elsiestills

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind

In (auto)biography, Book, Non-Fiction, Reading, Recommended, Review on 28/10/2010 at 23:44
William Kamkwamba - The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind

William Kamkwamba - The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind is without a doubt the most inspiring non-fiction story I’ve ever come across. It tells the remarkable story of a boy who, growing up in poverty in Malawi, had to drop out of school and decided to build a windmill to save his family from poverty.

The Boy Who Harnessed The Wind

William Kamkwamba’s story is one of a kind. Growing up on a farm in a small village in Malawi, one of the poorest countries in earth, William and his family faced many troubles and difficulties. Not only did they survive a horrible famine, which left many thousands of Malawians dead, as a result of poverty William had to drop out of school to help his family work on the field.

Dropping out of school however, didn’t stop his interest in physics, and using old text books William taught himself about how electricity works. At the age of 14 he built his first windmill, using scrap and recycling waste. With the help from a few friends, William manages to find the materials and put up the windmill. To his own surprise, the windmill works, and for the first time in their lives, he and his family have electricity around the house. The windmill also made it possible for William to create an irrigation system on his family’s farm, as a result of which they can harvest twice a year instead of once.

The big difference that a little bit of electricity can make in the lives of Malawian villagers/farmers is amazing, but it’s not half as fascinating as this story of a young boy who single-handedly decides to build a windmill, and change the lives of his family and his village forever.

William Kamkwamba

William Kamkwamba (born 1987) grew up in Malawi. After building a windmill in 2002 he continued to build and invent, resulting in a solar-powered water pump which supplies his family and their land with fresh water. If you would like to read more about William, please visit Williamkamkwamba.com or help support William’s projects on Movingwindmills.org (which supports economic development and education projects in Malawi).

In 2007 and 2009, William Kamkwamba also gave two interviews/presentations on the TED conference about his ingenuity.

2007: William Kamkwamba on building a windmill

2009: William Kamkwamba: How I harnessed the wind

Get the book!

If you would like to read the book, you can order it on Amazon as paperback as well as for Kindle. The book is also available in German (as Der Junge, der den Wind einfing) and Dutch (as De Windvanger).

William Kamkwamba - The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind

William Kamkwamba - The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind

Book details

Title: The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind
Author: William KamKwamba and Bryan Mealer
Country: Malawi
Language: English
Publisher: HarperTrue
Publication date: October 1, 2009
Pages: 288 pages
ISBN-10: 0007316194
ISBN-13: 978-0007316199

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