PPI–ME decided to up its game when it comes to conflict transformation with a trip to Hawaii. You may be asking yourselves, ‘what does peace in the Middle East have to do with tropical beaches and luaus?!’ Well, I’ll get to that in a moment.
Conflict transformation has always been a huge part of the work we do at PeacePlayers. We even developed a unique curriculum in tandem with the Arbinger Institute and the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation in order to make sure that participants are able to understand and internalize the dynamics of conflict (and learn ways to prevent it), all the while having a ball on the basketball court. The Peace Education Curriculum, based on the Arbinger Institute’s model The Anatomy of Peace, has become a regular feature of many of our activities, and our youth leaders can lead a seminar on the Anatomy of Peace practically by heart. We wanted to go deeper, though. We wanted to make sure that every child on every team experiences the curriculum in a powerful way, on a regular basis.
For this reason, PPI–ME recently appointed two on-staff facilitators- one Jewish, one Arab- who will rotate between teams to reinforce the curriculum across the program, as well as offer support to coaches in leading the curriculum on their own. PPI–ME Program Manager Nissreen Najjar has stepped up to the plate, and is joined by newcomer Renana Gal (welcome, Renana!). Nissreen and Renana just returned from Hawaii, where they (together with Cyprus’s Athanasios Souflias) completed a two-week facilitators’ course under the tutelage of conflict transformation expert and PPI friend Professor Chad Ford. For five days a week, five hours a day, Renana, Nissren, and Athanasios learned how to teach conflict transformation in a simple way to people of all ages and backgrounds. In class, the three got pointers on how to make peace education interactive and fun- an important aspect of the curriculum, especially when working with children.
Nissreen and Renana earned some quality down time with all their hard work. Before heading to the classroom each afternoon, Nissreen and Renana spent the mornings hiking or on the beach, and got a chance to eat lots of delicious local pineapple!