Soccer for Peace holds two distinct programs, a summer camp and a year-long academy. While different in scope, both are built upon the same pillars:
(i) intensive, top-quality soccer training
(ii) bi-lingual, age-appropriate dialogue workshops, and
(iii) social activities and excursions.
The summer camp has occurred for three consecutive years and is a highly concentrated program. A typical day entails two high impact training sessions, two hour-long dialogue sessions, an arts & crafts workshop or other cultural activity, free swim, evening activity, and of course meals. Special activities such as excursions to one another’s towns (i.e. Arab & Jewish), visits to professional teams and a barbecue for the parents round out the program. Campers mix not only on the field and in the classroom but in the dorms as well. The camp occurs in the summer and has previously lasted one week. Our hope is to extend that for up to eight weeks.
The year long academy was launched in October 2007. Participants from the camp returned for nine months of additional programming, with the added element of competitive league play. 3-4 times per week they gather on the soccer pitch, and once a week they participate in dialogue workshops. The group, divided into several teams, also competes in a local league running the length of the school year. As per the camp, the year-long program includes social and cultural excursions.
Our goal is to welcome a new group of 10 year olds to the camp every summer. That group is subsequently enrolled in the year-long program, and then returns to camp the following year. This cycle will continue until the age of 16, such that a given group of Jews and Arabs will have near daily contact from ages 10 to 16.