Richmond Vale Academy is a non profit institution in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. More than 500 students from St. Vincent and around the world have participated in shorter and longer courses to reduce poverty and protect the environment since 2002.
Richmond Vale Academy is an educational institution with the aim to train activists from all over the world to fight global warming and global poverty shoulder to shoulder with the poor.
The Academy currently runs two main programs:
1. The Climate Compliance Conference, which is host of the Climate Change Activists where new students join for one or six months at the time and take part in a 10 year project to spearhead that people in St. Vincent adapt to the challenges of Global Warming and Climate Change.
2. The Fighting Poverty Program, students join an 18 months program in cooperation with One World University. Students earn an A or B-certificate in “Fighting Shoulder to Shoulder with The Poor” as Distance Learners. Students spend 6 months Service Period at a Humana People to People project in Ecuador or Belize.
We also run a smaller horse training program and offer 2-4 week courses to school groups that learn about and experience St. Vincent.
How Richmond Vale Academy was started
The Academy was built in the 80’s as a Vocational School for Vincentians and an experimental school for Danish youth with special needs. From the mid 80’s the school activities ceased and the farm was developed. In the beginning of 2000 first attempts to re-start the Academy was done, and the Academy has been in full operation since 2007. In 2012, the Academy partnered with One World University to offer students the possibility to take a university certificate.
How it all started creating Another Kind of School
In the 1970’s a group of 8 teachers and a handful of students from Denmark set out to learn about the greater world through personal exploration which started a movement called The Traveling Folk High School for decades to come. Every mode of transportation was tried– driving old busses across Europe, Asia and India; sailing around Europe, hiking across South America, riding motorbikes around the United States even maneuvering dog sleds across the ice-covered plains of Greenland.
Long before the days of the internet, this group of pioneers sent thousands of students to over 140 countries to learn about the condition of the world, experience other cultures and immerse themselves in learning from deep experience not found in textbooks.
The results were astounding. This unique school (officially started in 1970) not only understood that in a world of many different cultures, beliefs and societies, at the base level, all human beings sought the same things: peace, health, safety, family and opportunity. In short, that all human beings are the same although some were born into extreme poverty.
The global poverty condition, the fact that billions of people were starving, had little access to education, sanitation, health and economic opportunity quickly drove the students and staff to change from a school of understanding the world to changing the world.
They started small: packing warm coats for the cold in Turkey, sending vitamins to children in India and distributing seeds to the rural farmers in Bolivia. Eventually students and staff began to stay for one to two month periods to offer assistance to the poor. Over the decades the school became one of understanding the conditions of the world that lead to global poverty and creating development and service work to help eradicate this condition world-wide.
Today, schools around the globe train development workers in 6, 9 and 18-month programs to serve the poor in partnership with global development leader Humana People to People. With over $80 million dollars each year, 360 development projects and scores of humanitarian, government and corporate partnerships, this small school has become one of the most influential movements on the planet to eradicate poverty.
Richmond Vale Academy is financed by tuition fees, income generation activities like farming, nature and hiking center and donations.