One of the most inspiring books I read in 2009 was The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William
Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer. This is the moving story about a young African man
from Malawi who refused to give up his dream of providing a better life for his
family and fulfilling his dream of pursuing an education in science.
William gained fame in his country when, in 2002, he
built a windmill to power a few electrical appliances in his family's house in
Masitala using blue gum trees, bicycle parts, and materials collected in a
local scrapyard. Since then, he has built a solar-powered water pump that
supplies the first drinking water in his village and two other windmills (the
tallest standing at 39 feet) and is planning two more, including one in Lilongwe, the political capital of Malawi.
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 ...