Our Stories

Adam Mbicha Konarski

Adam Mbicha - 1.5 years old from Poland, a joyful little boy, smart and handsome who just stopped breastfeeding his mother 2 weeks earlier. Adam never cried unless he was sleepy or hungry, he loved playing football, swimming and playing with his friends. He just started talking... Stella & Adam where going to Kenya for vacation.

Stella Osebe Konarska

Stella – Mama Adam, 35 from Kenya, former Qatar Airways cabin crew, graduated psychology on Nairobi University. Stella was an international figure with friends all over the world, person full of love, happiness and good vibes. Compassionate mother and wife family was the highest priority for Stella. Stella & Adam where going to Kenya for vacation.

Joanna Toole

Joanna Toole, a 36-year-old from Exmouth, Devon, was also heading to Nairobi to attend the conference. Her father, Adrian, described her as a “very soft and loving” woman whose “work was not a job - it was her vocation”.

Joseph Kuria Waithaka

Joseph Waithaka a, 55, Kenyan and British dual national, also died in the crash. He helped so many people who had found themselves on the wrong side of the law. He was a generous man who loved justice. Relentless in his love for his family, with a deep standing in his faith and an endeavour to serve his community. Joseph was humorous, endearing, humble, fair and wise. He’s legacy lives on in the many lives he touched and is deeply missed.

Samya Rose Stumo

Samya Stumo, 24, and a 2010 graduate of Mount Everett Regional School. Stumo is the daughter of Michael Stumo and Nadia Milleron of Sheffield. Milleron is the niece of consumer activist Ralph Nader, who is a native of nearby Winsted, Connecticut. Samya also has two brothers, Adnaan and Tor. Rajkotia, her boss at ThinkWell, described Sa as “a rising star, contagiously enthusiastic about her work and about life in general.”

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Rubi Wangui Pauls

Rubi Pauls, a 9-months old Canadian was a bubbly baby girl who brought a lot of joy to the family of Paul Njoroge and Caroline Quinns. She liked songs and enjoyed Kellie’s singing and dancing. As her sister Kelli would say, Rubi was he family’s princess No. 2.

Kellie Wanjiku Pauls

Kelli Pauls, a 4 year-old Canadian was a student of St. Joseph Elementary School in Hamilton, Greater Toronto Area. Kelli was effervescent. Her smile and singing would light up the family’s mood. She was polite, patient and very considerate of others. Kelli enjoyed singing and playing in the swings. Kelli shared a great love of family. She was the princess of the house.

Ryan Njuguna Njoroge

Ryan Njoroge, a 6 year-old Canadian was a student of St. Joseph Elementary School in Hamilton, Greater Toronto Area. Ryan was an energetic boy who enjoyed playing soccer and athletics. He had a lot of interest in learning more about the galaxy and computers. Ryan was very bright, caring and polite. To his classmates and the teachers, Ryan exuded a contagious ‘joie de vivre’. He quietly led with a strong moral compass. Ryan was a daddy’s boy.

Caroline Nduta Karanja

Caroline Quinns, a 33 year-old resident of Hamilton, Greater Toronto Area, was traveling together with her three children and her mother. Carol was a qualified accountant who worked with a bio-fuels company in Hamilton, Ontario. She was a dedicated home-maker and a loving wife, mother, daughter and sister. She was a woman of high intellect and was considered by many, in her native-community in Kenya, a role-model and a mentor of millennial girls. Carol endeavored to influence the lives of young and teenage girls in her native-Kenyan community through counselling and education. She was warm-hearted and humble. She remains the Queen of her husband’s heart. Her family and friends will forever cherish her.

Anne Wangui Karanja

Anne Wangui Karanja was a loving wife and the best mother her children could ever ask for, being the pillar of support for her family and creating a happy home for them. Anne was deeply religious. She gave her life to Christ completely and served in the catholic church at various capacities with no complaints. She was so dedicated that the church had to amend the constitution, extending the terms of service from two to three and requesting her to extend her term of leadership. In addition to nurturing souls and shaping the future through education, she was also involved in mentoring young girls. Even with the little she had, she sponsored bright children from humble backgrounds to ensure they completed their education. Anne was a champion of development in her village, she led in building water storage tanks to make sure that everyone had access to clean water. She had resigned and traveled to Canada in September 2018 in order to take care of Rubi Wanjiku Pauls, her granddaughter who was also in the crash. She gave up so much to make sure others are happy. She simply loved being there for others and making their lives easier. This was where she received her greatest joy. She exhibited the value of the true love through her actions. Her smile, generosity, kindness, sweetness, honesty, elegance, bravity, strength, energy, resilience, thoughtfulness and selflessness will never be forgotten.

