Richmond Vale

Useful and Pioneering Organic Pest Control in the RVA Garden

The organic gardening is very important to Richmond Vale Academy , not only because it provides food security to the school, but also because it is a way to show local people how to be climate compliant through implementing climate-smart agriculture techniques. This is why a useful organic pest control is really important for the garden in RVA . But, as every agricultural practice, it presents various challenges. One of these challenges is pests we had to avoid if we want to protect our organic food . Organic Gardens As you may know, organic gardening discards using all kind of chemical products. And, since they are harmful to the environment and nonetheless to humans. There is where the challenge begins. Considering we are under tropical weather, the proliferation of undesired bugs in your garden is something to be aware of, and have an organic pest control system is necessary. Also, for the school is especially difficult considering that the amount of people is always changing. Besides, sometimes, the garden team struggles to keep up with the tasks required. Organic Pest Control So, how are we dealing with these situations? Ideally, a garden designed under Permaculture principles will be bio-diversified enough to have natural predators to the present pests. Additionally, it should have a crop mixture that avoids pest concentration in specific areas. Hence, this is what...
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Richmond Vale

Rescue Diver: How to Deal with Emergencies

The Richmond Beach count with the Richmond Vale Diving Academy who teaches how to deal with dive emergencies and prepare the full program to the most vocational rescue diver. Here’s the story of Bjarke. Rescue Diver Experiences [caption id="attachment_6700" align="alignright" width="500"] Photo Credit: Richmond Vale Diving and Hiking Academy . “Rescue Diver Stop. Breathe. Think. Only then should you act. And rushing into a rescue can make you both victims. Also, in the level 3 of scuba diving courses, you’ll learn how to deal with dive emergencies using a variety of techniques and skills. By the end of this course, you’ll know how to avoid risks and how to respond in case things do go wrong. Rescue Diver emergencies My best experience in Rescue Diver is that I have gained so much knowledge. And Jesper examines the practical part really well with Isa and me. So, one thing I really like is the knowledge review, is there you really suck so much knowledge to you. Isa has been such a good partner because we are always helping each other, discussing things and the good thing about having her as a partner is that she wants it as much as me. And, the second best thing is that she is passionate. Hence, you can tell that she loves to dive. So Isa has also been a good...
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Delightful and Irresistible Vincy Cuisine at the RVA

The delightful and irresistible Vincy Cuisine that we eat at Richmond Vale Academy (RVA), is inspired by our longtime friend and activist Empress Modupe Olufunmi-Jacobs' amazing recipes. Vincy Cuisine [caption id="attachment_6679" align="alignleft" width="500"] Empress Modupe Olufunmi-Jacobs with her amazing plates. Photo Credit: Official Facebook Page . Empress Modupe Olufunmi-Jacobs cook with an eclectic compilation of mainly vegetarian Caribbean recipes that Haitian-born Rastafarian activist and chef Empress has collected from friends and family. She adopted St. Vincent & The Grenadines as her homeland. And her recipes join the use of fresh local agricultural produce and fish harvested in St. Vincent & the Grenadines. Besides, she is the host of the 'We Cookin' television show on St. Vincent & the Grenadines TV. This is a weekly cooking show, featuring the local and international chefs working in St. Vincent & the Grenadines. Recipes of Vincy Cuisine Her recipes rely largely on fresh, locally grown products and locally caught fish. [caption id="attachment_6677" align="alignright" width="244"] Photo Credit: Official Facebook Page . Empress Modupe Olufunmi can use occasionally products from the store, like a jar of pasta sauce or can of coconut milk, or even a bouillon cube or two. And the popular rice, soy "meat", soy sauce and olive oil appears in her recipes too. But the mainstays are the ground provisions produced here in St. Vincent & the Grenadines. These...
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Richmond Vale

Development of the Remarkable Garden in RVA

At Richmond Vale Academy (RVA) the students are an active part in the management of the vegetable garden. The garden in RVA provides daily fresh food for the kitchen. The Garden at RVA RVA believes that education it's about practical experience. So, the knowledge that the students get by spending active time in the garden will allow them to understand the principles and techniques of sustainable agriculture. That’s why is so necessary to have a garden in RVA. Principles of the garden in RVA The main principle that we follow in the garden is permaculture . And, permaculture is a concept based on imitating nature, sowe need to increase the biodiversity of the cultivated area. So, in the garden in RVA we plant different species of vegetables taking into consideration the synergies that can be obtained among them. Also, there are different plant families that grow well together and other that compete for the same source. So, a strategic management and accurately planned cultivation allow the garden to work as a resistant ecosystem. Then, they are able to face the pests and limit their spreading. In permaculture is important to keep the soil healthy and to do so we keep it always covered either with plants or with mulch. And, in this way, the topsoil remains with moisture and the nutrients remains despite the rain or the wind. Structure...
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In The Making: New Amazing RVA's Rainwater Storage

