The amazing William Kamkwamba

My last posting here was titled “(Not So) Good News Week” and was about logging into the SMH website and being depressed by the news you read there. So imagine my surprise when I log in and read an article on an amazing young African boy, William Kamkwamba.

William Kamkwamba is a 19 year old African high school student who built a windmill for his village:

“The windmill is remarkable because Kamkwamba left school at 14 as his family was unable to pay the school fees. Armed only with his intelligence, a book on electricity, some plastic piping and found objects, Kamkwamba built his first windmill, which generated enough power to run a light in his room.”

“His second, larger windmill uses a bicycle to increase efficiency and was able to generate power for his parents’ house and charge car batteries or mobile phones for people in his village.”

Not only did this amazing young man discover the ability to generate electricity for his village, but he also discovered the internet. His blog is called William Kamkwamba’s Malawi Windmill Blog and concentrates on his efforts to improve his windmill and improve the quality of life of his village. He also has a flickr account and an e-mail address, pretty impressive stuff for a person who didn’t know the internet existed only a few weeks ago.

I urge anyone who is as inspired as me by this story to make a donation via the blog.