Ghislaine De Claremont

Ghislaine De Claremont was the mother of two daughters Jessica and Melissa Mairesse and the founding pillar of her entire family. She was a strong, courageous and loving woman, a source of joy for all who knew her. She left after her friends and family offered her the chance to fulfil her dream of 60 years: a safari in Africa.

Cedric Asiavugwa

Cedric Asiavugwa, who studied international business and economic law at Georgetown University in Washington, was on his way to Nairobi after the death of his fiancee’s mother, the university said in a statement.

Stéphanie Lacroix

Stéphanie is the youngest daughter of Alain Lacroix and Sylvie Lamarche Lacroix and sister of Dominique, whom she looked up to growing up. Recognized for her hard work and perseverance at different levels of her schooling, Stéphanie became a confident young woman, surrounding herself with people who shared her passion for making the world a better place. She developed an interest in working with youth as a babysitter, camp counsellor and member of a humanitarian group at her high school. She had a positive impact at the University of Ottawa, actively involved in campus activities and was described as a compass to students and staff in her roles as community advisor, summer orientation guide and residence coordinator. In 2015, she graduated as valedictorian with a Bachelor of Social Science, with Honours in International Development and Globalization and bilingual diploma. Stéphanie began the international portion of her career in Botswana. She worked with Stepping Stones International, designing the first English Access program, helping children progress in reading and also assisting youth with income generating ideas and empowering them to create community businesses. Stéphanie’s talents, skills and passion were recognized by UNA-Canada in 2016 when she was selected to serve as a Junior Professional Consultant with the United Nations Resident Coordinator’s Office in Harare, Zimbabwe, where she coordinated many of the Office’s activities and managed donor gifts, making a significant contribution in only six months. Stéphanie continued to pursue her career with the World University Service of Canada in Malawi, where she provided support to volunteers and partners alike, making important contributions to the economic empowerment of youth and women. The staff and volunteers who go through the WUSC Malawi office benefit from the initiatives that she put into place, especially the mental health resources that she worked so hard to develop and implement. On March 10, 2020, WUSC Malawi announced the design of The Stéphanie Lacroix Room that will ensure that Stéphanie’s impacts transcend her time in Malawi and that future staff and volunteers continue to benefit from her positive influence. She was very proud to rejoin UNA-Canada in 2018, this time as a staff member, to lead international youth delegations through the Canada Service Corps. Her boss and mentor, Scott Bohachik, describes Stéphanie as «a warm, smart, kind, curious, highly motivated professional who brought a special energy to her work. Her passion for international development and creating a better world shined through her actions both personally and professionally. Stéphanie had a remarkable impact on those she served, and inspires her friends, family and colleagues each and every day.» Although Stéphanie was a world traveler, she loved coming home to her native Timmins, Ontario to spend quality time at the cottage fishing, four wheeling, snowmobiling or simply being with those who loved her and knew her best. She expressed how lucky she was to have been given the freedom and the values necessary to take on the world and to grow as a person. Her passion for making a difference inspires us to take action to ensure that the 737 Max 8 does not fly again until it is safe to do so. There cannot be a third crash and no other family should go through the pain that we have been living with since March 10, 2019.

Yaser Eissa

A 49 year old father of 3 daughters, aged 22, 19 and 13. He was on his way to visit a customer in Mombasa. Originally from Egypt he left behind not only his family in Germany, but also in Egypt. He took up the challenge to live between two cultures. A kind, humorous, sensitive and respectful man who loved his life. His capacity to love his family was boundless.

