Name: William Kamkwamba
Age: 22 (born August 5, 1987)
One of the tragedies that didn’t make the headlines in the U.S changed the life of a young person forever. In 2002, during one of the worst famines to ever hit Malawi, William Kamkwamba dropped out of school, because his parents could no longer pay his school fees. He started visiting the local library, where he eventually taught himself elementary physics.
When he read about windmills, he connected the knowledge from the books to what his community could benefit from: Energy. After trial and error, he build his own windmill using junkyard parts from a bicycle, old tractor fans, shock absorbers and plastic pipes. His first machine generated enough energy to power 4 lights. The second machine was strong enough to irrigate his family garden.
He has since spoken around the world, attended conferences and inspired people everywhere. A book just came out about his life, along with a documentary and a foundation. You can read his blog here.