I first heard of this book this morning when a friend emailed me the link to the interview with William Kamkwamba on ABC.
“William Kamkwamba was born in Malawi, Africa, a country plagued by AIDS and poverty. Like most people in his village, his family subsisted on the meager crops they could grow, living without the luxuries—consider necessities in the West—of electricity or running water. Already living on the edge, the situation became dire when, in 2002, Malawi experienced the worst famine in 50 years. Struggling to survive, 14-year-old William was forced to drop out of school because his family could not afford the $80-a-year tuition.
Though he was not in a classroom, William continued to think, learn—and dream. Armed with curiosity, determination, and a library book he discovered in a nearby library, he embarked on a daring plan—to build a windmill that could bring his family the electricity only two percent of Malawians could afford. Using scrap metal, tractor parts, and blue-gum trees, William forged a crude yet working windmill, an unlikely hand-built contraption that would successfully power four light bulbs and two radios in his family’s compound. Soon, news of his invention spread, attracting interest and offers of help from around the world. Not only did William return to school but he and was offered the opportunity to visit wind farms in the United States, much like the ones he hopes to build across Africa.
A moving tale of one boy’s struggle to create a better life, The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind is William’s amazing story—a journey that offers hope for the lives of other Africans—and the whole world, irrefutably demonstrating that one individual can make a difference.”
What an inspiring story! When most people moan and groan about not having the means to do something, a person like William comes along to prove the old phrase, “You can do anything you set your mind to”.
I haven’t had a chance to read this book yet since I just found out about it this morning, but it is definitely in my ‘to-be-read’ list now. I wanted to share this with just because it made me feel so good just hearing about this story and how one determined person can persevere and make a difference. It’s not just some random story about a person making a fortune from opening a cigar store or something like that; he learned to build an electricity generating windmill, for God’s sake! And he did it by reading books written in a language that he wasn’t even that good at! I am definitely buying this book for me and my daughters to read.