Friday, January 6, 2023

Feel Good Friday Flashback - Moving Windmills

While I recover from knee surgery, please enjoy this flashback Feel Good Friday post from January, 2013.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Feel Good Friday - Moving Windmills

It's a cold, windy Friday in San Francisco (well, cold for California) and that made me think of William Kamkwamba.

William lives in a village in Malawi that (in 2002) had no electricity or running water and was suffering from drought.  His family was struggling to survive and he had to drop out of school as they couldn't afford the $80 school fees.

Only 14 at the time, he read a book from the library about windmills which said they could be used to generate electricity and pump water.  He built a windmill from bicycle parts, gum trees and bamboo poles.  It worked well enough to bring electricity to power radios and enable his family read and study at night.  His second windmill turned a water pump so his family could irrigate their crops and fight the effects of the drought.  

Word of his accomplishment started to spread and since then, William has continued with his education, given two TED talks, written a book for children, The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind, and a version for adults.

His work inspired the creation of an organization called Moving Windmills Project in 2008.  They pursue rural economic development and education projects in Malawi.

All of this started with one 14 year old boy with curiosity, initiative and determination! You can watch a 6 minute documentary about William and his windmill here for a little inspiration.

As he says at the end of his TED talk "Trust yourself and believe.  Whatever happens, don't give up.”

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