Music as the path to peace

(Reposted from: CyprusMail. February 22, 2022)

Commonwealth award finalist promoting music as bicommunal peacebuilding tool

A young Cypriot Phd candidate of the Open University of Cyprus who has organised a scheme fostering peace and connection between Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot children is among the finalists for the 2022 Commonwealth Youth Awards.

Maria Kramvi, the co-founder of ‘Rhythm of Cyprus’, runs a bicommunal education programme which uses music as a peacebuilding tool to connect Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot children. As the team lead of ‘Sistema Cyprus’, Kramvi also provides free music education to migrants, refugees and underprivileged children.

According to a Commonwealth press release, 20 extraordinary young people, including inventors, activists and entrepreneurs, from 17 countries have been announced as finalists for this year’s Commonwealth Youth Awards.

Organised by the Commonwealth Youth Programme, these awards recognise outstanding Commonwealth young people whose projects are transforming lives in their communities, providing practical solutions to complex global problems and helping to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals and 2030 Agenda.

Kramvi is one of the four finalists of the Europe-Canada region shortlisted for projects promoting peace, gender equality and action on climate. The academic community of the Open University of Cyprus wishes Maria best of luck!

More than 1000 entries were received this year – the highest ever recorded. The top finalist from each region will be announced as the regional winner at the official awards ceremony on March 16.

The ceremony will be held virtually, and will be livestreamed on the Commonwealth’s social platforms.

Maria Kramvi is a music professional who tirelessly engages with community programmes that promote social justice, peacebuilding and inclusion through music and education. She is one of the team leaders of the socio-music organisation Sistema Cyprus, coordinating the Larnaca Wind Orchestra and leading community music workshops at shelters of unaccompanied refugee minors.

Maria is also the co-founder of the bi-communal initiative “Rhythm of Cyprus” that uses music as a peacebuilding tool for connecting Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot children. She has recently begun her PhD studies at the Open University of Cyprus, under the supervision of professor Michalinos Zembylas, researching music education and peace education.

Sistema Cyprus is a social-music orchestra and choir programme established in 2018, which offers music education to the children and young people of Cyprus, including migrants, refugees and ensures that these groups are respected, recognised, and included in the society. Sistema Cyprus is inspired by the El Sistema social action music programme that was first founded in Venezuela in 1975. El Sistema and other El Sistema inspired programmes, like Sistema Cyprus, offer free classical music education that gives children and youth with few opportunities all over the world the opportunity for personal development.

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