The Richmond Vale Academy’s project to collect St. Vincent’s heavy supply of rainfall into rainwater storage is already under construction. Rainwater Harvesting [caption id="attachment_6558" align="aligncenter" width="500"] West-side view of the reservoir now under construction. Is a fact that for every millimeter of rain that falls on a square meter area, a liter of water is available for collection. This premises have been the key motivation behind Richmond Vale Academy’s project to collect St. Vincent’s heavy supply of rainfall into water storage tanks. Most necessary in the heavy rainy season running between August and November on the island of St. Vincent. Today, 1350 m2 of Richmond Vale Academy’s rooftop collects rainwater to supply 19 rooms and their occupants. And, this storage is the water source for WCs and showers, as partially provide water for the organic garden. Besides, the roof area is about 40 percent of Richmond Vale’s total and any excess water that overflows the water tanks is lost. This is why it's time for the Richmond Vale Academy to take its rainwater-harvesting system to another level. New Rainwater Storage We, the Climate Compliance Team 13, are building what would be a reservoir. This one will collect and store the excess rainwater the current tanks are unable to store. And, with about dimensions of a 100 m2 total surface area and the greatest depth of 2m,...
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Significant Experience at the Chateaubelair Farmers Market

After we had an investigation week, travelling across the island, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines , we identified some problems about the trading of the basic products that farmers produce at the Chateaubelair Farmers Market. [caption id="attachment_6549" align="aligncenter" width="500"] Photo Credit: Richmond Vale Academy . Farmers Market One of the big problems we could identify was that the farmers had to travel to the capital to sell their products. And, this is because they don’t have too many places where to sell and buy their productions. So, we decided to start a local Farmers Market in North Leeward, in Chateaubelair. And since that point, we built tables for the farmers and got a tent. There, we made some workshops like, organic fertilizer and organic pesticides. Also, workshops of sub products production from the basic production farm, like jam, dry fruits, and so on. Grateful Experience It has been very interesting to see trading in its even more simple expression. Also, seeing farmers exchanging products among them, buying some watermelons and selling some garlic, buying some bananas and selling some sweet potatos, and so on. With this we are reactivating the economy of the village. And, working together step by step. The farmers market is a huge project that includes social development, volunteering, and helping with the mitigation of climate change. Besides, this project is generating income...
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Richmond Vale

NEWS: Climate Change and Hurricane Matthew in the Caribbean

The Hurricane Matthew continues on its slow but steady track across the Caribbean and how the climate change must have affected this type of phenomenon is still something many are wondering about it. [caption id="attachment_6468" align="aligncenter" width="500"] Hurricane Matthew. Photo Credit: Patch . Hurricane Matthew in the Caribbean The Hurricane is moving toward Haiti, Jamaica, and Cuba, experts caution that the storm's impact could be devastating. This fiercest Caribbean and category four's storm made landfall at the south-western tip in Haiti at about 12:00 GMT. The US National Hurricane Center said Haiti was "getting everything a major hurricane can throw at them". The damages have been serious with 40 inches (102cm) of rain and winds of 145 mph (230km/h). This storm is potentially triggering mudslides and flash floods. The one confirmed death in Haiti brings the total death toll from the storm to at least three. Also, one man died on Friday in Colombia. On September 28, one 16-year-old died in St Vincent and the Grenadines when the storm passed through the eastern Caribbean. Cuba has declared a hurricane alert for six eastern provinces. Cuban government is moving residents of low-lying areas and offshore islands into temporary shelters in government buildings. For the other part, Dominican Republic also has taken actions for the proximity of the Hurricane Matthew. The Civil Defence director for the Dominican Republic...
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INDC of St. Vincent and the Grenadines

The Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) in St. Vincent and the Grenadines and it implementation helps in the plan for preserving the Environment and building resilience to Climate Change. [caption id="attachment_6445" align="aligncenter" width="500"] Photo Credit: Wikipedia . Saint Vincent and the Grenadines It is formed with 32 islands each with its own characteristics and multinational cultures. Located in the Eastern Caribbean, with more than 110,000 people living in the islands. St. Vincent is the largest of the 32 islands that form the nation, covering roughly 390 SQ. km (150 sq. miles). The Grenadines extend 72 km (45 miles) to the southwest. There’s others inhabited islands, like Young Island, Bequia, Mustique, Canouan, Mayreau, Union Island, Palm Island, and Petit St. Vincent. Kyoto Protocol and INDC The Government of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines (GoSVG) ratified the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in 1996 and the Kyoto Protocol in 2004. This next document talks how the geography, geology and socio-economic circumstances of St. Vincent and the Grenadines make it extremely vulnerable to climate-related natural disasters. Also, explain that due to its mountainous topography, most activities on the mainland are limited. Clarifies that these activities are focus on the narrow, low-lying coastline, at risk of sea-level rise (SLR). Besides the many risks for the coastal erosion, while the landscape also is dangerous on it landslides and...
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Richmond Vale

The Global Environment Facility Small Grants Programme

A brief overview of this project,  Richmond Vale Academy had been working for some time already. St. Vincent and the Grenadines It is important to remember that we as humans are part of the environment. With over 6 billion of us on Earth, our combine actions also have a big impact on the environment. However, at least we are aware of that impact. We can do things as individuals and we can find ways to work together to lessen the detrimental impacts of billions of people. Environmental science fair project ideas explore such topics as air quality, water quality, the effects of climate change, and many others. Most of all, this project consists in the most important things like rehabilitating the trail. The 4.3mile long trail will be clear using cutlasses. Several big trees, which have fallen and are blocking the original path of the trail on the ridge, will be remove. In areas which are steep and hazardous stairs will be re-establish. Vetiver grass and trees will be plant in two critical areas where landslides are very close to the trail; so to prevent further soil erosion and strengthen the safety of the trail.  Select trees will be plant along the trail to counter soil erosion and to enhance biodiversity. Three (3) look out spots for visitors will be establish. The midway point of the...
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Richmond Vale

Why You Should Go To Your Favorite Beach This Saturday

KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent, Sept 15, 2016:- Vincentians are being encourage to head to their favourite beaches this Saturday and join in cleaning them. This Saturday, Sept. 17, is being observe as International Coastal Cleanup day. The brainchild of Ocean Conservancy. An international group that encourages coastal communities and menbers of the public to help to clean beaches. In St. Vincent and the Grenadines, the Richmond Vale Academy (RVA) will participate in the activity on Sept. 24. Their efforts will focus primarily in North Leeward, where the academy is located. Rose Hall resident, Selwyn Patterson, a teacher at RVA, said the institution will join with community, sports and cultural groups in Richmond, Chateaubelair. Rose Bank, Troumaca and Cumberland to clean up the beaches in those areas. Patterson, who teaches Vincentian history and project management at RVA. However said that it is important that Vincentians take care of the nation’s forest, rivers, and beaches as they are vital parts of the ecosystem. “Whatever takes places in the forest. Rivers and beaches affects us all and each of us can play a part in keeping our environment clean.” Consequently, Patterson said that rivers can lead to floods and landslides and polluted beaches result in damage to reefs, which are essential to ocean health, including fish stocks. First of all, “Let us all come out and help to clean up our...
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Humana "Pueblo a Pueblo" Project Report Jan-Jun 2016

Ecuador’s "Humana Pueblo a Pueblo" is a nonprofit foundation that began to work in June 2007. To boost the development project of the Ecuadorian communities with fewer resources. During the first six months of the Child Aid project in Loja we have involved approx. 4,000 families which in total benefits approx. 20,000 people. The project has contributed to improve the family´s economy, increasing their self sufficiency through their involvement in the income generating activities such as: implementing organic family gardens using organic fertilizers; small animals breeding programs like chickens, pigs and tilapia-fish. These activities have been carried out thanks to the training and practical support provided by our project team. The families have had the support of 17 Area & Co-Project Leaders to successfully do the programed project activities. We have also implemented health training for the prevention of infectious diseases such as chikungunya and dengue, both which have growing incidences in our area of intervention. During this first 6 months, our activities to foster community development have been developed in three municipalities: Celica, Paltas and Macará. In Celica we have been working in four areas, two are part of the municipality center (Celica 1 and Celica 2) and two are rural parishes (Pozul and Sabanilla). In Paltas we have been working in 6 parishes: Catacocha, Lourdes, San Antonio, Lauro Guerrero, Yamana, and Guachanamá. In Macará we have the head office to coordinate the strategies in...
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Wonderland Indeed (Bio Diversity)

