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. 


"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
“PeacePlayers has taught me lots of important things, like how to be a good person, a good friend, and a good leader. One of the most important things it has taught me is how to educate the younger...
Nursu Tilki, Participant, PeacePlayers International - Cyprus
"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
"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
"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
"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
"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
"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
"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
"Through PeacePlayers I have learnt how to share, trust, cooperate, and respect everyone, creating friendship and peace. PeacePlayers taught us whatever your religion or language you are talking, it...
Cetin Pirlanta, Participant, PeacePlayers International - Cyprus
“Why did I join? Simple, it gave me purpose and it made me happy. It gave me the feeling of belonging somewhere. It was a place where your goals and hobbies harmonize with the goals of an...
Eleni Partakki, Participant, PeacePlayers International - Cyprus
"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
"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
 “Through basketball I got over my fears and the stereotypes that we were taught in school. Basketball helped me to become friends with those guys without even speaking!”
Alexis Georgiou, Participant, PeacePlayers International - Cyprus
“I love this organization because it unites Greek-Cypriots with Turkish-Cypriots by doing what we all love, playing basketball!” 
Dimitris Charalambous, Participant, PeacePlayers International - Cyprus
"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
"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 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
“The reason that I participate in this program and love it so much is because it helps me learn new things while playing my favorite sport. I have made so many new friends, Greek-Cypriots and Turkish...
Victor Petrov, Participant, PeacePlayers International - Cyprus
"When you get to know your teammates, it doesn’t really matter what their religion is."
Aoife Doherty, Participant, PeacePlayers International – Northern Ireland
"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
“The love the coaches have for basketball inspires us to continually improve our game and they taught us how to be a better person on the court as well in our everyday life” 
Christiana Miltiadous, 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