The Twinned Peace Sport Schools is the Flagship Initiative of the Peres Center for Peace and Innovation. It uses the power of football to bring children together – the Twinning – from the different communities in order to mitigate fears, break down emotional barriers, create cross-cultural dialogue and equip the younger generations with the necessary tools to become constructive and influential leaders within their communities and the region.
Problem to be tackled
Children and youth in those regions are severely affected by conflict; they are highly susceptible to developing negative perceptions of the “other.” As the future of the region, they have the most to gain from the development of durable peace.
The initiative aims to integrate the different backgrounds and bring equality to Israel. The hope is to change the mind-set of the younger generations to see the other background in a positive manner so as they grow up they will still believe in what they have learnt, which in turn will change what the majority of the future population believes in.
The Peres Center for Peace and Innovation works with various local community partners to implement the initiative. In twinned groups of up to 80 children with 40 from a Jewish community and 40 from a Palestinian community the programme brings the beneficiaries together to play football in a fun and equal environment.
The activities include elements like regular training and peace education sessions, joint football training, peace education & cultural activities, inter-language learning or an annual “Mini Mondial” Tournament.
Each year, the project, aimed at children between the age of 8-12, both girls and boys, brings together more than 1’500 children.
The participants are recruited by the local community partners following defined criteria for participation.
Between the years 2018 and 2021, The SOL Foundation assists in the further development of the overall initiative as well as in offering participation to “twinned” communities across Israel and the Palestinian Authority. SOL’s beneficiaries are girls between the age of 8-12.
The Peres Center for Peace and Innovation focuses on developing and implementing unique and cutting-edge peace building programmes in Innovation, Peace Education, Medicine, Healthcare, Business and Environment, reaching tens of thousands of participants over the last 20 years. It was founded by the late Ninth President of Israel and Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Shimon Peres. The Peres Center for Peace and Innovation aims to realise his vision for a prosperous Israel with a peaceful Middle East.