Meet Desmond, a child from Sierra Leone. He’s seven years old and he has something to teach us all.
A Good Kite, written by Compassionate Care Initiative director and nursing professor Tim Cunningham, is a children’s book for all ages. It takes place during the world's largest recorded Ebola outbreak in West Africa that spanned from 2013 to 2016. A reflection on resilience when all else seems to be lost, A Good Kite lifts up our eyes as we follow the trajectory of kites towards hope.
Cunningham wrote this story while in his 21-day quarantine after treating pediatric patients with Ebola in West Africa in 2016. The main character in this book is in honor of a child that both Cunningham and fellow UVA Nursing faculty member Tracy Kelly cared for while caring for patients during the Ebola outbreak.
Cunningham - a nurse, actor and teacher - treated Ebola patients in Sierra Leone as a volunteer nurse with the organization Partners in Health, and since 2003, has worked with the non-profit Clowns Without Borders-USA. In his work, Cunningham has performed for children in nearly two dozen countries stricken by conflict, natural disaster and extreme poverty, including in the United States.
A Good Kite's illustrator, Diala Brisly - who herself was displaced from her home in Syria at the beginning of that country's brutal war - makes this story universal.
Proceeds from sales of A Good Kite will be given to refugee children through a "buy one/give one" program. The book is available in both English and Arabic.