Commonwealth Point of Light 153. Nikoletta Polydorou
Nikoletta Polydorou, representing Cyprus, is a music teacher who runs ‘Sistema Cyprus’, an initiative founded in 2018 to help transform the lives of children and young people from vulnerable and marginalised communities by providing free music education.
‘Sistema Cyprus’ provides free musical instruments, donated by the Yianis Christodoulou Foundation, and 5 hours of lessons a week to more than 200 children, many of whom have refugee or migrant backgrounds, helping them build confidence and communication skills with one another. The project also runs its own children’s orchestra and choir which holds regular concerts for members of the public, and collaborates with institutions to provide academic scholarship opportunities, across many fields, for young people graduating high school.
Nikoletta was presented with her award by the Deputy British High Commissioner in Cyprus, Ian Whitting, in Nicosia.
Ian Whitting, Deputy British High Commissioner in Cyprus, said:
“I am delighted to present this Commonwealth Points of Light award to Nikoletta, in recognition of the fantastic and inspiring work that she is leading through ‘Sistema Cyprus’. Through music, Nikoletta and her team are playing a vital role in integrating vulnerable communities in Cyprus into wider society, as well as educating young people in the power of music to bring people together.”
“I am deeply honoured to receive the Commonwealth Points of Light Award as a unique recognition of my work as a volunteer. I feel that the award is really for every volunteer that shared my vision from the beginning and joined this wonderful journey. It was and it still is difficult, but this award gives me all the strength to continue. ‘Sistema Cyprus’ is not a programme, ‘Sistema Cyprus’ is a family where children and parents were part of every decision that was made. The ‘light’ I would like to share is to focus on a project by involving the beneficiary community with the main aim to work with instead of working for. And this is the main achievement.”