In Memoriam Fund

Supporting the fishermen of Jal el Baher Gathering, south Lebanon to rebuild their livelihoods

Christopher Elias, Partner in leading law firm Michelmores, passed away suddenly and unexpectedly on 13 February 2013 from an aggressive bone cancer. As a Founding Board Member and Trustee of UK charity The Welfare Association, Chris was always ready to lend his considerable legal expertise, generous support and sense of humour. Chris was an invaluable member of our team who is greatly missed.

Chris_Elias.pngChris Elias

In memory of our dear friend Chris and in recognition of his commitment and support to some of the poorest communities, the Board and Staff of WA-UK have established this fund.

Jal el Baher Gathering, south Lebanon, is home to 300 Palestinian families, living on a 30m wide sandy beach between the Mediterranean Sea and the main highway through the city of Tyre. Homes are built from building blocks with corrugated metal sheets for roofs. The sea constantly washes sand and debris into the homes. In winter the Tyre highway floods and water washes down the beach, through the homes to the sea. Palestinian refugees have been in this Gathering for more than 60 years, it is one of the poorest communities in Lebanon. Their main source of income is from fishing.

In December 2010 severe winter storms devastated 100 homes and badly damaged the rest. In addition the fishermen’s boats and equipment were swept out to sea, much was destroyed or lost.

Welfare Association provided emergency food and blankets for these families back in 2010, it was the only support this community received. And in 2012-13 with a public appeal and a grant from a UK trust we were able to repair boats and equipment, the funds were allocated as loans, initially with 30% to be repaid back into a ‘Revolving Fund’. For future security loans from this small revolving fund will be 100% repaid.

Chris was always keen to help Palestinian families and communities living in poverty to be more self-reliant and secure, this was very important to him. With the initial grant from the 2012-13 project setting up the revolving fund, the Chris Elias Memoriam Fund will add to this. This will provide a greater level of security for Jal el Baher. 

The fund will be managed by WA and no administrative costs will be charged.

All donations will go directly to help the families and fishermen of Jal el Baher.

See Also

Jal el Baher Fishing Community

Supporting marginalised Palestinian families and children of Jal El Baher Gathering, south Lebanon

Read more > Jal el Baher Fishing Community