Urgent Evoke

A crash course in changing the world.

ACT 1: WILLIAM KAMKWAMBA - THE BOY WHO HARNESSED THE WIND

This should come as no surprise to many after reading my first blog post, that I have chosen William Kamkwamba, whom I also refer to as W.K as my personal hero to shadow. I find that I have long been shadowing him in ways suggested in this mission such as being a facebook fan, following him on Twitter and subscribing to his blog posts. However inspired by act1, I would definitely be taking that bold step of sending him an email and telling him all about EVOKE and this particular mission, in the hope that he would write back soon and/or get involved.

William Kamkwamba, born August 5 1987, is from Masitala village in the Kasungu district of Malawi. The famine-stricken landlocked nation in Southern Africa is bothered by Mozambique, Tanzania and Zambia; a country smaller than Pennsylvania, with few natural resources, is known as a land of farmers. He states in one of his talks that before he discovered the wonders of science, he was just a simple farmer in a country of farmers and like everyone else he and his family grew Nsima (maize), depending on subsistence farming as their only source of livelihood. A dreadful famine in 2001, which left many Malawians (including his family) without food or water began the journey of this young inventor and entrepreneur.

Due to severe famine, young William, age 14 at the time, was forced to drop out of his first year in high school because his family could not afford to pay $80 annual tuition fees. Several months into the famine, with little hope of ever returning to school, W.K taking a good look at his helpless father and another quick glance at the dried fields made a promise to self that he wasn't going to accept what he saw as his future and was determined more than ever to change things for his family, his village and his nation. In 2002, he embarked on the route of self-education and began to borrow books from a small community library in his village. He soon came across an American Fifth Grade textbook called Using Energy, which showed a picture of a windmill, he was able to grasp the concept of the windmill of being able to pump water and generate electricity and this meant irrigation, a defense against hunger which the people of Malawi were faced with due to famine. At this point, William decided to build a windmill for his family out of whatever scraps he could find and successfully built his first windmill the same year out of harvested blue gumtrees, which served as limbs, cooling fan from a tractor, a shock absorber, a bicycle dynamo, the rear half of a bike, PVC pipes, wire, rusty nails and old headlight bulbs.


No one outside William's village knew about the windmill until 2006, when officials from the Malawi Teaching Training activity, on an inspection visit to his village discovered the windmill. Press coverage followed, bloggers picked up the story and he was soon invited to the TED Conference in Tazania as a featured TED fellow in 2007, where he met a large number of TED conference attendees who supported his return back to school. and was invited a second time at the TED conference in Oxford, UK in 2009 .He is presently enrolled as a full time student at the African Leadership Academy School in Johannesburg, South Africa, where students from thirty seven other African countries are accepted based on merit and educated to become ethical leaders for Africa. W.K is also the co-founder of Moving Windmill Project, a non-profit organization that supports Malawian-run rural economic development and education projects in Malawi, with the goals of community economic independence and self-sustainability; food, water and health security; and educational success. William's non-profit organization recently partnered with buildon.org, another NGO based in Stamford, CT and Kasungu Malawi, which builds primary schools in the developing world, coincindentally including his home province and are currenty working on rebuilding Wimbe Public Primary School, where W.K attended through standard 8 (US 8th Grade).

William's future plans involve starting a renewable energy company. He is already developing a steam engine powered by a solar oven, which he says would help people in Africa save trees because many areas in Africa are destroyed by deforestation caused by people cutting trees for firewood. He believes that the problem of deforestation can be solved if we work together to come up with non-wood alternatives for cooking fuel. To serve as a good example, he says his family now cooks by burning corn cobs instead of wood. Ultimately he wants to find cooking solutions that are one-hundred percent emissions-free. William's goal is to provide everyday people with the means to improve their own lives without having to wait for government or outside help; to use what is at hand to succeed in living a rich life.