WONDERLAND INDEED By Vanessa Lindersvold. Climate Activist 2016. https://youtu.be/42HXhKvwIr4 I have no words to describe such an amazing experience since long ago I always want to do something like that but I just thought it was expensive and I left it for a future moment. as we use to do with many things in our life. Then you realize you have We use to do with many things in our life. Then you realize your life purchasing stuff that you can´t even remember and let your money (and your time with it). Running out of your hands for something that just bring you a fast trivial sense of happiness that flew away after the next shopping experience. Everything aiming to destroy this awesome planet we live in and that we should protect. Everything aiming to destroy this awesome planet we live in and that we should protect. One-third of the deep coral reef has disappeared already. Deep reefs are carbonated structures and its presence favors a high diversity around as they are many different marine organisms. Corals prevent beach erosion, capture carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere and fix it in their skeletons.This process makes reef sites permanent sequestration of atmospheric carbon, thus, allows the stability of different ecosystems as well, its lost therefore is causing disturbances in the natural This process makes reef sites permanent...
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Promotion Of Action

Richmond Vale Academy organizes different activities addressed to the St. Vincent’s community. For example beach and river clean up local farmers market or healthy diet education. These actions aim to attract interest on local environmental problems such as littering along streets, beaches, and rivers. Boost the local economy introducing small farmers market and prioritize healthy food consumption instead of process and imported food. In order to achieve our goals, we have to focus on a positive and productive way to reach the Vincentians . Construct a network and a bond with the community, knowing their life and understanding their needs and difficulties are key steps to be successful. Before to go out and spread our message in the street, we work on producing flyers, posters, banners and images to send out the information easily. This is a creative and group work initiative that gives you the opportunity to test your management and leadership skills. When we are happy with the results, we jump on the school’s jeep and “fly” to the villages near the Academy. This is the most important part of our promoting action: go around in the small group, two or three people. The population is extremely friendly, sociable and with small but constant efforts, it is possible to catch their attention. The presence of Selwyn is a great help to break the ice...
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Arriving At The Richmond Vale Academy

Experiences In The Richmond Vale Academy. By Niklas Steinke I arrive in the dark. Midnight has just been over. The driver shows me the room, the key ready in the lock. Arriving at Richmond Vale after a 21 hrs journey, which made me cross the Atlantic and took me to a different continent felt just great.  Nevertheless, I had no orientation at all. I only saw some of the buildings, lightened in the dark. I did neither know how many buildings were there nor what was in them. After some minutes the driver left and vanished into the dark. Nobody. How will it look tomorrow, in the light? Who will be there? How will my life be like during the next six months?  I could only guess. After a long sleep, I finally woke up at my new home. Everything was different to the night before. The abandoned buildings of the past night were alive with people and noise. After I got to know the first amount of people, I was shown around the site. I was led into the fruit forest, the organic garden, and through all the buildings. Suddenly I did not only know some of the people I would be living with during the next months, but I also got more and more orientation, having seen the beautiful environment of Richmond Vale. Besides the geographical orientation, I need to get some knowledge of the daily routine, since I...
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Culture Night In RVA

Culture Night At The Richmond Vale Academy By Julio from Brazil All Saturdays the Richmond Vale Academy promotes the “Culture Night”. An event that aims to promote an entertainment night for the volunteers. The staff and sometimes also the locals of St Vincent, the idea of this event is to bring a new theme every week. With all different kind of activities, as music, dance, food, sports, games. An important question about the Culture Night is that the responsible for making it happens are of the people from the project. The idea is to promote a different experience for all of the people that live around you, so usually some groups take the responsibility for a specific date and plan all the activities. So, it´s important that every group plan activities to bring different moments that can improve the integration among the people of our community. An interesting point when you are in charge of the Culture Night is to think. “What I would like to get if I were a participant”. After this point, you start to think about what activities people would enjoy, which different food you can do, how time longer the activities will take. What resources we need before, what should I do during the afternoon before?. All of this helps to improve your capacities about management, working together and also how...
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Time To Deep Clean RVA

Running The School Together Here at Richmond Vale Academy, we work hard to ensure that the school and surrounding areas are tidy and presentable. In order for this to happen, all of the students and staff here pitch in to make a clean and pleasant living environment for all. Each day after breakfast students is assigne to an area of the school which is their responsibility to clean. As this happens every day of the week. We keep on top of all cleanliness and any maintenance within the academy. A new responsibility area was create in order to take of this, which has been name health & hygiene. The students in this group are in charge of organising target areas, cleaning rotas and the products we need in order to carry out the action. As well as cleaning our individual areas once a day, the whole school also takes part in deep cleaning once each week. Deep cleaning means giving attention to the corners of the school that really need it! For example, the lamp shades in the main hall are not so easy to reach and are neglect from the regular everyday cleaning and take a lot of care, time and attention to wash. During deep cleaning, areas such as these are given priority as they are not a necessity. Before each deep cleaning session,...
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Bio Char in RVA

