He’s living in poverty, but a 13-year-old’s fascination with building his own electric toys from trash has earned him a free education.
Guled Adan Abdi first started building toy cars and airplanes using plastic trash picked up around his hometown in Somalia. He fashioned the parts mainly from cooking oil containers, cutting the bottles to create doors, fenders, and wings.
Then he found discarded electric motors and started thinking about something that would change his life.
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“I used to play with them without any motor,” Guled told the BBC. “But later I said to myself: ‘Why don’t you make them into a moving machine?’”
He studied real cars to figure out how to motorize the toys and hi other creations (pictured below).
The only cost for Guled’s toys is the price of batteries to run them — about 25-cents for a pair.
His experiments with electric power led Guled Adan Abdi to invented a fan that cools his family home in the day, and works as a light at night.
Neighbors come by after school to watch him build his creations and his teacher has been telling local leaders about the young engineer.
That won him a meeting with President Abdiweli Mohamed Ali of Somalia’s Puntland’s region where he demonstrated his creations for the head of state (photo, top).
The president was so impressed, that he promised his government would pay for Guled’s schooling.
Now, instead of worrying about how he’ll pay for school, Guled is already working on plans to build and sell his toys — and one day, build real cars.
Photos: Information Department, President of Puntland
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