William is scheduled to attend a college in the US this Fall and words on the street has it that he may be attending Harvey Mudd College, the Engineering arm of The Claremont Colleges (which also happens to be my Alma Mater). I am ever so excited to be shadowing this young, inspiring hero, who has come such a long way from where he started. I am also looking forward to reading his memoir: "The Boy who Harnessed the Wind", which has spent several weeks on The New York Times bestseller list, chosen as Amazon.com top 10 books of 2009, year's best by Publisher Weekly and the Christian Science Monitor. I can hardly wait to recommend it to every one as a great read as soon as I am done.


"For me, I feel like living a rich life is to have food, to have a chance to access clean water, have access to medicine, and have access to education. The thing that makes me happy is when I'm seeing people everywhere living in a happy life, having enough to eat, kids are going to school. When I'm seeing people are happy, it also makes me happy." - William Kamkwamba

Views: 821

Comment by Yemisi Ajumobi on March 20, 2010 at 10:13am
Right on Mikhail, you hit the nail on the head right there. Thanks for your comment :)

Comment

You need to be a member of Urgent Evoke to add comments!

Join Urgent Evoke

Latest Activity

Asger Jon Vistisen posted a blog post

Stinging Nettle

In this blog post I will focus on a plant that is abundant in our nature, and which is immensely nutritious. It's of course the Stinging Nettle. Let's start with the chemical constituents of this plant:37 % Non-Nitrogen-Extracts19 - 29 % Ash9 - 21 % Fiber4 % Fat22 % ProteinOnce the leaves are drid, their protein content can reach an astounding 40 %, which is much higher than beef, which even under the best of circ***tances can never exceed 31 % protein. In addition the Stinging Nettle consists…See More
Apr 13
Jonathon McCallum posted a blog post

The meal

It is 7'oclock, I was late home from work due to an assignment that i wanted to get ahead on. By the time I get home I am feeling extremley tired and I cannot be bothered to make a proper meal. I walk to the fridge and open it to see what there is for me to eat. All of the out of date foodstuffs have been automaticaly thrown away by the fridge, they will be recycled tomorrow as animal feed or something. I see i have organic local eggs and some local cheese. Foods are vacc** sealded for easy…See More
Mar 10
Jean Paul Galea shared a profile on Facebook
Mar 1
Kevin posted a blog post

Future

FutureToday is 2020/1/1. It is just like yesterday. The war is still continuing. It has started since 2010. In 2010, that year was a horrible year. Almost every energy ran out. Every country’s governments were crushed down at the same time. There were riots everywhere. All of the big company’s bosses were killed xdeadx in the riots. Troops fought each other everywhere. Food was bought up xawayx at once. There were no more food supplies in any shops. The economy was all crushed down. All the…See More
Jan 1
Namwaka Mooto posted blog posts
Jan 13, 2016
T D updated their profile
Sep 3, 2015
Brook Warner posted blog posts
Aug 25, 2015
Santiago Vega posted blog posts
May 5, 2015
Santiago Vega commented on Santiago Vega's blog post Act 8
May 5, 2015
Santiago Vega posted photos
May 5, 2015
Rico Angel Rodriguez posted blog posts
May 2, 2015
Rico Angel Rodriguez posted a photo

public servants

The exchange works directly for state and public workers and servants. It gives them credit in exchange for the amount of public work they contribute to the community. The more constructive they are based off a base rate the more credit they recieve.
May 2, 2015
Brian Hurley posted blog posts
May 2, 2015
Brian Hurley commented on Brian Hurley's blog post ACT: Future of Currency
May 2, 2015
Rico Angel Rodriguez posted a blog post

Where I will be in ten years.

Ten years from now I will be in a political job assisting with people in the midlands of South Carolina particularly the rural working class and farmers. As the class of people that feed the nation I find that it is imperative that we assist with making sure they produce as much food as possible. I would like to support local scientists as well that are leading in research on how to produce food more efficiently. I will also be participating in missions to foreign countries to help people with…See More
May 1, 2015
Jeffrey Smeriglio posted blog posts
Apr 29, 2015

Follow EVOKE on Twitter




Official EVOKE Facebook Page




EVOKE RSS Activity Feed










© 2020   Created by Alchemy.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service