Madison Wood : Scotland – Mechanical Engineering at University of Strathclyde

“My name is Maddie and I participated in the WindAid short-term volunteer project in June/July 2017. My experience at WindAid was amazing and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. WindAid allows you to see engineering in action, something I am very interested in, and gives you invaluable hands on experience.

Working in the workshop shows you the process of how a turbine is made and the interesting, sometimes very inventive, methods WindAid uses. I learnt so many important skills which I could potentially use in future life such as working with hand-tools, making electrical circuits and how to make an object strong yet light (essential when creating wind turbine blades) I also learnt potentially less useful skills for my career such as welding but it’s such a cool thing to know how to do! The men who work in the workshop are incredibly helpful and nice, every day in the workshop is so much fun.

The purpose of WindAid is to build and install a wind turbine in order to benefit a small community. My installation was in Vilcas, a rural village in the mountains of Peru. We built a large turbine of 2.5kW and were able to electrify two classrooms in the local school. I will never forget how excited and thankful both the children and the adults of the village were. They did all that they could to help us and were extremely kind. To us, electricity is so common but to them it was a huge change in their lives. It was very fulfilling to see something I helped built have such a positive effect on people.

Additionally, WindAid gives lots of opportunity for travel, with flexible Fridays available so that you can make the most of your weekend and see Peru. I traveled a lot around the country including Huaraz, Chicama and Cajamarca – all of these places were incredibly beautiful and interesting. After WindAid, I did a bit of traveling around Peru including climbing Machu Picchu which is definitely worth doing if you have the time! The volunteer co-coordinators at WindAid are so helpful and can give full details about where is best to visit. Peruvian people are also so nice and friendly, which makes this whole experience even better. Overall, WindAid is a great organisation and provided me the opportunity to better my lives and the lives of others. I would recommend taking part in a volunteer program at WindAid for an experience you won’t forget. ”

Olivia Hudson : Australia – Civil Engineering at RMIT University 

“The program greatly exceeded my expectations, as I learned so much not only to do with engineering but personally as well. I’ve been inspired to now be vegetarian and also grown in confidence from this program.

My amazing experience has to be attributed to all the employees and volunteers at WindAid from mama Rosa, who always made sure we had a delicious meal to come home to at the end of the day, to Senor Abel making sure we always got to and from work as well as to all the guys in the workshop sharing all their knowledge and experience with the upmost patience and open mindness to new things.

I greatly respect their attitude and dreams for innovation in the future. ”

Amelia Bassett-Burr : New Zealand – Mechanical Engineering Honours at Auckland University of Technology

“Volunteering with WindAid is a must do for everyone no matter what you are interested in or what age. I learnt so much that I could never have experienced anywhere else. WindAid combines sustainable wind energy, volunteering, helping those less fortunate, practical workshop skills, travel and heaps and heaps of fun! The people at WindAid and the communities are fantastic and easy to communicate with, even with the language barrier.”

Volunteer Aid – Robert Liberatore & Shelby Hicks

“Being a part of the install is still one of our favorite parts of the trip. It allowed us to really interact with the community that will benefit from the turbine and show us how special WindAid’s work is in Peru and what our partnership with them will mean.”

Roanna Hutcheson: Dunfermline, UK – Product Design Engineering at The University of Glasgow

“I will forever cherish the unforgettable experience I gained from WindAid. It is run by truly passionate individuals who were unbelievably welcoming and kind. I gained a new appreciation for Wind Energy and was able to practically put the academic theory to the test. The WindAid programme not only provided me with valuable practical skills and knowledge of materials and manufacture, but also the ability to live and immerse myself in a completely new culture, from which I have learned so much. I have gained life-long friends and a more coherent sense of the world. Peru surpassed all of my expectations and I learned that the country has so much to offer. The most unforgettable experience was observing the positive social impact the Turbine had on the community. It is a privilege to have been truly involved in ‘lighting up a life’.”