The friendship games

Founded and inspired by ed and penelope peskowitz

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Fostering global connections through basketball

The Friendship Games is an event bringing together participants from across our global movement for a week of basketball, leadership, and cultural exchange. After nearly 20 years successfully bridging divides and developing leaders in conflict regions around the world, PeacePlayers was thrilled to launch its first global initiative, the PeacePlayers Friendships Games. The program, generously co-founded by Ed and Penelope Peskowitz in 2019, connects and mobilizes PeacePlayers youth leaders from our five international sites around the globe for a joint program of basketball, leadership training and cultural exchange.

The Friendship Games includes year-round local activities and an annual global convening that brings together some 150 participants, ages 13-16, from the Middle East, South Africa, Northern Ireland, Cyprus and the United States as well as 100 additional international stakeholders.

This initiative marked a new stage in PeacePlayers’ growth, enabling us to “ignite a global movement” of young leaders who are motivated and equipped to use the power of basketball to build a more peaceful and equitable world.

Voices from the field

The true power of a global movement

Bringing together like-minded young people

A Contributor to Cultural Awareness

A Human-Centered approach & perspective

Youth leaders, ages 13-16, who have excelled in PeacePlayers programs around the world come together for an exciting roster of activities, including:


Basketball competition

Join PeacePlayers youth on the basketball court for 3×3 and 5×5 basketball competition


Leadership and learning

Take part in leadership trainings with PeacePlayers youth


Teambuilding/ cultural exchange

Learn about a variety of cultures through food, dance, music, and more

PeacePlayers is ready to scale up it’s impact by igniting a movement of global peacebuilders to work together to build bridges, transform communities, and use sport to show that peace is possible! 


Educations content for the Friendship Games focuses on three important life skills and core values that will serve youth on and off the basketball court. 


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Culture of Collaboration

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Seeing people as people

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inside out transformation

Tulin Abatay PeacePlayers Cyprus

Tulin Abatay | PeacePlayers Cyprus Friendship Games 2020

With PeacePlayers, I really changed. I got a whole new perspective about the conflict and how we were taught to be full of hatred. We are the new generation, I feel like we could change a whole lot of things in Cyprus and in the whole world.

Friendship Games 2022

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PeacePlayers hosted our first ever in-person global convening, the 2022 Friendship Games. 150+ participants, coaches, and guests from around the globe met in the Middle East from July 29 to August 3, 2022 for a week of teambuilding, basketball, leadership, and sharing of each others’ cultures. 

Meet our 2022 Storytelling Ambassadors

Friendship Games 2021

Cultural Twinnings
January - June

Once a month, a PeacePlayers site hosts youth, alumni and coaches from around the world in team building and cultural learning activities that serve to unite our youth and give them the feeling that they are part of something greater — a global movement.

PeacePlayers Walk

June 21 - August 6

In order to encourage physical activity and excite our youth about the upcoming Games, we are hosting a virtual “walk” between sites. Participants and friends of PeacePlayers will receive a Fitbit to track their steps while they walk, run, and play basketball throughout the day.

The Global Journey

15,251.85 Miles, 24545.96 Kilometers

PeacePlayers Walk Global Journey

Virtual Friendship games 2020

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