Prof. Agnes W. Gathumbi

Prof. Agnes Wangari Gathumbi was the Director of Teacher Professional Development and Teaching Practicum in Kenyatta University, Kenya. She was on her way home from a conference in Italy to celebrate her birthday on March 11th with her loving husband J. S. Gathumbi. She was an intelligent, humble and loving wife, mother, grandmother, sister and friend. Her legendary work lives on: agnes-gathumbi.com

Zhou Yuan

Zhou Yuan was born on October 9, 1981. March 10, 2019 via Ethiopia to the Kenyan capital Nairobi to perform official duties. He is the only child of his parents (the only child in China) and the father of an 8-year-old daughter and 5-year-old son.

George Kabau

George Wanderi Kabau, a 29 years old Electrical Engineer, was returning to Nairobi after completing an assignment for General Electric in Ethiopia when the tragic crash occurred. Highly virtuous, focused and authentic, George believed in and lived by the values of hard work, honesty and service to the community. He remains deeply cherished by his family and friends.

Sergei Vyalikov

My son, Sergei Vyalikov, born 09.05.1985. Like all Russian children attended kindergarten, I graduated from high school. Sergei grew very versatile kid, all he was interested. During training at school he was repeatedly a medalist in mathematics, chemistry, and biology. I read a lot, absolutely everything: Russian classics, modern and foreign literature. His hobby was making model planes and helicopters. From childhood his dream was to the sky. Fond of sports: running, skating, sambo wrestling, mountain biking, snowboarding. After finishing Tver Technical University, he dabbled in many fields. That is, he looked for something that it would satisfy, as a person looking and versatile. Since 2011, he became interested in parachuting, which later became his profession. During his work, most of his friends have also become paratroopers. He was able to inspire and convince! Also became his hobby billiards. He did not miss a single tournament, becoming a member of a billiard club in the city of Tver. It has a lot of cups and medals for prizes in tournaments. After working in 1000 jumps, I decided to get an international certificate tandem instructor. In 2016 successfully passed the exams to obtain the certificate. For admission exam was invited by the examiner from the United States. After receiving the certificate Sergey received a lot of job offers in other countries. But he could not leave, as my father was seriously ill. Sergei thought that in such a difficult period, it should be with us, helping us morally and financially. With his departure I have lost most of their hearts. This pain will never leave me and stay with me until the end of my days. I want everyone who was involved in the death of my dear and beloved son, the answer for this disaster, so that people no longer suffer from the loss of their loved ones, to Boeing finally came to his senses and realized that money is not the main thing in life!

Jared Babu Mwazo

Jared Babu Mwazo was born on 31st Jan 1991 as 1st born child of Mr & Mrs Joshua Mwazo Babu. He is survived by both parents and a sister Janet and brother Jason. Jared established himself as a shrewd businessman immediately after graduating with a Bachelors of Commerce degree at Strathmore University where he met Mercy. He was also a key leader in the family business - Seaways Kenya Ltd besides starting his own 4 other businesses from scratch. His business interests were mainly in logistics, Advertising, technological and financial. Jared strongly believed in nurturing the youth through mentoring in leadership skills. His desire was to contribute in developing a generation of leaders who are fearless and serve their communities with integrity. It is this passion that led him and his friend Simon kioko to start "You and I" as a social enterprise with specific programs intended to achieve this objective.

Anne-Katrin Feigl

Anne-Katrin Feigl was born on the 27th of July 1989 in Giessen, Germany. On the 10th of March she was en route to a training course in Nairobi as part of her role as a Junior Professional Officer at UN Migration Agency (IOM). Anne had the power and strength to make the best of her life. Her smile was encouraging. She didn't take anything for granted and was passionated and commited to her vocation to help and protect migrants, women and children. Her particular responsibility at IOM was the expansion of Migrant Protection Activities in and outside Khartoum, Sudan. Five days before she died she was able to successfully finish her managed project to open a migrant resource centre in Gedarif State, Sudan. The Ministry of Health and Social Development agreed that the center is called now “Anne-Feigl MRC Center Gedarif”. Her ability to find beauty in everything, to be generous, to be helpful, to be a good listener, to treat everyone with dignity, to be a good soul, enriched her life with a huge community of friends and people, who are a big support for her family. We treasure all the shared memories and experiences. But her life was too short and had an abrupt ending. Death took away our little sunshine. We carry her heart with us. We deeply miss and love her!

