peaceplayers report 2020 (2) - Flipbook - Page 26
2020 IMPACT REPORT
SPIN IN FOCUS
SPIN IN FOCUS
Funded by Comic Relief (UK), PeacePlayers started a twoyear partnership with the local Rwandan basketball nonprofit Ubumwe Sports Initiative (USI) in February 2018.
PeacePlayers is working hand-in-hand with USI to scale
their low-cost, volunteer-led initiatives for youth basketball
and peacebuilding into eight highly populated districts in
Rwanda. Over the past year, PeacePlayers and Ubumwe
have led a series of national, regional and city level coaches’
trainings in which hundreds of basketball coaches in Rwanda
gained tools for positive youth coaching and PeacePlayers’
peacebuilding curriculum. They also created sustainable
peacebuilding and basketball programming that engaged
over 1,500 youth and 100 coaches, inspiring them to learn,
share and grow with people from different backgrounds.
In 2018, PeacePlayers entered into a partnership
with Sam Presti, the General Manager of the
Oklahoma City Thunder, to build the capacity of
the Oklahoma City Police Athletic League (OKC
PAL). The program focused on strengthening the
program design and implementation of the Police
League through targeted technical assistance.
Priority areas identified for the partnership
included monitoring and evaluation capacity, and
Coach and Officer Training Strategy. PeacePlayers
worked directly with OKC PAL leadership to
develop a schedule of offerings and engagements
over a 24-month period that would focus on
training key staff and volunteers to implement
best practices in both areas over the long term.
Igiraneza Aimer is a 12-year-old boy born in the
Gicumbi district in Rwanda’s Northern Province. He
is one of four children who were sent by the pastor
of the local parish to participate in the USI Camp
in Gicumbi.. After learning about the planned USI
activities and the values that are taught to children
through basketball, the pastor thought it a valuable
opportunity for these children, who had dropped out
of school, and were currently begging on the streets.
After the camp, we asked Aimer why he dropped
2020 IMPACT REPORT
out of school. He shared that he did not see parental
love. He dropped out of school and left his home as a
result, but attending USI camp and seeing the love he
received and getting to socialize with other children
encouraged him to return home and get back in
school. He decided to teach his parents about conflict
resolution and how they can come together to work
for their family to get out of poverty. Aimer is now
one of the best performers in school and one of our
most committed participants.
Our relationship with PeacePlayers International began at what was then considered the peak performance
of our program. Our athletics program had made some tremendous strides from 2015-2017 and our
perception was that we were hitting the marks we’d intended to hit. While our programs were reaching an
incredible amount of student-athletes and schools, our time spent with PPI helped us take a step back and
realize we’d missed the objective of true police engagement across all programs. We knew we had pockets
of high-quality, valuable engagement between the community and our officers, but that engagement was
not happening in enough places. Because of our relationship with PPI, we realized we had to take a step
back towards the foundation of what we were trying to build to ensure police were engaged at every level.
While our findings may appear to be a step in the wrong direction, the reality is they helped us see what
could have been a significant flaw in our program model, had we gone forward without addressing it.
Executive Director, OKC Police Athletic League