Friends of slain social care professional, Deborah Onwu, today led a procession to the spot where she was killed, to lay flowers and light candles in memory of the caregiver whose life was cut short by a client with a knife.

The death of Debbie, as she was known to her friends abroad, has ignited fears of caregivers in Calvary to the need to courageously step out to get employers and the government to do more to protect them from what has become a hazardous occupation.

A group, “Justice for Debbie,” has been formed to press for changes in working arrangements and to follow up on the murder trial of the 18-year old arrested by Calgary Police and charged with second degree murder.

Debbie’s friends in Calgary, Alberta, also set up a GoFundMe account to try to raise money for her burial as well as to support her family back home in Imo State.

Deborah (right) with her sister Nancy who is now in Canada for the burial

On the GoFundMe website, late Ms. Onwu is described as “a seasoned social care professional … kind, loving, compassionate, caring and hardworking woman who loved her job and took pride in the services and help she rendered to the vulnerable clients and families she worked with.”

The funding drive became necessary because Onwu had no immediate family member in Calgary or Canada, hence the Nigerian community, the church and her friends set it up to take care of the funeral.

Ms. Nnenne George, who is administrator of the Fund, told newsmen that “Debbie is the first of eight children and was like a breadwinner for the family,” and that part of the money being raised would be used to support her aged parents back home.

At the time of writing this report, $8,309 has been raised by 164 donors on a target of $50,000.