Academic Sports Association (ASA), Jerusalem.
Coaching for Reconciliation - Professional Certification20 Arab and Jewish young adults are enrolled in a two year bilingual (Arabic and Hebrew) training program designed and implemented by PPI - ME in cooperation with Zinman College at the Wingate Institute and the Arbinger Institute. This is the first ever bilingual basketball coaches' certification course offered and a rare opportunity for Palestinian coaches to study in their mother toungue. Participants will complete 228 hours of practical and theoretical coursework and basketball training, 58 hours of resolution training and foreign language instruction.
The U.S. Agency for International Development administers the U.S. foreign assistance program providing economic and humanitarian assistance in more than 80 countried worldwide.