Location and general information
Ties between Arab and Jewish citizens in Israel are marred by ongoing conflict that has led to discrimination, fear, and distrust of “the other” on both sides. Many of Israel’s municipalities and institutions, including schools and after-school activities, are uni-cultural leaving few opportunities for integration between Jewish and Arab children that would allow them to challenge existing preconceptions and build mutual trust and the foundations for shared living. This has been exacerbated by isolation during COVID-19.
The Peres Center’s Twinned Peace Sport Schools (TPSS) programme is an extra-curricular football-based peace education programme combining regular football training with Hebrew/Arabic language learning, cross-cultural exchange and peace education activities that promote integration, diversity and inclusion among Jewish and Arab Israeli boys and girls aged 8-12.
The overall objective of the TPSS programme is to utilise sport as a tool for facilitating intercultural dialogue and promoting peacebuilding among Jewish and Arab children in Israel. The TPSS programme instils in Jewish and Arab children the values of sportsmanship, teamwork, inclusion and tolerance, establishing a strong foundation for further engagement between Jewish and Arab participants in other contexts throughout the children’s lives.
TPSS programme activities include:
- Training for community coaches: Coaches from participating communities receive training in the Peres Center’s football-based peace education methodologies, as well as in children’s rights and safeguarding, improving their awareness and their ability to provide children with quality extra-curricular educational activities.
- Uni-cultural activity sessions: Bi-weekly football training sessions are held in the children’s own communities, supplemented with Hebrew/Arabic language learning (including greetings and football-related vocabulary) which allows the children to prepare for and process their experiences when meeting members of the other community.
- Bicultural activity sessions: Paired groups of Jewish and Arab children meet for four joint peace education sessions. These are a chance for the children to use their new language skills to interact with each other and play football together. The innovative Fairplay method for football is used in which the participants determine the rules of the game, referee themselves and resolve conflicts on the pitch through facilitated dialogue.
- Year-end activity: All children come together for a full day of peace education activities. This event, bringing participants from across the country together with community and cultural leaders is hugely influential for children who see their participation in the programme as part of a large-scale popular movement for peace.
- Facilitation of intercultural dialogue and engagement among 310 Jewish and Arab children through football.
- Positive changes in perception, elimination of stereotypes, and the promotion of cooperation, trust and understanding in 310 Jewish and Arab children.
- Greater access to quality extra-curricular sports and peace education in 16 Jewish and Arab communities across Israel.