A service in memory of Eritrean refugee Ashih Tekleab Haile will be held at Mater Dei Hospital chapel today at 2.30 p.m.
The body will then be transported to Malta International Airport to be taken to Eritrea. It is being taken from Malta to Eritrea via Italy and Cairo and will arrive at its destination on Thursday.
Ashih Tekleab Haile died last Wednesday after rescuing a French colleague from drowning in Paradise Bay.
The Prime Minister is to recommend him for a medal of bravery but the law governing the National Order of Merit will have to be amended first to allow the award of the honour to foreigners.
The 32-year-old Eritrean refugee, who arrived in Malta in October 2009, was employed as a beach boy at Paradise Bay Hotel and was married.
The Eritrean Community in Malta were collecting funds to return Ashih’s body to Eritrea so that he could be buried in his homeland.
The community, together with the Jesuit Refugee Service Malta, are also raising funds to help his family.
Ashih used to send money to his widowed mother and four unmarried siblings in Eritrea regularly, to help them to get by.
Anyone wishing to donate funds can send a cheque to JRS – Ashih Tekleab Fund, 50 Triq ix-Xorrox, Birkirkara BKR 1631 or by depositing money in one of these accounts:
BOV: JRS – Ashih Tekleab Fund – Ac. No. 40020083708
HSBC: JRS – Ashih Tekleab Fund – Ac. No. 016116055056.