This program is a comprehensive study of global poverty. You will learn about the conditions of the billions of people living in poverty and how it affects their health, education, freedom, economic opportunities and if they will have a short or a long life.
At Richmond Vale Academy you will join teams of humanitarians from around the world living in a communal setting where everyone works together to live, learn and serve The Poor.
NEW TEAMS START IN APRIL AND OCTOBER.
THE PROGRAM HAS FOUR PERIODS:
Period One and Two:The Present and the Future (6-Months)
You will meet your teammates, teachers and acclimate to the communal campus life. Your studies begin with understanding the world, the forces running the world, the history of poverty, the potentials available to humanity and what the future holds. You will begin studies, learningassignments and set out into society to ask questions and learn about The Poor. Your team also begins to fundraise to cover the rest of your program expenses (including your flight to Ecuador or Belize. You will learn how to empower The Poor and begin to train to become a Development Instructor in a third world country.
Period Three:The Service Period (6-Months)
This is the most challenging and exciting part of our program. You and your teammates set off to live for six months in Ecuador or Belize. Our partner, Humana People to People, will be waiting to assign you to aproject in groups of three (trios). You may find yourself working in a rural area improving families’ health, farming methods and starting water and sanitation projects or teaching in schools. Our partner has a long history of running projects around the world and provides leadership to you and your trio. In turn, as a Development Instructor, you work with the community to empower them to work together towards sustainable solutions for their lives. You will be applying all that you learned in Period One and Two during your Service.
Period Four:The Journal (6 months)
After your service period your team heads back to St. Vincent. We call this The Journal period. You will want to reflect on all that you have experienced and take the time to integrate your service into your new world-view. You will finish studies for certification and create a final project to share with others. You may wish to create a film, book, website, presentation, radio pod-cast, speaking tour, poetry or any other form of creatively sharing “the situation of The Poor”.
In addition, you will take the time to determine how this will affect your own future. Some of our alumni go into humanitarian careers and work in international aid. We will also invite you to events and college meetings to speak to others about global poverty, your experience and encourage them to join in helping the most vulnerable people on our planet
During the first 6 months of the program, participants fundraise for travel expenses to Latin America. Raising funds is an integral part of the program, that will teach you to take charge, plan, organize, go for a goal and succeed while sticking together with the team.
This training certifies you as a Development Instructor and awards you a B-certificate from One World University in Fighting Poverty
“We feel it has a significant influence on people’s lives in Belize, because it promote actions with the communities, supporting them during the process, teaching and giving knowledge which can be used longer after we leave the project. This is a very different way to do aid where many other organizations just gives resources without implementing them properly, which do more harm than good…
….As a person the project also teach us many new skills and show us that we have more capacity than we ever could think of. Just the fact that you live together with people who are living in a difficult situation gives you a lot of perceptive on your own life….”
Thomas (Denmark) & Keith (Colombia)
“The opportunity to be a Poverty Fighter is an once in a lifetime experience that allows you to use all your knowledge in practice, the opportunity to meet people, to share your culture as well as learn a lot about a new one, to learn new skills, to come across a new lifestyle, to discover a lot about yourself. You’ll be able to reflect on your own values, and the most important aspect is to help people…”
“The biggest challenge for me were definitely the languages. Both, English and Spanish. Before I came to RVA I didn’t use English a lot. There was no need to do so. We had English in school and I was surrounded with it all the time on TV but I didn’t use it for communication. I was never satisfied with my level of it and I was never confident using it. That was one of the reasons why I chose a program that is not in my country (Slovenia) and I also knew that there won’t be anyone from my country so I will be forced to speak English, right or wrong….
….Latin America, more specifically Ecuador, was a period when a was confronted with number of challenges. When I arrived to the project my Spanish was still at the beginning and that put more pressure on me because we were there to teach people different things related to farming and agriculture, nutrition and English…”