On January 13th, the Winds of Change team will arrive back in Pedro Arauz, Nicaragua to construct our first windmill. If things go as planned, on January 19th water will be lifted from the village well using the existing rope pump - but now the pump will be fitted with a windmill designed by Mechanical and Industrial Engineering students from the University of Toronto. The initial design, done by four members of the class of 2015, has been refined and improved by two teams of four students each from the class of 2016.
The mission of Winds of Change is to bring innovative, cost-effective technology and support to help impoverished farmers in rural Nicaragua. Newly designed windmills will be used to pump small amounts of water from existing wells to support sustainable farming practices including micro-irrigation. This will help families to grow more food, particularly in the dry season. Doing so will help provide needed nourishment and income to lift them from poverty. Our friends in the village have already constructed the water tank into which the water will be pumped, and the community garden that will be irrigated.
Our fundraising efforts have been successful. Thanks to friends and family, donors via our Indiegogo crowd funding campaign, and a generous corporate donor we have raised over $23,000 in the past four months. We will share more about our corporate donor soon. The funds will pay for:
- Tools and materials in Pedro Arauz to be used in the construction of more windmills for the community
- Development of training materials and an honorarium for an instructor to teach agricultural methods to members of the community
- Welding training for the people of Pedro Arauz to increase productivity and quality when building more windmills
- A local camera operator and a translator to support the filming of a documentary film
- Offsetting a portion of the travel costs for the student team in January
This project has been about eighteen months in the making. We're pumped! (pun intended). A big THANK YOU for all of the support! Watch for more updates as the trip approaches.
Rob & John