Ayantu Girmaye Delessa

Ayantu, the icon girl of Girmaye Delessa (father) and Kebebuwa Legesse (mother) was born on May 27, 1994 G.C. She was born to bring great fortune for her families that’s why her family called her ‘Ayantu’ meaning ‘Lucky’. As soon as the completion of her high school education, she joined Debre Tabor University where she honored her BSc. degree with Applied Biology and graduated with great distinction. Then after she got some training, she started to work in Ethiopian Airlines as cabin crew and had been serving her country in airlines for two years. She was such a hard worker at high level of responsibility with great relation among crew friends. Of the two children of her parents, Ayantu is the younger one and she was 24 years old when she passed away. Ayantu, the cherished girl was such an array of sunshine for her families and she was always happy, kind and optimistic that feels her families the same too.

Ameen Ismail Noormohamed

Ameen, lovingly referred to as "Amirali" by both family and friends, was 72 years old when he lost his life on the ill-fated flight. He was the last born in a family of 9, and a favourite amongst his eldest sisters. He left behind his wife, son, daughter and grand-daughter. Ameen had just become a grandfather and had been looking forward to spending many years spoiling his first and only grand child. Ameen's core belief was to educate his children. Not only did he ensure they got the best of education, but he also extended his kindness to ensure the education of children in India and DRC. He was a simple man with an addictive and catchy laugh, a joker of the party, and a man who loved to sing. He had a song for every moment, and knew the words to every possible Bollywood soundtrack. He loved his Biryani and samosas. His loss has left a big gap in the lives of many, and we pray that his soul rests in eternal peace.

CP Christine Alalo

She was born on 21/03/1970, she died at the age of 49 years. She was employed in the Uganda police force at the rank of Commissioner of Police in charge Child and Family Protection department before being deployed in Somalia in 2016 up the time of her death. At the time of her death she was deployed by the African Union to head the police contingent under the African mission in Somalia (AMISOM )as acting AMISOM Police Commissioner. My late sister was so passionate about protesting Women and Children in armed conflicts that is why in 2009 she was also deployed in South Sudan as UN police advisor(senior operations officer/ deputy sector commander. She died while returning from Italy where she had gone to attend a conference on women and child protection She was a widow who left behind two son who are still school going and several dependents. We as a family will miss her contributions to our family. May the almighty father rest her soul in eternal peace.

Isabella Jaboma

Isabella Jaboma was born May 17, 1987 in Kenya. There are realities that words cannot explain. Her sweet smile was indeed the hearth of our lives, but her inner beauty, how can we make it plain? If it were the length of her lashes that made her special, we'd have an easy tale to tell, but how can we express to you the span of her kindness? A rare eye pigment may trigger awe, but how can we highlight the quiet generosity of a self-effacing girl? Her gumption, due to the absence of ego, could go unnoticed, until the harvest of her relentless efforts arrived. We called her Bella. If her family, her friends, and the ailing children for whom she fought could all sit down and explain what made her special, it would more inadequate than trying to babble a description of a cinematic masterpiece. So, admitting defeat, we will simply tell you that our Bella was beautiful. We will leave you to use your imagination to try to understand what we mean.

Sintayehu Aymeku Ayane

Last born in a family of six children, Sintayehu Aymeku Ayane brought a whole new experience to his family. Due to complication at birth his mother had to have a c-section to bring him to this world and named him Sint-ayehu as a reminder of what she has gone through. Sintayehu continued to be center of attention as he lost his mom at young age. His older sisters and brothers along side with his father gave all they have into raising him to become the loving, caring and responsible family man he turned out to be. Sintayehu found the love of his life and got married at 2004. Committed to provide better life to his family he traveled to USA where he worked and learned to advance himself. He then returned home and had twins with his wife Helen. Sintayehu spent no time apart from his family except when he was at work. He always comes directly from work to his loved ones and helped in every way he could in raising his daughters. His older daughter Yorn could not have enough of having her father around after being separated for eight years. He took her to school every morning and helps her with homework and study after school. Yorn is so proud of her father and they were inseparable. Sintayehu meant the world to his sisters and brothers. He looked after his nieces and nephews. Sintayehu was also an exemplary friend. He kept his school friends in his life until the day he passed. Sunday morning March 10, 2019 he was in a hurry to leave. His older daughter, one of the twins and his wife saw him to the door. He did not want to wake his other daughter as she was deep asleep. In less than 2 hours this hard working and caring father was taken away from the family he loved so much. He was the provider, the leader, the inspiration to his family, friends and to everyone around him. May God rest his soul in peace.

