Moving Windmills Project
We work with local leaders to determine, organize, and implement appropriate solutions that build community and solve problems.
Moving Windmills Project envisions a future where talented youth design and co-create solutions that directly respond to the real-world needs of their communities. To achieve this vision, Moving Windmills works with local leaders to determine, organize, and implement appropriate solutions that build community and solve pressing problems. We value:
Human-centered design: People know their own problems best. The only true solution is one that at every step involves those who face the challenge.
Appropriate Technology: Designs that use local, repurposed materials and are easily replicable and locally made.
Local Knowledge: Moving Windmills is in constant contact with ways of knowing and doing that are unique to Malawi. We are adaptive, observant, and community-centered.
Ever Learning: We believe wisdom comes from the joy one takes in being constantly open to growth and innovation and from seeking mutually beneficial partnerships with individuals and organizations.
Talent is universal, opportunity is rare: Good ideas can come from anyone. We all have a role to play and a story to share. We need opportunities to share our gifts.
Malawi is a young country—over 50% of the nation is under the age of 15 years old. The populace is expected to double in the next 20 years. The growing population will test an education system that is already over-enrolled and under-resourced. In 2018, 31% of eligible Malawian students completed primary school, 15% completed secondary school; this represents the lowest rates of access to education in East Africa. For those who can access schools, they are likely to learn in settings without electricity, running water, or trained teachers. The educational infrastructure in Malawi is not enough, and the need is growing.
At the same time, Malawians who can access education face irrelevant and outdated curriculums. According to the Ministry of Education, when we eliminate financial barriers, the number one reason for student drop-out is “lack of interest.” For decades development specialists have promised Malawians that more education means better-paying jobs, but in a fragile economy based on small-scale agriculture, this is not true. Over 80% of Malawians are subsistence farmers, yet agriculture curriculum in schools is limited to multiple-choice test questions that are more likely to test a student’s English ability than improve their farming practices.
Agriculture in Malawi is increasingly fragile, and climate change is predicted to have devastating effects on the landlocked nation. Unpredictable rain seasons cause floods in some regions and long periods of drought in others; the invasion of foreign pests has ravaged staple crops, and the price of vital fertilizers has skyrocketed for those who most need it. Malawi needs an education system that empowers individuals to respond to growing environmental hazards and encourages. The challenges of the future require communities of enabled problem-solvers, and that starts with an education that addresses Malawi’s reality, a system that emphasizes secure livelihoods through improved agricultural practices.
We have the knowledge to help shape resilient farmers who can problem-solve through Malawi’s challenges and secure viable futures for their families and communities. For example, small-scale drip irrigation systems, natural crop defenses against invading pests like Fall Armyworm, and locally processed fertilizers are all viable, low-cost solutions. Malawians are still farming with hand tools designed centuries ago. Now is the time to transform agricultural practices from hand hoe and plow to simple machines with the power to change lives