Local Kenyan community rallies around family of Ethiopian Airlines crash victim
CTV Calgary Staff
Published Friday, March 15, 2019 8:15PM MDT
Last Updated Friday, March 15, 2019 8:33PM MDT
Following the loss of Derick Lwugi to Sunday’s plane crash in Ethiopia that claimed a total of 157 lives, members of Calgary’s Kenyan community have united to support the widow and three children of the City of Calgary accountant.
“Through messages of sympathy, floral tributes, and material support, the community support continues to be a source of comfort to the grieving family,” said Wycliffe Odour, president of the Kenya Calgary Association.
Efforts are underway within the community, with the support of the Canadian government and Ethiopian Airlines, to fly Gladys Kivia and the children to Africa to visit Derek Lwugi’s final resting place.
“They are willing to provide a ticket for the family to be able to fly out to Addis Ababa when they are able to fly,” said Vincent Onyango, a family spokesperson.
“That has been Gladys’ wish, to go to the crash site, so she can have a sense of closure,” added Stephen Amadala, a friend of the family.
A trust fund has been established in Lwugi’s name to assist a charity in Kenya that helps youth attend school, an initiative the 53-year-old had supported throughout his life.
A GoFundMe campaign has also been created to help cover funeral costs. The memorial service has been scheduled for Saturday and a prayer vigil will be held in the family’s home on Sunday.
With files from CTV’s Kathy Le