Introducing…William Kamkwamba

One starving family. One windmill. One boy. But not just any boy. “The Boy who Harnessed the Wind”.

For my eminent person project in grade 9, I have selected to go in depth about William Kamkwamba.
I first learned about William when I was watching a film/documentary with my family on Netflix called “The Boy who Harnessed the Wind”. At this time, I really didn’t think much of him, only that he had done some good things for his family. However, once I heard of the eminent project he quickly came back to my mind. I did some research and learned some of the things he had done to help people all over the world. I instantly decided I would be doing him for my eminent project.

I had a few struggles trying to connect with William Kamkwamba as we did not have much in common, besides the fact that we are both male and when he built his first windmill, he was 14 like me right now. We also both enjoy reading and using our hands. However, he was a financially unstable African living in a completely different environment than me, while I am a privileged financially stable Caucasian boy. His culture was much different than mine and he was living in much harsher conditions than me and could not even afford school. However, this is how his journey to eminence began.

At age 14, William Kamkwamba’s family was no longer able to pay the annual school fee of $80. Instead of letting this pull him down, William borrowed books from a community library. He also ran a small “business” where he fixed neighbors radios, but this was just a desperate attempt to earn some money and it did not work well. Eventually he took a risk and used the knowledge he had been learning from the books he was reading, particularly one called “using energy” by Mary Atwater to create something that could help his family and village. This thing was a windmill. William was a very hands on person and he wanted to help people. He even said, “I want to be an engineer, so I can make different things that make the world a better place, starting with my village.” The first windmill he built powered 4 lights and 2 radios. It was built out of spare scraps like a bike, PVC pipes, wooden poles, old shoes, copper wires, etc. People heard of what William Kamkwamba did, for example Dr. Hartford Mchazime. He took interest of Williams work and spread the word and mentored William. William built more windmills doing various different tasks, for example powering a water irrigation system for crops. Eventually the TedGlobal group heard about William Kamkwamba and they tracked him down. This is when his life began to change drastically.

William did a few Ted Talks and than the donations started pouring in. These donations allowed him to continue his education, go to University in America, and to follow his dreams. William wants to be educated so he can make a difference, but he fears failure. When he was younger, he always wanted to be treated as an adult, and he feared that his family would not be able to afford food, education, and other necessities. Williams determination is a strength and weakness. William has been sent around the world and worked on projects like improving sanitation in India and helping gender-based violence prevention in Kenya. He is currently working on developing an appropriate technology curriculum with WilderNet that will allow people to bridge the gap between knowing and doing.

By overcoming his obstacles, like the tough situations he had been in, the limited resources he had, and the lack of support from his father, he managed to fulfill his dreams of becoming an inventor and helping people all over the world.

I look up to William Kamkwamba’s courage, ambitions and high level of thinking. He wants to improve his speaking, likewise I would like to improve my public speaking in TALONS. By going in depth about William Kamkwamba, I hope to find more ways I can connect with him and perhaps start to develop some of the traits that I look up to him for. I look forward to learning more about William Kamkwamba.

 

This is a Ted Talk that William did when he first went to America when he was 19.

Learn more about William Kamkwamba and watch his other Ted Talk at: https://www.ted.com/speakers/william_kamkwamba

Digital Footprint Assignment

1. How might your digital footprint affect your future opportunities? Give at least two examples.

My digital footprint could affect my future because if I were to ever get a job and the person interviewing me were to look up my name on the internet, they could find something good or bad, which could decide if I were to get the job or not.

2. Describe at least three strategies that you can use to keep your digital footprint appropriate and safe.

  • Never post or put out anything on the internet that you wouldn’t be okay with everyone seeing.
  • When texting someone only say things you would tell them straight  to their face.
  • When using different social media platforms, make sure only your friends can view the tings you post. You can change this in the settings.

3. If you could go back in time, is there anything you would do differently online? Think of what type of advice you would pass on to your younger self or other students. How could you go about explaining it to them?

So far I haven’t done anything that I would like to take back online, but I haven’t developed my digital footprint in a positive way either, my digital footprint is very small. I would tell other students to make sure to grow a digital footprint as long as its not something that they wouldn’t want to be known as or something they wouldn’t want seen on the internet.

Training Post

You are now going to create your very first post. In a separate tab or browser window, go to your Dashboard on the left and go to  Posts -> Add New.

1) Title – Create a title for your blog post. Your title will be: Digital Footprint Assignment

2) Body – This is where you place your content of the post – text, videos, pictures, etc. Follow the instructions on the Digital Footprint Assignment page to see what questions you need to answer here.

3) Tool Bar – In your toolbar you can “Add Media” and “Add Documents” into your posts, this is the best way to create visual representations. You can also change fonts, hyperlink, etc.

4) Publish – Here is where you control what items are public and private. You can also control when they are published to your website.

5) Categories – Here is where you choose where you want your post to go. This is your digital binder with all of your subjects. Make sure to categorize each post with the relevant subject. E.g. Categories -> English

6) Tags –  Here is where you tag posts with one or two of the most readily applicable Core Competencies. These tags can help you find things quicker on your blog and help you stay organised. E.g. Tag -> creativethinking

7) Publish – When you are done, simply “Publish” it. If it has been edited, press “Republish” to update with the latest version of the content.