William Saputra: Sociology & Quantitative Methods , University of Edinburgh, Indonesia

“Coming from a sociology background, I often found myself lost in the perplexing field of engineering during my initial days volunteering in WindAid. When I started as a volunteer in the organization, I was worried that I would fall short in contributing to my team’s effort. Lucky for me, the WindAid Institute was anything short of incredible staff members that were not only happy to share their extensive knowledge, but also capable of awakening a sense of curiosity for sustainable engineering in me. What more could you ask for than passion so infectious that you yourself becoming driven in learning more about their field?

With such a dedicated group of people, both staff members and my own group members, I quickly felt comfortable enough to continuously ask questions on a field completely unknown to me. By the end of my project, I had enough confidence to call myself an (makeshift) engineer. However, WindAid was not only an institution that builds on one’s engineering skills but also profoundly affects the local communities of Peru. With the completion of
my group’s project, the community of Nuevo Manzanilla had received a brand new wind turbine that brightened their school and community hall. Furthermore, WindAid did not only provide the local community with a one-off plan for sustainable development but rather provided them with a long-term solution to aiding the village through educating them about the wind turbine itself. Growing popular amongst the communities, WindAid quickly became a gateway for many of the local members to gain opportunities to come to the city and further educate themselves with goals to better their own lives back in their respective villages. In essence, the WindAid Institute leaves a trail of inspiration behind wherever they choose to do a project. I, amongst the many participants, am inspired and thankful I had the chance to work with WindAid.”

Renata Hegyi: Energy Systems Engineering, Dartmouth College – Hungary 

“I’ve had an incredible month with WindAid. I could not have imagined a better way to learn about wind turbines, manufacturing, construction, Peru and energy engineering. The WindAid team is passionate, dedicated, smart, caring, and so fun. Working with volunteers from all over the world made the experience even more special. I learned first hand what goes into building a wind turbine from scratch and watched how it impacted the lives of a Peruvian community for the better. I also received a great introduction to Peruvian culture, practiced my Spanish a lot, and traveled a bit on the weekends with the other volunteers. I left Peru with a stronger sense of direction, inspiration, and life long memories. Regresaré pronto! Gracias por todo, WindAid. ”

Katie Fry: Conservation, University College Birmingham, Derby, UK 

“I thoroughly enjoyed every moment with WindAid Institute. The team were so welcoming and I have never laughed so much in a month! The workshop was fun, interesting and easy to understand, even with no engineering background. The installation was heartwarming, it’s amazing to know you physically made electricity for a house or community when they had nothing!

I learned about renewable energy, engineering, climate change and different cultures. I would recommend it to anyone- from any background. I loved it and I would do it all over again in an instant!

Oh… but learn Spanish! Purely to avoid getting picked on by gringos…”

Eamonn Fetherston: Virginia – USA, Music Journalist

“Spending a month working with a team of like-minded individuals who are committed to building a sustainable future and bringing renewable energy to disadvantaged communities was an experience I am certain never to forget. Unlike many of WindAid’s volunteers, I do not have a background in science or engineering. Because of this, I suspected that I might have trouble participating in some aspects of the project. My assumptions couldn’t have been more wrong, as the WindAid team immediately made it clear that they would teach me everything I needed to know along the way, and that volunteers with non-science backgrounds are often capable of bringing a fresh perspective to the build and installation processes.

Installing a turbine at Playa Blanca, the fishing village in which WindAid had installed several turbines already, was an incredibly rewarding experience. After witnessing what day-to-day life looks like for a community in which many members lack regular access to electricity, I came to understand more clearly than ever before the crucial role renewable energy will play not only in ensuring that our future is a sustainable one, but in providing aid to impoverished communities around the world.”

Barbara Alimisi: Manchester – R&D Engineer at General Electric

“Volunteering with WindAid Institute for 3 months has been one of the most strong, interesting and rewarding experiences of my life. I honestly cannot thank WindAid enough for allowing me to be part of a unique family of like-minded people and bring positive change to a developing community! Regresare un dia! Promeso!” – Electrical Engineering at Durham & Newcastle University, UK