Climate Compliance Student (Bio Char) By Jasper from Belgium The first months I spend time to study topics about rebuilding soils. True this process of learning I became very passionate about this topic so I decided that I really wanted to work around this topic as my Richmond Vale climate compliance action. My first action was to observe what was already been done at Richmond Vale Academy to improve the soil. I notice that they already trie 2 times to make a bio-char produce, the second version was running but it had some miss functions. So I decided to improve this design. After my decision I dogged deeper in the topic of bio-char. What I found was amazing, I was really stunt by the benefits of it. I knew that I didn’t invent the wheel but still I had the feeling I found something precious. First of all bio-char is a term for charcoal that is used for agriculture purposes. This means that we take the charcoal and put it in the soil. The main benefits going from soils improvements, drought resistance, waste management and storing carbon dioxide back in the ground. Like I said before It is not something new, this technique of improving the soil existed some 2000 years ago in the amazon. Tribal people notice the benefits from the ashes and they create...
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Dr. Murray Talk About Environmental Science

Richmond Vale Academy often invites experts from Saint Vincent to present their work and share their knowledge. This is a good opportunity to learn how local problems have been tackled and solve. Recently, Dr. Murray has visited Richmond vale Academy to talk about his experience in the field of environmental science. Dr. Murray grew up in St. Vincent but he moved to the USA in order to obtain a Ph.D. in ecotoxicology, studying the effects of pesticides on the microorganisms living in the topsoil. He then worked for the ministry in St. Vincent and successively for the United Nations. He is currently working freelance as an environmental consultant. He gave a lively and interactive presentation regarding the history of St. Vincent with a special focus on environmental problems. The students learned about the serious problem of soil erosion which affects a significant area of the island. Soil erosion is primarily caused by deforestation in order to obtain areas for cultivation. By removing trees, soil loses cohesion since there are no more strong and deep roots that can hold it. Secondly, there is a low evapotranspiration, therefore, water accumulates in topsoil. As a result, a strong rain can easily transport the most fertile layer of the soil worsening the yield of crops. In extreme cases, this can result in landslides. In St. Vincent heavy rains have created...
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Why I became a Teacher at Richmond Vale Academy

 Why I became a teacher at Richmond Vale Academy   By Thomas from Denmark.   I want to tell you a little about my experience going through the Fighting Shoulder to Shoulder with the Poor Program . Just two months ago a end the most incredible journey of my life. 18 months of hard work had paid of and I could call myself a Development Instructor. It all start with my decision to leave my old life behind, dropping out of university. Leaving my friends and abandoning the idea of doing the same that all of them was doing. Get a degree, a job, a family, kids, a house, a car and all what follows.     I can tell you is not easy, probably the most frightening decision I have ever take in my life. But to this day I look back and only have gratitude in my heart for making that choice. If you are sitting out there with the same feeling as me, the feeling of doing something more, escaping the shackles of society, than take the jump, go out in the world. Get some experience first hand it beats any university degree. trust me. I want to tell you what the program have meant for myself. When I arrive here in St. Vincent and the Grenadines my only work experience is  a...
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Development Instructors in Belize

Development Instructors Are International Volunteers. Humana People to People Belize is glad to have the assistant of three Development Instructors; Manal Beirut from Jordan, Baha Alzain from Jordan and Lillian Harkmark Lie from Norway. Who are working with the communities of Silver Creek and San Miguel for 6 months. Development Instructors have many ideas and give a lot of inspiration to the people they work with. While at the project the Development Instructors work shoulder to shoulder with the people. They live in the community, where they work, for the entire 6 months. In that way, they get really close to the people and their conditions and there by also better prepare to fight the relevant, important and necessary fights together with the children and adults in those communities. The Development Instructors Experiences After Three Months: The Youth Group in Silver Creek is very active and interested in doing things in the community. The group is made up of 11 young and talented people who are interested in learning and doing things for their community. Their aim and objective are to create funds for their studies or to start up a small business. The youth and Humana have together organized events such as movie nights and the open day at the primary school in Silver Creek. At the Open Day, the club sold second-hand clothes and...
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