Empowering others through innovation . . .
Hello again from everyone at the OM@home blog, a blog about children and young people, written for children and young people . . . .
For young people just like you, about young people who inspire us here at OM HQ.
Young people like Kelvin Doe . . . .
Kelvin is an inventor . . .
Having spent recent times demonstrating his penchant for electronics at MIT, he has made a huge impression on some of the cleverest people in the United States.
Kelvin has met the President of Harvard and has inspired everyone he has met.
Kelvin is just 15 years old and his is not a privileged background.
Far from it, in fact . . .
You see, Kelvin is from Sierra Leone, an impoverished nation in West Africa, where creature comforts are in short supply.
‘In Sierra Leone, there’s not much electricity,’ Kelvin explains. ‘The lights might come on once [in a month]. [But] for the rest of the month, [it is] dark’.
Most people in his hometown grin and bear it, but not Kelvin, who spends his time sifting through garbage, searching for discarded electronic components that he can use to make life better for those around him.
‘I made batteries [from trash] to power the lights in people’s houses,’ he says. In all that he does, Kelvin has taught himself.
‘I [just] love inventing [things],’ explains Kelvin, who has made an FM transmitter and set up his own radio station that he uses to promote empowerment among his peers.
‘[I thought that] if we have a radio station, the people can debate the issues that affect them. I aim to promote innovation in Sierra Leone among young people.’
Kelvin – who had never before left his hometown, let alone Sierra Leone – has in recent times returned from a trip to the United States where, as a guest of MIT, he demonstrated that great achievement isn’t based upon class or background or social status . . .
Doing great things – influencing, inspiring and making a difference – isn’t about privilege or wealth. It is about attitude and application, desire and determination. It comes from inside.
It is this that make’s Kelvin’s tale so inspirational to us all here at OM®. It is also the fact that, rather than seeing his talents as a means to escape the difficulties he has encountered at home, Kelvin is dedicated to using his inventions to benefit his brethren.
‘This [trip to the United States] is a big opportunity,’ he adds. ‘To learn from people with experience and to meet with them. I want [to use this] to help my family, and to provide for them. Whatever I’ve learnt, I’ll share it with my friends and colleagues and loved ones so we can [make life better] as a team’.
Kelvin – whose next ambitious project is to invent a windmill that he hopes will provide power for people in Sierra Leone – inspires us not just as an innovator and an inventor, but also as a human being. He has the right outlook on life and is someone we all can learn from.
If you’d like to learn more about Kelvin, please watch this short film . . .