The Peres Centre for Peace was established in 1996 by Israel’s newly elected President, Mr Shimon Peres. It is a powerful engine for peace building – a non-political, non-profit organization committed to building a better life in the region for Palestinians, Arabs and Israelis through cooperation and mutual respect.
With over ten years’ experience, the Peres Center, through extensive communication, cooperation and close interaction with Arab partners, is leading the way in the region in peace-building projects which include a focus on Agriculture, Business & Economics, Civil Society Dialogue & Cooperation, Medicine & Healthcare, Peace Education & Culture and Sport.
The Peres Center designs and facilitates tangible peace-building projects that address these interests, utilizing cross-border, regional and international partnerships to bring these initiatives to fruition. The Centre also has an impressive International Board of Governors and details are available on their website.
For the purpose of this briefing, the Sports Department of the Peres Center initiates and implements a wide array of projects and programs, utilizing Sport to encourage solidarity, mutual understanding, respect and interaction between Palestinian and Israeli children and youth. Throughout the year, the Sports Department brings together Palestinian and Israeli children, youth and coaches for joint sporting and social activities. Such meetings have continued even during periods of great hostility, demonstrating the power of Sport to break down barriers of mistrust and encourage a mutual language of equality and fair play.
Many of the Sports Department’s programs cater to children and youth from socio-economically disadvantaged and peripheral communities, thereby providing these youth with opportunities otherwise not available to them. For more information you can view the YouTube Fundraising film produced for the tenth anniversary of the Peres Center for Peace focusing on the sports departments’ achievements.
The Al-Quds Association for Democracy and Dialogue, whose headquarter is in Ramallah, aims at establishing a peace-building mechanism which will eventually bring a long lasting and just peace to the region between both nations through the dissemination of the values of peace, democracy, tolerance and a culture of peace in Palestinian society; the broadening of the circle of supporters of peace within Palestinian and Israeli society and encouraging the culture of dialogue; enhancement of the exchange of culture and heritage between regional and international organisations.
AFDD’s work is essential in equipping Palestinian society with the values and skills they need to make a difference in their environment and become responsible citizens spreading the message of democracy, peace and nonviolence within Palestine and Israel. AFDD is convinced that dialogue and exchange among people is a key strategy to overcome conflict.
For this reason, AFDD electively partnered with the Peres Center for Peace in 2006 in order to build a joint Peace Sports School Program in which sport is used as a powerful tool to bring Israelis and Palestinians together and provide a common platform for contact and interaction. The program imparts the values of peace and mutual understanding, encourages acceptance of cultural differences, and breaks down negative stereotypes. Additional objectives include improving sports skills, coordination and agility; promoting excellence in competition; fostering confidence, leadership skills, sportsmanship and responsibility; and improving academic abilities and encouraging high scholastic performance.
Moreover, AFDD has established strong partnerships with several local and international organizations working in the field of peace, youth and cultural exchange.