An African boy took photos of windmills in a book and used them to transform his small village in Malawi. Seven years ago, William Kamkwamba was kicked out of school because he couldn’t afford the $80 fee. Instead of spending days in a classroom, he found a public library and a book full of windmill pictures.
Inspired by the images, William dug around in junkyards for items he could use: bicycle parts, pipes, tractor fans and car batteries. He started building windmills as a 14-year-old. Now he has five, the tallest of which stands 37-feet tall. The windmills help provide electricity and water in William’s hometown.
Fellow villagers once laughed at the young man who used junkyard items to build towering contraptions. They’re not laughing anymore. William, now 22, studies at the African Leadership Academy, and donors cover the cost of his education. A new book about William and his creations, called “The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind,” is now available in American stores.