• Educational Guide

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind Educational Materials

William Kamkwamba (Maxwell Simba) is a 13-year-old living with his family in rural Malawi. As growing industrialization of the land and then famine threaten to destroy his family and his community, William is thrown out of the school he loves when his parents can no longer afford the fees. William sets his exceptional mind to come up with a solution, and sneaking back into the school library, he finds a way. First, though, he must convince his father Trywell (Chiwetel Ejiofor) to allow him to use the bones of his bicycle to build a windmill to irrigate the land.

Undaunted by the many obstacles in his path, and the emotional journey that he and his father travel, William succeeds with his invention and saves his village, whilst also assuring his own bright future.

The film highlights an urgent truth: while talent is evenly distributed across the globe, opportunity and investment are not. It also reminds us that youth are a powerful force in tackling both local and global challenges and reminds us to believe in and invest in their capacity to change their communities, countries and the world for the better.

In partnership with Journeys in Film, an organization leading the efforts to use films in classrooms around the world, we have created a US standards-aligned curriculum for The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind for middle school and high school students.