Marie Philipp

Marie was born in Achim in German on 7th December 1990, she studied International Relations in Malmö, Brisbane and Budapest. After her Master degree she got her first permanent position as Junior Expert/Project Manager in October 2017. The support of cross border development was a big part of her work, with a focus on institutional development for drought resilience in the Horn of Africa. For this role Marie moved to Djibouti in 2017. Her last employer, GIZ, expressed it like this in their obituary; “Marie was known for being extraordinarily friendly, open minded, engaged and a highly competent person. Because of her calm and balanced way, which she always preserved even in difficult situations. She had an always ready to help attitude, was well known and loved by everyone. Marie finished all her often challenging tasks with great dedication and special attention to inter-cultural sensibility.” On the 10th March she was on a business trip to Lodwar. Her boss said “Our dear Marie was a role model for young people who want to make the world a better place”. She also had a special interest in people of different cultures and ethnicities, especially in the life and problems of women in Africa. She was creative and caring, not only for her family and friends also for everyone and the environment. We lost a very precious woman.

Mercy Ngami Ndivo

Mercy Ngami Ndivo was born on 13th November 1990 as the 2nd born child to Mr and Mrs Fredrick Ndivo Musau. Mercy was always an "A" student right from her primary education life through the university where she graduated with 1st class honours in Bachelor of Commerce - Finance option and become an affiliate member of the prestigious Association of Certified Chartered Accountants of United Kingdom. She joined the world big 4 accounting firm KPMG immediately upon her graduation where she gained valuable skills in Auditing rising to a Senior Audit Advisor. She obtained her Masters degree from the University of London as she progressed in her career moving to Pula Advisors Ltd as a Senior Accountant. See special tribute from Professor Mary Stiasny OBE, Pro Vice-Chancellor - University of London. Mercy was passionate about child welfare and actively participated in social work at Mama Ngina Children's home, an orphanage for homeless and orphaned children in Kenya. She helped in institutional care programmes, guiding & counselling and educational skills. As parents, we can only wish that her daughter, whom she left at a very tender age, will grow to become a blessing to the family and an asset to our community as a reward for her mothers efforts to help marginalised children. Mercy helped without knowing that her only daughter will one day become an orphan. She is survived by 2 sisters and 2 brothers - Naomi, Emanuel, Blessing & Juda.

Julia Mwashi

Juliah a Kenyan citizen was 43 years. She touched many lives of youth she interacted with at Kenya Girl Guides Association, where she worked as a Branch Coordinator for Young Leaders and Bravo Guides and also the Branch Coordinator for the YESS Program. Juliah, valued the gift of her two daughters, her parents and siblings. She was deeply connected in her faith and was passionately involved in Church activities. As a go-getter and full of life and ambition she had her life chart well crafted. Her memory will forever be etched in the hearts of those she impacted in a special way. Juliah is dearly missed by her two daughters Ivy and Joy and the Mwashi family.

Amma Tesfamariam Woldesenbet

The youngest of four children, Amma was doted on by all, and the centre of her family. Growing up in Addis Ababa, she would go on to graduate in Law from Jimma University, and with both natural ability and inquisitiveness, would explore different careers including becoming an anti-corruption lawyer, air hostess, and starting her own business, ‘Amma Kids’. A children’s clothes shop in Addis Ababa. Amma would always live her life with a positive perspective, having an optimistic view on all things. Being the very essence of both compassion and thoughtfulness, she would also try and help others who were less fortunate than herself. As a mother, Amma showered her daughter with love. That motherly love would spread far and wide, especially with the caring of her parents, where she took on full responsibility whilst her elder siblings pursued careers in both the UK and US. Amma died at 32 years of age, but we are forever grateful for the way she brightened our lives during that time. A devout Christian and woman of true character, it is fitting to refer to Isaiah 57:1-2. ‘Good people pass away; the godly often die before their time. But no one seems to care or wonder why. No one seems to understand that God is protecting them from the evil to come. For those who follow godly paths will rest in peace when they die.’ Amma is survived by her daughter, Rute, and husband, Solomon. We loved her living, and we love her still.

