The boy who harnessed the wind

William Kamkwamba has transformed his small village of 200 in Malawi by building an electric windmill out of junk. Forced to quit school at 14 years old because his family could not cover the fees, he returned to his family's farm plot but kept up with his education by using a local library. There he stumbled upon a textbook explaining the function of windmills and how they could bring electricity and pump water.

Unfazed by the daunting task, he set off to create his own windmill by putting together a turbine from spare bicycle parts, a tractor fan blade and an old shock absorber, and fashioned blades from plastic pipes, flattened by being held over a fire.

Soon his creation was pumping electricity for his whole mudd brick compound and locals were lining up to recharge their cell phones.

William Kamkwamba is now traveling the world to tell his story and serve as an example of how a book, ingenuity and determination and..a little wind, can change a village.

To learn more and help, check out the Moving Windmills Project.

 

 
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