A young Cypriot, Maria Kramvi, carrying out a scheme fostering peace and connection between Greek-Cypriot and Turkish-Cypriot children is among the finalists for this year`s Commonwealth Youth Awards.

As the co-founder of ‘Rhythm of Cyprus’, Maria runs an education programme which uses music as a peacebuilding tool to connect Greek-Cypriot and Turkish-Cypriot children, and build sustainable communities based on inclusion and understanding. As the team lead of ‘Sistema Cyprus’, Maria also provides free music education to migrants, refugees and underprivileged children. Over 2000 children have benefited from the initiative, supporting social sustainability and peacebuilding in the region.

According to a Commonwealth press release, twenty extraordinary young people, including inventors, activists and entrepreneurs, from 17 countries have been announced as finalists for this year’s Commonwealth Youth Awards.
Four youths from Europe and Canada have been shortlisted for projects promoting peace, gender equality and action on climate.
These include:
Canada: A health toolkit for educating students on the risks of vaping.
Cyprus: A scheme fostering peace and connection between Greek-Cypriot and Turkish-Cypriot children.
United Kingdom: An initiative that encourages schools to change the way they perceive autistic students.
Canada: A youth-led social enterprise which creates positive-impact media content and hosts workshops.

According to the press release, organised by the Commonwealth Youth Programme, the  Commonwealth Youth Awards recognise outstanding Commonwealth young people (aged 15-29), whose projects are transforming lives in their communities; providing practical solutions to complex problems and helping to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals and 2030 Agenda.
More than 1000 entries were received this year – the highest ever recorded. The finalists were selected across each of the award’s regional categories (Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Europe & Canada, and the Pacific) following a rigorous judging process.
The top finalist from each region will be announced as the regional winner at the official awards ceremony on 16 March. The ceremony will be held virtually for the second time due to the COVID-19 pandemic and will be livestreamed on the Commonwealth’s social platforms.
Of these five regional winners, one outstanding young person will become the Commonwealth Young Person of the Year 2022.
All 20 finalists will each receive a trophy, certificate and £1,000 to expand the impact of their projects. Each regional winner will receive £3,000 and the overall pan-Commonwealth winner will take home a total of £5,000.
Speaking ahead of the announcement, the Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland said: “Every year I am blown away by our youth award winners` talent, resilience, dedication, and tenacity. This year, we recognise the skill, imagination and dedication of young people in the face of the immense challenges created during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

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