Sara GebreMichael

A loving mother of three boys (Zablon (15 years old), Eyosias 10 years old), and Nolawi (5 years old)) married to Ababu Ameha for the past 16 years. She worked with Ethiopian Airlines for 14Years. That fateful morning, Sara was the cabin crew supervisor on ET 302 among the five cabin crew members. Sara was born in Addis Ababa, on February 2, 1981. The second born in her family, Sara is survived by her brother and father. Sara was very humble and remembered for her beautiful smile, determination and kindness by her children, husbandand all those who knows her. She was a very generous person with big dreams. Life has changed beyond imaginable for her children and husband since March 10 2019. Her children no longer can stand the sound of the crew car coming to pick up another crew member who lives in the neighborhood. Seeing his children suffering, her husband decided to move out of their house in which they livedfor the past eight years. They also feel very sad whenever they see a plane bearing the Ethiopian Airlines flag and have problem traveling on an airplane. Nolawi, still asks when his mother will come back.

Matt Vecere

Matt Vecere fought for the disenfranchised, the poor, for people to have access to clean air and water. He started charities, wrote blogs, participated in protests, flew to developing countries after natural disasters to help (alone), and generally did not accept the status quo. This work took him to dangerous places. For him to die on an airplane manufactured by the United States is the saddest of ironies. He sat amongst many humanitarians, young children, fathers and daughters and mothers. Matt was a brilliant writer and a talented surfer, but his life's work was to champion the vulnerable and the underrepresented and to make change in the world. He is revered as a selfless hero and mentor throughout Haiti, and was working toward further expanding his service to humanity in countless other ways, locally and internationally. His legacy and spirit live on in all whom he uplifted from adversity, inspired, befriended and loved. He was 43 years old and was on his way from Southern California to the United Nations Environmental Assembly in Nairobi to present for his company iQAir, an air quality company.

Sintayehu Shafi Balaker

Sintayehu Shafi Balaker was born in Nazareth town, Ethiopia, on October 4th 1987 G.C. from his mother Mrs. Mintwab Mitiku and his father Mr. Shafi Balaker. He joined Assela Technical College and graduated with very great distinction in Automotive Technology in 2008 G.C. He was the only Toyota Certified Core Training Instructor and one of the highly skilled Diagnosis Master Technician who truly cared about his job, his colleagues and numerous customers. As a result he was very respected and loved by all staff of the TOYOTA Company in MOENCO. He was also very influential & loved one among his family members. He was the youngest child of the family. Sintayehu was the main breadwinner for his family, financially helping not only his parents and his siblings but also his relatives and less privileged people. He was a warm, generous, caring, honest and loving member of his family and is dearly missed by all his friends, colleagues and by all who knew him. May God Rest Sintayehu’s and all other 156 loved ones soul in a Heaven.


