Using the sport of basketball, PeacePlayers International creates a safe and neutral space where young people can begin to form deep personal bonds and lasting friendships.

Twinning Program

Twinning Program

Throughout the year children practice basketball in their own communities learning teamwork, tolerance and trust. Once children are physically and mentally prepared, they begin to play with children of different religions and ethnicities on mixed teams so that they are not competing against each other; rather they are competing together.

Twinning Program

Leadership Development Program

Upon reaching their teenage years, youth receive advanced basketball and leadership training, practice on integrated teams, volunteer as assistant coaches and lead social action projects, including working with special needs children and refurbishing basketball courts in disadvantaged communities.

Twinning Program

Coach Mentorship Program

Local coaches participate in comprehensive trainings designed to enhance their capabilities as basketball coaches, intergroup facilitators, educators, and leaders. The focus is not just how to be successful on the court, but how to mobilize the greater population toward a culture of peace.

Where We Work

Washington, DC

Building on the success of projects in Chicago and Portland, PeacePlayers International has launched a new Leadership Development Program in the Washington metropolitan area in partnership with adidas Basketball. This pilot program is bringing together young people to gain practical conflict transformation skills, develop friendships, and positively impact their communities. In addition to weekly basketball and leaderships trainings, participants are leading a variety of service projects in their communities, including mentoring local underserved youth.

Middle East

In Israel and the West Bank, deep social divides continue to undermine generations of peacemaking efforts. Despite ongoing violence and political setbacks, PPI – Middle East has continued to grow, uniting Arab and Jewish youth in the Jerusalem Area, Center Region, and North of Israel. Recognizing the tremendous benefit sport can have for females, PPI – Middle East also focuses on empowering girls and young women who make up 75 percent of program participants.

South Africa

In South Africa, where half the population is under 25, disenfranchised youth are denied the skills needed for healthy constructive adult lives and are at high risk for dangerous activities. PPI – South Africa helps the young people of KwaZulu-Natal carve out a safe and successful path in a society burdened by the impact of HIV/AIDS, unemployment, drug and alcohol abuse, and strong cultural divides. PPI – South Africa predominantly engages youth from disadvantaged communities, most of whom would not have the financial ability to participate in sports clubs without the benefit of PPI.

Northern Ireland

Despite the existence of a formal peace agreement between Catholics and Protestants since 1998, less than 7% of Northern Ireland’s pupils attend integrated schools. Youth continue to grow up segregated – from the neighborhoods they live in to the sports they play. PPI – Northern Ireland helps thousands of young Catholics and Protestants use sport to challenge sectarianism, prejudice and racism, while developing new friendships. PPI – Northern Ireland’s work in Belfast is already influencing all levels of government as they begin to implement new reconciliation strategies.

Sports and Peace Innovation Network (SPIN)

PPI’s Sports and Peace Innovation Network shares PPI’s institutional knowledge with others seeking to harness the power of sport for youth civic engagement, leadership development and conflict transformation, making social impact accessible to youth sport practitioners around the world. Thanks to institutional partners like adidas Basketball and the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation, PPI – SPIN has been able to partner with organizations in 15 countries spread over five continents, from inner-city Chicago to Sana’a, Yemen, helping design projects, develop curricula, train implementing staff and more.


A small island in the Mediterranean, Cyprus has been physically divided by a UN Buffer Zone since an inter-ethnic war in 1974 split the island into two separate Greek-Cypriot and Turkish-Cypriot communities. Today, many youth grow up without ever meeting anyone from the “other side”. As the only year-round bi-communal youth sports organization on the island, PPI – Cyprus brings together Greek-Cypriot and Turkish-Cypriot youth to play, learn and build positive relationships that overcome generations of mistrust and formidable physical barriers to interaction.