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Talking Sports and Peace in Argentina with the Laureus Sports for Good Foundation

From September 10th to 14th, PeacePlayers International carried out the second phase of its partnership with the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation in 2012, delivering a training in its approach to peace education, “The Anatomy of Peace,” developed in partnership with the Arbinger Institute, to five different organizations based in Argentina and Brazil.

The group, including Laureus Academy Member Hugo Porta (back, center), after the official close of the training.

Back in June, PPI’s Technical Assistance Program Director, Brian Cognato, traveled to Buenos Aires to meet the trainees and learn more about their goals and challenges. For this trip, he was joined by PPI’s new Organizational Learning Specialist, Gunnar Hagstrom, to lead the week-long training. In attendance were an all-star mix of leadership staff, psychologists, and coaches from organizations supported by Laureus’ Buenos Aires-based affiliate, La Fundación Laureus Argentina, including Club Atlético Platense, UASI, A Ganar – Argentina, Virreyes Hockey and Instituto Passe de Mágica.

Trainees and Laureus staff take part in teambuilding activities on the training’s first day. An additional objective of the training was to contribute to the formation of a local network of collaborating organizations.

With an emphasis on encouraging the training participants to be active and contribute to the training themselves, the week included opportunities for them to create their own activities and teach them back to the group, as well as dedicated time each afternoon for all participating organizations to spotlight one aspect of their own work to others.

José Dascón of Platense, for example, shared a story about his organization’s use of symbols, and how one flower helped sustain his effort to build a library in the rural town of Laprida. Passe de Mágica shared a song written by William Boudakian about the dangers of growing up surrounded by drugs and temptation, UASI led a frank discussion on the challenges and rewards of developing coaches internally, A Ganar introduced the group to some of its unique educational activities and Virreyes Hockey explained how it had created an inclusive, united organizational culture.

Jose Dascon of Platense leads a “teachback” discussion in which the trainees create new activities and lead educational discussions with the group.

At the end of the event, all participants were presented with certificates for their participation by Hugo Porta, a Laureus Academy member, Chair of the Fundación Laureus Argentina, and one of rugby’s all-time greatest players. PPI is now continuing to work with Laureus and the trainee organizations to help them adapt what they learned during the week for their own use, equipping each with a new tool to talk to the young people with whom they work about peace, conflict and leadership.

Stay tuned for more updates as the project progresses!

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