Malawi teenager libraryI really don’t need to add anything to this. But for those of you who want more details, you can read the full story here – yes, it inspired a book. And William Kamkwamba, the Malawian teenager responsible, has been building out his project and the foundation it inspired to provide local school computing and digital library services ever since.

“Through Moving Windmills Project foundation, I have worked extensively in Kasungu district, particularly my own home village, Wimbe,” he writes. “We have been able to build three classroom blocks with two classes each for the local primary school, Wimbe primary school. These new classrooms have solar panel installations that allow the students to study late into the night. We have also introduced a one-laptop-per-child initiative, which enables us to expose these youngsters on how to use computers at an early age. Our local high school too has been a beneficiary of your generous support. We have also installed solar panels and systems in Kachokolo high school, which allow the students to use computers for their studies. In fact, we have created a local network through the use of egranary, a box that stores academic information within a local network. It is like a digital library.”

I can”t think of a more inspirational story for the holiday season. Or a better testament to the power and importance of libraries. And it only throws into relief the criminal folly of those in ostensibly developed countries who try to gut library services. Merry Christmas, everybody, and have a New Year rich in knowledge and hope.


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