This week’s post is written by PPI – Middle East’s basketball trainer Edniesha Curry.
As we have learned, sharing is a very powerful tool. We use it as an icebreaker at our twinning events as it allows all the girls to see that they are all very similar, and it gives them an opportunity to help one another out.
This past Friday, we hosted a “Twinning” for girls from Mate Yehuda and Beit Safafa. PPI – ME’s biggest supporter, USAID’s very own Nisreen Muzayen, came to see the program in action. One of her questions for participants and staff was whether the girls’ relationships extended off the basketball court. Basketball Operations Manager, Vito Gilic’, proudly reported that four of the girls at this twinning (two Israelis and two Palestinians) recently headed to Tel Aviv together for an excursion outside of PeacePlayers.
This leads me to say: coexistence is more than just bringing two communities together to play basketball. It is also about these young ladies getting a chance off of the basketball court to talk to one another about conflict issues and how PeacePlayers has helped them deal with these issues in their communities and their schools.
As a special gesture – this twinning was more focused on ‘hanging out’ than shooting hoops. After our icebreaker and game, we celebrated with a PIZZA PARTY! We had a blast! The pizza was a surprise for the girls, and of course the girls blamed me for not getting more Coca Cola. It was really nice to see the girls all relaxed and just being kids together – no one worrying about where anyone is from – just one big family eating pizza, talking and laughing together.