Cyprus LGBT and Domestic Violence Campaigner
Commonwealth Point of Light 197. Patricia Phaedonos
Patricia Phaedonos, representing Cyprus, is a full-time school counsellor and long-standing volunteer dedicated to supporting LGBTQ+ rights in the country and combating violence against women.
Patricia volunteers for multiple organisations including ‘Accept Cyprus’, supporting LGBTQ+ rights, and the ‘Cyprus Family Planning Association’, the leading organisation on sexual and reproductive health and rights in Cyprus. Patricia has also volunteered extensively with the Cyprus-based SPAVO (Association for the Prevention and Handling of Violence in the Family) where she worked to build greater capacity for handling cases involving domestic violence, as well as providing counselling and support for women who have experienced such violence.
Receiving her award from the British High Commissioner in Nicosia, Patricia said:
“Actively working for what you feel passionate about can be very challenging. People working within NGOs often feel disappointed and tired when things appear not to be happening fast enough or good enough. This award is a reminder, for all of us, that the hard work of NGOs is visible and meaningful. It is true that dreams can come true and positive change can take place when there is respect, support, encouragement and, most importantly, teamwork.”
Stephen Lillie CMG, British High Commissioner to Cyprus, said:
“I warmly congratulate Patricia Phaedonos on becoming the latest Cypriot to receive the Commonwealth Points of Light Award from Her Majesty The Queen. It is a well-deserved recognition for her long-standing voluntary and advocacy work with NGOs and charities that promote and defend the rights of some of the most vulnerable groups in society. That work exemplifies the values of tolerance, diversity and respect for individual rights which characterise the Commonwealth. I know that Patricia’s co-workers and colleagues will also take great satisfaction in the award, which reflects well on them also.”
Pictured below: Patricia receiving her award from British High Commissioner to Cyprus Stephen Lillie CMG