Micah Messent was 23 years old when he died in the plane crash in Ethiopia. He had been so excited and honoured to be chosen to be part of the United Nations Environmental Conference in Nairobi. The trip was an exciting opportunity to see another part of the world and experience yet one more adventure in his life. His first flight in his early 20’s was with a friend who piloted a small plane from Victoria to our small airpark in Courtenay. It was an experience he would never forget. Flying high above the Salish Sea (Georgia Strait) and home to Courtenay showed Micah a whole new view of his beloved Vancouver Island. Micah was working in Victoria at the time. He had graduated from Vancouver Island University in Nanaimo with a BA in Indigenous Studies and had entered the Aboriginal Youth Internship Program working with BC Parks based in Victoria. That experience gave him the opportunity to see a great deal of the province of British Columbia as he travelled to many regional BC Parks offices to lead Indigenous Cultural Awareness workshops for parks employees. Micah had Metis heritage which he traced through his mother’s family to the Red River area of Manitoba. His aboriginal cultural background of French, English, Cree and Haudenosaunee was a family legacy he was immensely proud of and his father’s side of the family gave him English and Scotch ancestry. Micah generously shared his skills and knowledge of aboriginal history and culture with family, friends and co-workers. He was inclusive of all in a way that helped them understand the importance of reconciliation. It was important to him that we all knew about the history and treatment of the Indigenous peoples of Canada. He planned to work for BC parks for a couple of years and then continue his education. He wanted to study for a degree in Indigenous Law. He wanted to be able to help make changes for the better for Canada’s Indigenous peoples. Who was Micah the young man? He was someone who would light up a room the minute he walked in. We were all drawn to his warmth, caring, humour and loving heart. He was humble and never let all the attention and admiration go to his head. He focused on the person or group in front of him and he could read the room so well. He had a sense of who in that room was feeling unsure, maybe a little out of place or having a hard day and he would be right there helping them feel welcome and supported. He had a way of making people know how each person was important to him and how glad he was they were in his life - that hour, that day, that life. He was a happy, shining soul who saw the best in all of us. He had a hearty laugh, a sense of the absurd and yet a sensitivity when it was time to be serious. Hundreds of people attended his outdoor memorial on the day that would have been his 24th birthday. So many came up to introduce themselves and each said they were Micah’s best friend. Everyone was his best friend. Everyone loved being around him. People from school (elementary school to university), work, community and family, we have all been devastated by his loss. Micah loved his girlfriend. They met at university. She was in the process of moving to Victoria where they planned to get a home together as soon as he returned from Kenya. Micah loved music. He was a self taught guitar player. He carried a ukulele everywhere for years, strumming cheerfully through his days. He had an amazing eye for photography and his high school years were spent building that skill. Micah’s tender heart loved his baby nieces and nephews. He loved to cuddle puppies (and all other small animals) and they loved him back. Micah loved the natural world. His childhood was spent exploring our Comox Valley, swimming in the river, spending days at deserted west coast beaches and gathering with friends around crackling beach fires as they watched the sun go down over the Pacific Ocean. He knew our world needed to make changes if this way of life could continue for future generations. The year before he died he was with an incredible group of 40 like-minded young people, a group called Ocean Bridge. They were exploring the misty isles of Haida Gwaii (formerly known as the Queen Charlotte Islands). They spent 10 days there helping to clear some of the beaches of marine trash and plastic which had floated on ocean tides. the pictures I have sent along with this story were taken at that time The Ocean Bridge program continues, a new group of young people from all over Canada are chosen yearly to bring awareness and solutions to clean up our Canadian rivers, waterways, lakes and ocean shores. It was a devastating loss for all of us when Micah died in that plane crash on the other side of the world. We keep him in our memories. We miss the stories of his new adventures and his unique way of looking at the world. But we move forward as best we can. The awards and accolades continue and most days bring something of Micah into our lives. His nephew Ethan Tansky is part of a new environmental club at his high school. Their fundraising efforts to get this club off to a good start include a silk screening project using donated clothing. One of the ‘change maker’ designs they are screening is a simple wwmd? – what would Micah do? As well, last month Micah’s oldest sister Jade and I travelled to Quebec City where the Micah Messent Young Professional Award of Excellence was introduced by the Canadian Parks Council with funding support from BC Parks. It will be an annual award given to a young person associated with the Canadian Parks Council member agencies from across Canada. Quote from a BC Parks government news release: “In his short time with BC Parks and the greater parks and protected areas community, Micah helped transform the culture of the organization and was poised to continue to accomplish great things throughout his life. This new award celebrates young professionals who demonstrate similar influence and potential.” Micah was the youngest of my five children. There isn’t a day goes by that my heart doesn’t ache and my tears fall. I am so proud of all that he became in the short time he had to live. He changed so many people – helped them feel good about themselves, helped them see that kindness was a way of living and that our world has a chance to be better through awareness and action. For all of us who knew and loved Micah we need to think of ‘What would Micah do?’ And just do it. Suzanne Camp, Micah Messent’s mother November 13, 2019