Natalie Christopher was a Cypriot Astrophysicist (Oxford PhD), working on Astronomy for Peace and a keen sportswoman. Frustrated at the lack of female participation in sports and the lack of recognition of female athletes in Cyprus, she founded the Cyprus Girls Can (CGC) campaign in 2017. CGC carries Natalie’s legacy and aims to get women and girls, of all ages and abilities, all across Cyprus more involved in sports. CGC provides the opportunity to try new sports, visit new places across the island, and make new friends. Many women have crossed the divide or met someone from the other community through CGC.
Natalie’s contribution was also of paramount importance for the success of the Columba-Hypatia: Astronomy for Peace Project. Natalie, as part of a bi-communal team, reached out to primary schools across the divide and facilitated workshops and science activities that laid the foundations for deconstructing stereotypes and creating long-lasting friendships. Following her involvement in the aforementioned project, Natalie initiated a series of educational activities – such as camps and observations – aiming mostly at the active involvement of youth and women in peacebuilding through astronomy.
The peace building community in Cyprus and beyond will always remember Natalie as the powerful woman she was and her example will guide us to carry on working for change!