Dear friends, I hope you will consider joining me to help rebuild my primary school!
Moving Windmills Project partners with buildOn.org to rebuild Wimbe Primary School
buildings where author and inventor William Kamkwamba was educated
1480 students of William Kamkwamba's primary school to get new home over the next two years
Wimbe, Malawi and New York City, December 23, 2009: Moving Windmills Project, the U.S. 501(c)3 c0-founded by The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind author William Kamkwamba announced today that it will partner with buildOn.org, an NGO based in Stamford, CT and Kasungu, Malawi which builds primary schools in the developing world, coincidentally and fortuitously including William Kamkwamba's home province.
Wimbe public primary school William Kamkwamba attended through standard 8 (U.S. 8th grade) was constructed by the Catholic Church in 1950 to educate 450 students. It encompasses three buildings with two classrooms each. Unfortunately, the currently student population is 1480 students and was even higher during William's time. There are no desks for the children or teachers and they must sit on the floor. There is also no power, light, or clean water. The roof leaks through many holes and the cement floor, which is frigid during the winter and scalding during the summer, is pockmarked with holes. The Malawian government provides teachers' salaries and textbooks.
The new building project encompasses a master plan for approximately seven new structures over the course of two to three years. Each new school building will sturdy construction, fully equipped classroom, boys' and girls' latrines, and, thanks to William Kamkwamba's design additions, carbon-free hybrid solar/wind power, battery storage systems, lights, ventilation fans and A/C electricity. The plan also provides for a much larger library than the one that inspired William to build his windmill. Books will be furnished in partnership with American NGOs. Each building can be used to educate 150 students during the day, and for adult classes at night. The buildings can also be used as community meeting spaces. Community members will break ground in March, 2010 after the rainy season ends, with the first building projected to be completed by June, 2010, and additional buildings during 2010-2011. Click here to donate now.
In the buildOn process, community stakeholders sign a covenant to participate in the buildings' construction, by making the bricks and providing the manual labor. The community also warrants equal education access and attendance for girls and boys through out every grade. Orphans must also be educated free, with uniforms provided. buildOn works with the community over three years, providing adult literacy programs and school support. buildOn has already built several schools in the Kasungu province.
"buildOn is please to partner with Moving Windmills Project to rebuild Wimbe Primary School, which "The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind," William Kamkwamba attended. We look forward to working closely with the community to build a modern school that serves their 1480 girls and boys," said Marc Friedman, COO of buildOn.
"Moving Windmills is about clean power, water, sanitation and education, but we don't have experience building schools. buildOn's expertise and methods are exactly what we need to help my village educate its next generation of children in a better environment than I had," said William Kamkwamba. "In addition to the soccer and water projects already completed, I want to give back to my community through the gifts of education and books."
"Moving Windmills will raise the money, and with their precise expertise, experience and proven community methodology, buildOn will build the schools. Then we will add green power, water, and books." said Tom Rielly, MWP executive director.
Each building costs $33,000 fully equipped. Supporters are invited to contribute at http://www.movingwindmills.org. Donations are accepted in any amount and all donors will be listed on a plaque at the school. Donors of $500 or more will receive a personally autographed copy of "The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind" and be invited to the dedication ceremony (travel expenses not included). Donations will be acknowledged with a dated letter, facilitating end-of-year contributions.. Holiday gift donation letters will be sent upon request. Moving Windmills Project is a registered New York State 501(c)3 non-profit organization. The IRS determination letter is available for download on its website. Click here to donate now. Larger donors may inquire at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About William Kamkwamba
William Kamkwamba is a student at African Leadership Academy, a pan-African high school in Johannesburg, South Africa. A 2007 and 2009 TEDGlobal Fellow, Kamkwamba has been profiled in the Wall Street Journal and his inventions displayed at Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry. His memoir "The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind," has spent five weeks on New York Times bestseller list. Amazon.com choose as one of their top 10 books of 2009, and was also chosen one of the year's best by Publisher's Weekly and the Christian Science Monitor. A documentary feature, Moving Windmills: The William Kamkwamba Story, is projected to debut in early 2011. In Fall, 2010, William will attend college in the United States. For more information: http://williamkamkwamba.com. To buy the book, visithttp://bit.ly/8qZQ4v.
About Moving Windmills Project
Inspired by the work of William Kamkwamba, Moving Windmills Project was founded in 2008 to pursue rural economic development and education projects in Malawi, Africa. Its motto is, “African Solutions to African Problems.” Rather than invest in top-down, externally imposed agendas, Moving Windmills works with local leaders to determine, organize and implement the appropriate solutions. Areas of focus include: food, clothing, shelter, sanitation, health, education, clean water and community building. Moving Windmills Project works primarily in the Kasungu district in Malawi, Africa. For more information, visit movingwindmills.org.
buildOn is a not-for-profit organization that empowers people and transforms lives by partnering afterschool service programs in the U.S. with communities in developing countries to build schools. In U.S. urban environments, as well as in some of the most remote and impoverished communities around the world, buildOn programs are designed to build confidence and develop capabilities in youth to foster individual growth. Over the last 12 months, students in the U.S. contributed over 129, 213 hours of service and have touched the lives of more than 276,500 seniors, homeless, disabled, young children and others through buildOn. buildOn motivates students in 118 schools in New York, Connecticut, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Illinois and California. 97% of the American high school students buildOn has worked with during the last six years arenow in college. Since the organization began in 1991, buildOn has helped local communities build more that 320 schools, providing 136,259 children and adults in nine developing countries with better access to education. For more information, visit buildon.org.