Methodology and Curriculum
Peace Education and Leadership Curriculum
In 2008, PPI partnered with the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation and the Arbinger Institute to create a new tool that combines the fun of sport with the latest developments in peace and leadership education. The resulting curriculum, “The Anatomy of Peace,” blends interactive sport activities and guided discussion to give young people a language to discuss leadership and conflict. At its heart are two seemingly simple tenets: 1) while we can influence others, we can only control ourselves; and 2) the only things in our lives that we control fully are our own choices. Though we may feel (and even sometimes be) mistreated, we always maintain the choice of how we see another.
Frequent, Long-Term Integration Through Sport
To truly transform the status quo in communities with histories of violence, PPI emphasizes a particular approach to integration that prioritizes the pursuit of shared goals and relationship building over a prolonged period of time. A single event is not enough; PPI seeks to catalyze true friendship. Through a structured process known as “twinning,” participants progress from first building trust with a coach and team from their own community, to then coming together for integrated “twinning” events, to eventually playing on a cohesive, integrated sports team with those same peers. Ultimately, PPI aims to work with young people not only throughout an entire year, but year-over-year as well, laying the foundation for life-long change.
Local Leadership Development
The majority of PPI’s programs serve young people between the ages of 6 and 14. After “graduating” from these core integrated sports programs, outstanding participants are invited to take part in the “Leadership Development Program,” where they learn to lead PPI’s programs for younger children. The program is different in every community, but it always combines coach training, mentorship training, service learning and a deeper dive into PPI’s curricula. Graduates of the Leadership Development Program are encouraged to continue working with PPI as coaches, ensuring a sustainable leadership pipeline for the future.
Leveraging the Public Nature of Sport for Broader Change
One of the benefits of sport as a tool in peacebuilding is its public nature and ability to mobilize those otherwise unlikely to engage in “peace” initiatives. PPI partners with schools to build ties between parallel education systems, it partners with municipalities to help them reach out to underserved minorities, and it partners with federations to help them use their expertise in sport to benefit the community. In one recent example, PPI partnered with the Gaelic Athletic Association, the Irish Football Association and Ulster Rugby – the three largest sports federations in Northern Ireland – to organize a series of integrated events including all three sports, as well as community relations activities provided by PPI, in communities in Belfast where Protestant and Catholic neighborhoods meet.