Shortly after graduating college, Brendan and Sean Tuohey, two brothers from Washington, DC, spent time coaching youth basketball in Northern Ireland. In a region where nearly everything was segregated by religion, they saw Protestant and Catholic young people coming together to play basketball, able to share the game in a way they shared almost nothing else due to its perceived American heritage.
A South African police officer suggested that what worked in Northern Ireland could work on an even greater scale in post-apartheid South Africa. With $7,000 raised from friends and family, the brothers launched Playing for Peace (PFP). Working hand-in-hand local coaches and a handful of friends, the program grew rapidly. By 2003, PFP had not only returned to Northern Ireland, but it also earned its first institutional grant from the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation. In 2005 and 2006, PFP launched programs in Israel and the West Bank and Cyprus. In 2006, PFP began serving as a capacity builder, advisor and trainer to other organizations including training a group of youth soccer coaches in Afghanistan.