SAWA Blog 45: SAWA Shares Inspiring Story of “The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind”
“Ingenuity, plus courage, plus work, equals miracles.” (Robert Richards)
No one thought it could be done, no one even dreamed about doing it, except one; and sometimes that’s all you need. Sometimes, miracles come out of the most unlikely situations. If you haven’t heard already, there was a boy, despite all odds, who harnessed the wind. And because SAWA is all about sharing stories of hope from around the world, stories that demonstrate incredible ingenuity and leadership in some of the poorest countries on Earth, we’d like to share with you the story of William Kamkwamba from Malawi.
In 2001, a terrible famine in Malawi prevented William Kamkwamba, like so many others, from attending school. But William’s mind was thirsty to learn and he spent his days at the local library where he picked up a book about windmills. The 14 year old William decided he was going to build one, and from studying the pictures in the text the genius mind figured out how it would be possible. He went about gathering scarps of metal - a broken bicycle, a tractor fan blade, an old shock absorber - and parts of the blue gum tree. His community watched in puzzlement, assuming that he had quite possibly lost his mind, but William was not discouraged by their initial lack of support. He succeeded in building a five meter windmill that, when hooked up to a car battery, could power four light bulbs and charge his neighbours cell phones. After seeing and understanding the power behind what William was doing, the community supported him and they increased the height of the windmill to twelve meters and built a third windmill to pump water for irrigation.
It was not long before the windmill project started attracting attention from the local media, and eventually reached the international media. Through fundraising and scholarships, William is now a student at the African Leadership Academy in Johannesburg. His story inspired the creation of the Moving Windmills Project which supports Malawian- run rural development and education projects in Malawi. It is through stories like these that SAWA reminds you that one person can have such a great impact - not only through what he creates, but through how his story inspires.
Just another inspiring reminder of what is possible in this world!
Moving Windmills Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=arD374MFk4w