I have a new hero and his name is William Kamkwamba – “The Boy Who Harnessed The Wind.” William begins his story by writing, “A windmill means more than just power, it means freedom.” William was born in Malawi and like many in his country, his family struggled to survive in a country defined by drought and hunger. Unable to pay for school, William, gifted in the sciences, began spending his time in the library where he discovered how to bring electricity to his home with a windmill in the outdated American textbook, Using Energy.
What happened after he found that book is absolutely amazing – William spent months collecting the pieces that he would use to fashion a windmill out of junk. Fueled by ridicule and passion along with the support of his family and two best friends, William succeeded in creating a windmill that brought electricity to his home. Word spread and people began coming from miles and miles away to see “The Boy Who Harnessed The Wind.”
William understood what most take for granted – that electricity would help the family survive. It would replace the expensive kerosene that his family had to travel nearly seven kilometers to purchase. It would bring light to the darkness and it would allow them to pump water and irrigate the land, not only improving the bushel per acres of their crops, but allow them to plant and harvest two crops a year, helping to eliminate the months of hunger suffered year after year.
But the completion and success of his windmill didn’t fix his families problems right away. He spent time nearly every day repairing the windmill, parts often broke since they were all used and old. However, William never gave up hope and eventually a blogger discovered him and his windmill and wrote about it. Eventually, people began to help William not only improve his windmill and increase its output, but helped to put him back in school. He will actually graduate from a technical high school this May.
“The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind,” written by William with the aid of Bryan Mealer, is a an emotional yet funny book about inspiration, dedication and hope. It is also a book that demonstrates first hand that ingenuity, hard work and a little bit of hope can change your life and the lives of those around you, and that something as simple as wind energy can change the world.
This book is a must read and you can do that by clicking here.