Erika's Reviews > The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind: Creating Currents of Electricity and Hope

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwamba
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Jan 13, 2010

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The fascinating and true story of William Kamkwamba, a curious and ingenious 14 year old boy who is forced to drop out of school as his family teeters on the edge of starvation during a serious drought in his home country of Malawi (Africa). William, who unsuccessfully tries to sneak back into school, makes use of the public library in an attempt to teach himself and stay caught up with his class. In the library he discovers a book about generating electricity through windmills. He can hardly read the words (as they are in English), but inspired by the pictures and his own imagination, and using items he scavenges from the dump and elsewhere, he builds a working windmill to generate electricity for his family's home. This story is an amazing one, and the book itself is well-written and interesting, giving background and stories on William's family, Malawi, the drought, and his progress since his windmill project was discovered by the worldwide media. A must-read for those interested in Africa, development, engineering, and the triumph of human innovation in the face of overwhelming odds.
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message 1: by William (new) - added it

William Hayes You are one of many people who, in their reviews, describe this book as inspiring or inspirational.

I, too, found it inspiring. For me, inspiration is not only a rich internal experience that we desire and enjoy for its own sake. Much more than that, inspiration is also a spur to our acting in the world in some way that helps bring about a good result.

As a result of having read this book, I learned that many people living in rural Malawi are without electricity and water and was moved to make a contribution to these development projects:
The Moving Windmills Project http://movingwindmills.org/ supports Malawian-run rural economic development and education projects in Malawi, with the goals of community economic independence and self-sustainability; food, water and health security; and educational success.

The Raising Malawi Project http://raisingmalawi.org/ supports community-based organizations that provide vulnerable children and caregivers with critical resources. In addition, Raising Malawi supports non-government organizations that offer impoverished families with innovative opportunities for sustainability.

In addition, I have commented on the reviews of many readers who described the book as inspiring, encouraging them to contribute to one of these two projects. I hope that all who were inspired by this book find some way to help bring about some good result for the rural people of Malawi.


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