Footsteps 109 - Youth 1

Footsteps 109 – Youth

I recently watched a film called The boy who harnessed the wind, written by William Kamkwamba and directed by Chiwetel Ejiofor. The film follows the true story of a young man called William, growing up in rural Malawi in the early 2000s.

Unable to continue his schooling because of the cost, William gains access to the school library where he learns about electrical engineering and energy production. At the same time, his community is beginning to suffer from hunger because of drought. Driven by a desire to help, William designs a windmill capable of powering an electric water pump. After doubting him at first, his family and friends eventually help him build a full-size wind turbine from bits of bicycle and other scrap materials. His windmill, and the resulting water used for growing crops, saves his village from famine.

It is easy for young people to be overlooked, misunderstood or not listened to. But their energy, ideas and resourcefulness are of great importance to us all in our rapidly changing world (page 3).

In this edition of Footsteps we hear from young people who are calling for change (page 8), living differently (pages 6 and 20) and taking action in their communities (page 14). We consider how to engage with young people through sport (page 16), and how to prepare them if they are moving away from home (page 12). The advantages and disadvantages of living in a digital age are explored on pages 9 to 11.

As a mother of two teenagers I have very much enjoyed working with authors from around the world to put together this edition of Footsteps. I hope you find it interesting and useful.