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Education Breeds Innovation

TED TALKS- How I Harnessed The Wind

“William Kamkwamba, from Malawi, is a born inventor. When he was 14, he built an electricity-producing windmill from spare parts and scrap, working from rough plans he found in a library book called Using Energy and modifying them to fit his needs. The windmill he built powers four lights and two radios in his family home….Following Kamkwamba’s moving talk, there was an outpouring of support for him and his promising work. Members of the TED community got together to help him improve his power system (by incorporating solar energy), and further his education through school and mentorships. Subsequent projects have included clean water, malaria prevention, solar power and lighting for the six homes in his family compound; a deep-water well with a solar-powered pump for clean water; and a drip irrigation system. Kamkwamba himself returned to school, and is now attending the African Leadership Academy, a new pan-African prep school outside Johannesburg, South Africa.”

I love TED TALKS.  It gives you the opportunity to learn from a fascinating array of people from around the world.

An amazing story about a boy- who when presented with adversity- found his way around it.  More stories like this about Africa and the development realm need to make the way into the public dialogue- rather than the constant barrage of negative, depressing, no hope news items that seem to make their way to the foray.   This story and project proves the importance of education as a primary development goal.

Access to education spurred this boy’s interest in physics and access to a library gave him the resources to utilize his creativity and intelligence to help his family.  Simple innovation that cost little more than a library book and access to scrap pieces now means that a family has CLEAN RUNNING WATER, ELECTRICITY, an IRRIGATION SYSTEM and MALARIA PREVENTION opportunities.  This is an amazing yet simple feat at the same time.


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