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MAT KEARNEY

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Four Christian relief workers were among those dead in the Ethiopian Airlines crash last weekend. (Catholic Relief Services)

Four Christian aid workers were named among the 157 dead in last weekend's Ethiopian Airlines crash.

The individuals were employees of Catholic Relief Services (CRS), an organization that has worked since 1943 as the official international humanitarian aid provider of the Catholic community.

Sara Chalachew, Getnet Alemayehu, Sintayehu Aymeku, and Mulusew Alemu were travelling to Nairobi, Kenya on the fatal Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 to attend training. The flight crashed only moments after takeoff leaving no survivors.

In an online post, the CRS paid tribute to the members of their staff who passed away in the crash.

"It is with heavy hearts that we share the news that four members of our staff were killed in the Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 crash on Sunday, March 10," CRS announced.

"Although we are in mourning, we celebrate the lives of these colleagues and the selfless contributions they made to our mission, despite the risks and sacrifices that humanitarian work can often entail. Our thoughts and prayers are with their families and all of those who lost loved ones as a result of this tragedy."

CRS has created an online website in remembrance of the four aid workers, most of whom had served with the organization for several years.

"The CRS family is shaken but not broken," the website reads. "Today, we honor their lives by sharing the love and charity they gave to their friends, family and colleagues, and other communities that are not as fortunate."

Aymeku began work for the CRS first in 2017 as senior procurement officer before transitioning a year later into the role of procurement manager for the organization. He leaves behind a wife and three daughters.

Since 2010, Chalachew worked as a commodity accountant until she began serving as a senior project manager in 2018.

Alemu had been with CRS since May 2015, serving their finance department in various roles.

Beginning as a procurement officer in 2009, Alemayehu also served as a senior procurement officer in the CRS's administration department. In December 2018, he was named a senior project officer. He is survived by his wife and daughter.

All four employees worked on behalf of the CRS in Ethiopia.

Sean Callahan, CEO and president of the CRS, expressed that while the organization remains in mourning, they also look with celebration over the lives of influence led by Chalachew, Alemayehu, Aymeku, and Alemu.

"Our colleagues did an incredible job of responding to food security crises and the needs of their fellow countrymen.  The future of Ethiopia is so much brighter because of the work and attitude of our team. We are blessed that these colleagues joined our organization and shared a commitment to serve despite the risks and sacrifices,” shared Callahan.

Sunday's plane crash was the second Boeing 737 Max 8 flight to crash in under six months. A Lion Air flight in October 2018 similarly crashed only moments following take-off, resulting in 189 deaths.