An integral part of PeacePlayers-Middle East programing is the Peace Education Curriculum that was developed to meet the needs of the participants within a basketball setting. Through the Peace Education program, participants are learning important skills, which also compliment the Twinning topics. The underling theme that weaves the Peace Education topics together is the Arbinger motto of seeing people as people. By teaming up with the Arbinger Institute, PeacePlayers is making sure the youth are able to understand and deal with the dynamics of conflict.
Using basketball helps send these important messages to the players in an effective manner. Instead of hearing a lecture and losing attention, the youth engage in basketball and practice the lessons taught. By using the Arbinger concepts of seeing people as people, players are better able to dispel age-old stereotypes and build stronger relationships with each other. Having these sessions helps the players connect to each other in a safe environment and through an interactive basketball setting.
Before going out to the communities we work with and facilitating the Peace Education curriculum, the facilitating staff come together and asses the needs of each team to create sessions that meet each team’s needs. Back in December, seven facilitators came together and planned the skeleton model for each team. Five of the seven facilitators were once participants who then received Arbinger facilitation training. PeacePlayers attempts to include older participants in as much programing as possible, coaching or facilitating for example, because they have an insider perspective. They are closer in age to the younger participants and have been through the program themselves.
The sessions so far have been a great success! “The participants are receptive and enjoy using basketball to learn,” says Duha, one of the facilitators. One of the sessions focused on understanding what PeacePlayers does as a global organization and learning about the different sites internationally. Each of theses international sites has something in common; there is conflict between communities. By exposing participants to the different traditions and cultures of the other sites, we are hoping to expand their abilities at looking at the big picture. Another facilitator commented on the dynamics of the sessions. “It’s amazing how much curiosity each team demonstrates when they are in theses sessions. They have plenty of questions and love to show what they learned”