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William Kamkwamba, Author of The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind, Comes to Nashoba

Grace Fiori, Contributing Editor

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There are many types of readers and many types of books in the world. But, whether you like fantasy, non-fiction, or mysteries, The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind is one to surely enthrall all kinds of readers.

Not only a New York Times bestseller, but an amazing and inspirational true story, this novel is interesting and informing at the same time. The author, William Kamkwamba, manages to educate the reader about science and the struggles of living in Malawi.  This autobiography not only educated its readers about the famine in his homeland, it also offered an entertaining look at his adventures while completing his project of building a windmill for his family.

Based on his life in Malawi, the book follows William as he imagines, and then succeeds, in bringing electricity and water to his village.
Using old science textbooks and perseverance, he hatches a plan to create machines that will aid in the drought and famine that afflicts many in his home. With scrap metal, tractor parts and bicycle halves he creates a functional windmill and soon after, a contraption that pumps water for irrigation.

His inventions changed the life of his family and neighbors, and with his ingenuity and creativity his story spread across the world, an inspiration to many.

In a special event hosted by the Nashoba Interact Club,  Kamkwamba came to Nashoba along with Dr. Brian Lisse. They work with a program called Bridges to Malawi, which helps to stop the famine and disease that are widely spread in Malawi.

During the book event, William talked about the ways in which he creatively overcame the famine in his country and how his story spread by word of mouth.

As of late, William graduated from Dartmouth college, where he studied environmental science and engineering. William returns to Malawi once or twice a year where he continues to assist the people in any way he can. He’s built a new school, which functions as a community center, and taught many people how to fix their water pumps. Currently, William is working on compiling hard-drives of information that can then be used in school, as sort of databases in donated computers. William called his project, “internet, but not connected”.

Williams story serves as an inspirational and motivating reminder of the struggles around the world. For those interested in helping out this program and getting involved, visit Bridges to Malawi.

 

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William Kamkwamba, Author of The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind, Comes to Nashoba