Tilting at Windmills

The expression loses some of its impact when you consider just how much a windmill has changed the life of a young Malawi man, who had to drop out of school because his family couldn’t afford the tuition.  Even Don Quixote may reconsider just how dangerous windmills are in light of their benefits to William Kamkwamba’s entire village.

At age 14, Kamkwamba decided to build a windmill in order to bring a little electricity into his family home.  It took two months.  But without instructions or even a diagram of how a windmill works, the young teen built one from scratch – using parts from an old tractor and anything else  he could find.

Necessity is, indeed, the mother of invention. But Kamkwamba’s action sparked a new campaign to address the effects of poverty throughout one of the poorest countries in the world, Malawi, which is also Kamkwambe’s home country.  Moving Windmills works with local communities to provide food, clothing, shelter, sanitation, health, education and clean water.

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