This week’s blog is brought to you by PPI-NI international fellow, Jazz Bishop!
In a few short weeks DePauw University will be back in Belfast for their annual exchange. For the past 5 years Coach Fenlon and his wife Gigi have brought a group of DePauw University students to Belfast to experience PeacePlayers first hand.
During their week and a half stay in Northern Ireland, they are fully immersed into our programming. They are split into groups for each side of the city: east, north, south, and west. In their groups, they attend BIL and BIL+ sessions, in addition to twinning sessions. They get the full hands on experience of what it is like to be a part of PeacePlayers and why the type of work we do is so important.
When DePauw University is here for their visit we have a residential planned to go to the north coast. They get to see some of the beauty of Northern Ireland like the Giants Causeway, Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge and a few other great sites. The group finishes their time with us by participating in our end of term basketball celebration/tournament, Summer Jam. It’s a full day of fun, music, dancing and basketball. Summer Jam is a great way for PeacePlayers to showcase to DePauw University, and all others in attendance, that if children can play together, they can learn to live together.
The exchange that PeacePlayers Northern Ireland has established with DePauw University has become mutually beneficial for all involved. The exchanges help students get hands-on experience of coaching with our programs to see how we work towards conflict resolution. It allows the students that are involved to become familiar with our international fellowship program opportunities. It not only helps them to become familiar with fellowship opportunities, but it helps get the PeacePlayers name and mission out to others. It is a cultural learning experience for all involved. Our PeacePlayers coaches and participants are provided the opportunity to work with internationals and learn from them. Last, but not least, DePauw University also helps PeacePlayers by fundraising for our annual Summer Jam tournament.
Each year the exchange has improved more and more with better planning and quality. With the 5th exchange about to start in the next few weeks, there are high expectations but I am more than confident that we will surpass them and make this years exchange the best one yet.