Our Partners

Moving Windmills

Areas of Focus

Youth Empowerment

The Moving Windmills Project fuels youthful resilience and ingenuity in Kasungu, Malawi, empowering a generation of change makers in order to revolutionize problem-solving for more sustainable and innovative futures.

William Kamkwamba


Cohort Year

When William Kamkwamba was 14, Malawi suffered severe famine. His family could no longer pay his school fees, so he was forced to drop out of high school. While staying home, William remained curious and inventive and worked with the village librarian to remain engaged with his studies, especially science. Working from just one photo in a U.S. junior high school textbook called "Using Energy," he reasoned out how to build an electricity-producing windmill from spare parts and scrap. William's inspiring story is told in his New York Times bestselling memoir The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind, co-authored with Bryan Mealer, and in the Netflix film adaptation, directed by Chiwetel Ejiofor. William's book has been published in two additional editions, a young readers version and a children's book. The autobiography has sold more than 1 million copies and has been translated into nearly twenty languages worldwide. After graduating from Dartmouth College in Environmental Studies, William began work as a Global Fellow for the design firm IDEO.org. William is an entrepreneur, TED Fellow, and has worked with the WiderNet Project to develop appropriate technologies curriculums focused on bridging the gap between "knowing" and "doing" for young people in Malawi and across the world. William is currently working full-time with the Moving Windmills Project, which works to create innovative solutions to African problems using recycled materials, appropriate technology, and human-centered design.

Olivia Kamkwamba

Executive Director

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Born in Charlotte, NC, Olivia splits her time between North Carolina and Malawi, where she uses community-building and conversation curation skills to create dialogue around practices in aid and education. Her research on inequitable education is rooted in personal experiences with unjust public systems. At Dartmouth College, Olivia majored in African & African American Studies and Theater. She spent several years in community engagement and development with Northern Stage Theater Company. She shaped dialogues around diversity, inclusion, and intentionality and helped build a new home for life-changing storytelling in the Upper Valley. At USAID, Olivia worked within Malawi's education office on school construction, secondary school fee-elimination, distance learning infrastructure, and national reading initiatives. Olivia's Master's and Ph.D. research at the School of Education at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill build on her passions for dialogue across cultures and reshaping education systems for greater access and inclusion. Currently, Olivia is working to establish the Moving Windmills Innovation Center, a sustainable hub for Malawi's next generation of creative problem-solvers.Olivia Scott Kamkwamba

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