PEACEPLAYERS INTERNATIONAL Middle East uses the game of basketball to bridge divides, change perceptions and develop leaders among Palestinian and Israeli children and youth. The participants benefit from year-round basketball programmes, conflict resolution and leadership activities for children and youth ages 6-20, as well as capacity building for young adults, in Israel and the West Bank.
Problem to be tackled
The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is one of the most seminal conflicts of our time, with a long history of cyclical violence caused and exacerbated by numerous complex, and seemingly intractable challenges tied to history, religion, land, national identity and sovereignty. Palestinian and Israeli relations are currently marked by immense distrust, fear and hatred towards the ‘other’ side. The work towards reconciliation conducted by civil initiatives is crucial in keeping the dialogue.
PeacePlayers International – Middle East, based in Tel Aviv, a locally led charity active in Israel and the West Bank, it unites and educates Jewish and Arab young people and their communities through basketball – since 2005.
The project targets children and youth who come from disadvantaged, conservative and religious communities in Jerusalem, Central and Northern Israel, as well as the West Bank, including Hebron, Ramallah and Bethlehem. The mass appeal of sports helps to attract and engage a diverse array of participants, including communities typically resistant to peacebuilding programmes. Included beneficiaries have mainly a disadvantaged socio-economic background from families in poverty.
With the continued support from the SOL Foundation, PeacePlayers International – Middle East will be able to run and implement their PeacePlayers Basketball Clubs, Leadership Development Programme and the Rising Stars initiative using Basketball with the primary goal to develop mutual trust and cross-community co-operation between Palestinian and Israeli young people.
PeacePlayers International is a non-profit organisation, it uses sports and the values of sportsmanship to bridge divides and to develop leaders in conflict and post-conflict communities.