When William Kamkwamba was just 14 years old, his family told him that he must leave school and come home to work on the farm - they could no longer afford his fees. This is his story of how he found a way to make a difference, how he bought light to his family and village, and hope to his nation. Malawi is a country battling AIDS, drought and famine, and in 2002, a season of floods followed by the most severe famine in fifty years brought it to its knees. William Kamkwamba's family were farmers, and relied on their maize crop to feed them for the year and bring in money by selling the surplus. But after many lean years, finally there was no more. By Christmas 2001 they were running out of food - with months before they could harvest their crop again. At 14 years old, William had been forced to leave school as there was no money to pay the fees. Borrowing library books to continue his education, William picked up a book in English about energy, with a picture of a wind turbine on the front cover. Fascinated by science and electricity, William decided to build his own. Ridiculed by those around him, exhausted from his work in the fields every day, slowly he built it with scrap metal, old bicycle parts and wood from the blue gum tree. It has changed the world in which William and his family live. Only 2% of Malawi has electricity; and the windmill now powers lightbulbs and a radio at their compound, and he has built more windmills for his school and village. When news of William's invention spread, people from across the globe offered to help him. Soon he was re-enrolled in school and travelling to America to visit wind farms. This is his story - his attempts to teach other Africans to help themselves, one windmill, one lightbulb, at a time.
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Amazon Best of the Month, September 2009: Discarded motor parts, PVC pipe, and an old bicycle wheel may be junk to most people, but in the inspired hands of William Kamkwamba, they are instruments of opportunity. Growing up amid famine and poverty in rural Malawi, wind was one of the few abundant resources available, and the inventive fourteen-year-old saw its energy as a way to power his dreams. "With a windmill, we'd finally release ourselves from the troubles of darkness and hunger," he realized. "A windmill meant more than just power, it was freedom." Despite the biting jeers of village skeptics, young William devoted himself to borrowed textbooks and salvage yards in pursuit of a device that could produce an "electric wind." The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind is an inspiring story of an indomitable will that refused to bend to doubt or circumstance. When the world seemed to be against him, William Kamkwamba set out to change it. --Dave CallananFrom the Back Cover:
William Kamkwamba was born in Malawi, a country where magic ruled and modern science was mystery. It was also a land withered by drought and hunger, and a place where hope and opportunity were hard to find. But William had read about windmills in a book called Using Energy, and he dreamed of building one that would bring electricity and water to his village and change his life and the lives of those around him. His neighbors may have mocked him and called him misala—crazy—but William was determined to show them what a little grit and ingenuity could do.Enchanted by the workings of electricity as a boy, William had a goal to study science in Malawi's top boarding schools. But in 2002, his country was stricken with a famine that left his family's farm devastated and his parents destitute. Unable to pay the eighty-dollar-a-year tuition for his education, William was forced to drop out and help his family forage for food as thousands across the country starved and died. Yet William refused to let go of his dreams. With nothing more than a fistful of cornmeal in his stomach, a small pile of once-forgotten science textbooks, and an armory of curiosity and determination, he embarked on a daring plan to bring his family a set of luxuries that only two percent of Malawians could afford and what the West considers a necessity—electricity and running water. Using scrap metal, tractor parts, and bicycle halves, William forged a crude yet operable windmill, an unlikely contraption and small miracle that eventually powered four lights, complete with homemade switches and a circuit breaker made from nails and wire. A second machine turned a water pump that could battle the drought and famine that loomed with every season. Soon, news of William's magetsi a mphepo—his "electric wind"—spread beyond the borders of his home, and the boy who was once called crazy became an inspiration to those around the world. Here is the remarkable story about human inventiveness and its power to overcome crippling adversity. The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind will inspire anyone who doubts the power of one individual's ability to change his community and better the lives of those around him.
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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers Ltd, 2009. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 7316186
Book Description HarperCollins Publishers Ltd, 2009. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 0007316186