From July 21 – July 26, PeacePlayers International – Cyprus hosted their annual Summer Camp, bringing together young leaders from other PeacePlayers projects around the world, including Northern Ireland, the Middle East and South Africa, to showcase how sport can be used in promoting peace. Former New Orleans Jazz star, Aaron James, former member of the Turkish Women’s National Basketball Team, Şebnem Kimyacıoğlu, adidas General Manager of South East Europe, Lawrence Norman, Head of Programmes at the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation, Derek Bardowell, and Founder of Reach Sports, Mthokozisi Madonda, also joined to help empower young people to become leaders, teaching valuable life lessons through the use of sport.
Aaron James, a member of the National Basketball Retired Players Association, said: “It’s a wonderful initiative and I am delighted to do what I can to help. Basketball is a great sport for bringing kids together in a team setting. I was very impressed meeting some of the young leaders and I know they are going to become real role models in their communities.”
Şebnem Kimyacıoğlu added: “Witnessing the power of this program, which brings together youth from communities that under normal circumstances do not interact has been incredible. One of the goals of PeacePlayers is for the participants to apply their acquired leadership and peace-building skills to their communities. With the progress I have seen at this camp alone, I am excited and hopeful for the future.”
PeacePlayers International (PPI) was founded in 2001 on the premise that “children who play together can learn to live together.” Through a groundbreaking peacebuilding-and-leadership development curriculum, PeacePlayers International uses basketball to bring children together and teach them proven tactics for improving their communities, impacting youth in 15 countries across the globe.
— John M. Koenig (@AmbJohnKoenig) July 22, 2015
Founded in 2006, PPI – Cyprus brings together 8-18 year old Greek-Cypriot and Turkish-Cypriot boys and girls to play together, learn together and build positive relationships that overcome generations of mistrust and formidable physical barriers to interaction. PPI-CY is currently the only year-round bi-communal youth sports organization on the island.
— Laureus (@LaureusSport) July 27, 2015
The camp was funded through the European Union’s Cypriot Civil Society in Action IV financial assistance package within the framework of the ‘Promoting Peace and Wellness in Cyprus’ project with co-funding and support from the United States Embassy in Cyprus, the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation, adidas and Jotun.
— ReachSports (@Reach_Sports) July 21, 2015