We first came across Nicomdeus Kilunda (Nico) in 2015 when one of our staff members, Ritah Mathenge, on a sabbatical from school, was volunteering in the home he was staying. Complications in treatment of meningitis had left him confined to a wheelchair. Apart from his amazingly optimistic outlook on life, Ritah immediately saw he had huge academic potential, but without a sponsor he had no school.

No problem, ACTION THIS DAY believes in changing the lives of the disadvantaged through education. One of our supporters, Jodie Thompson, who continues to support Nico today, helped us fund materials, whilst Ritah found him a primary school. Nico was on his way.

Unfortunately, the school he attended, although supposedly able to cater for children with disabilities, did not provide the necessary care Nico required and by July we had to rush him to hospital where once again, Jodie and some of our other overseas and Kenyan sponsors, ensured he received the care needed to recover from many months of neglect.

2016 saw Nico back in the same school but this time the school principle, on hearing of his recent surgery, ensured that there was a specialist to look after him round the clock. He was able to compete his final year and obtain a score that put him in the top few percent in the country. Nico scored 387 in his exams, the highest score anyone from Kookaburra has ever managed is 383.

2017 saw him enter high school and as he continued to excel in his learning he has now been “noticed” and for the start of 2018, was moved from his first high school into one of the top schools in Kenya, as the second disabled person to join. This is the subject of the video (skip to the 57 second mark to avoid the twaddle at the beginning).

Although we do not sponsor his high school studies, our supporters, like Jodie, continue to help him through medical care when required and special gifts when not required.

Over the years Ritah has kept in touch with Nico and continues to encourage and guide him as he looks for what will hopefully be a ground breaking future, in a country where children with disabilities are often neglected. I personally keep in touch with Nico via the phone, having met him just the once, but even that one occasion was enough for him to leave a lasting impression upon myself. I never cease to be amazed at his constant optimism and cheerful outgoing nature. His smile alone when he greets you, is awesome.

Nico is an amazing person who is not only achieving great things despite facing great adversity, he is also an inspiration to all of us here at ACTION THIS DAY and as you can see from the news footage, he is going to be an inspiration to many others in our country and beyond.

Brian McIver