Richmond Vale

Do you know about the damage caused by ExxonMobil?

ExxonMobil is the largest oil corporation in the world. It emerged as the Standard Oil Company in 1889. It is currently the result of the merger in 2000 of the Esso and Mobil corporations. Today operates in different regions under one of these names or as ExxonMobil. Its activities span more than 40 countries. Include the exploitation, processing and marketing of petroleum products and natural gas, as well as the manufacture of chemicals, plastics and fertilizers. Only oil, this company produces 2.6 million barrels of crude oil a day. Its founder was John D. Rockefeller .  But, what does this US Corporation actually hide? [caption id="attachment_6873" align="aligncenter" width="400"] Photo Credit: porttechnology.org Throughout history, ExxonMobil has carried out a series of actions that place it outside the law. And yet, in reality, they have remained unpunished. An example of this is the accusation that is made to this company to be linked to dictatorial regimes of countries.  Such was the case of ExxonMobil's alliance with the dictatorial regime of Mohammad Suharto in Indonesia. Different manifestations were made against this transnational, they ended with an endless number of dead, wounded and missing. Oil Spill Contamination The most acclaimed case of ExxonMobil's was in 1989. In that year,  Exxon Valdez oil tanker  caused an oil spill into the crystalline waters of Alaska. Although the company tried to hide the...
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This is all the scuba diving gear you need!

Scuba Diving is one of the most rewarding activities you can do. A relaxing hobby in which you will experience different experiences. In each dive you will observe and learn new things while having the opportunity to make new friends. So, the relaxing atmosph ere offered by the sea and the snorkeling activity itself are probably the main reasons for the existence of a camaraderie among divers. Then, you do not always find this in other activities.   [caption id="attachment_6834" align="aligncenter" width="400"] Photo credit: pixabay Sharing ex periences and even tips and tricks while navigating makes learning something new. So, this is an activity of coexistence in which if you travel alone. Then, you will always find a partner. And if you do it together. You will meet other people who share the passion for the exploration of the seabed. Learn to dive and scuba dive underwater to observe all the mysteries that locks can be a magical experience. So, to enjoy this experience, you need to have the proper scuba diving gear. Then, since it facilitates greatly the power to do this activity of its kind. Scuba Diving Gear Mask or visor It is the element that allows to see under the water avoiding the direct contact of salty or chlorinated water with the eyes. The mask interposes a layer of air between the eyes...
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Richmond Vale

After our Service Period in Belize - FWTP Team October 2015

Last 6 months in our Service Period By Lillian Hallmark After returning to the Academy   after our service period we have several things to get in order. We are back to the communal living, common action and food production. However it's not all.  We are also in the process on making our own product. Which we will share with others who are interested in learning about Fighting shoulder to shoulder with the poor (stay tuned). We have many ideas on what we would like to  make for our journal product. I will write two articles about gender inequality and the environment. The articles will compare Belize to either St. Vincent or my home country Norway. My team mate Mariana will illustrate the articles. Manal will make videos on “How to live sustainably” that you will be find on Richmond’s Youtube channel . Baha will make short stories or poems describing the true story about the world. It will have music and will be beautiful. This is all up to us, what we would like to share with others. There is no limit to what we can do (unless it includes putting a flag on the moon, RVA does not have budget for that). Not all of people like to write essays, meaning they should not be forced to. Others are more artistic and like to create art...
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Starting an Organic Garden in Belize. Fighting Poverty Team March 2016

by Baha Alzain We arrived to the place that will be our home for the next five months, Silver Creek , a village in Toledo, the southern most district in Belize . As part of our duties as development instructors .  We were encouraging the families we were working with to have organic backyard gardens for economic and nutritional reasons. In order to be able to advocate such an idea. We had to prove that it is indeed possible to start an organic garden from scratch. And that was exactly what we did. We started by choosing a small area that would house our small garden. We made sure to find a flat ground that would get enough sunlight during the day. And that it would have enough space to contain two large beds as well. As providing enough space for possible future expansions. Then we decided to make a compost pile. This contain an organic decompose material that is add to the beds as fertilizer and soil enhancer. Next was the digging of the beds. In fact, we dug two large beds then decided to connect them together for aesthetic reasons. Then the first challenge arises. It rains really heavily in Belize. One particular night the sky wasn't holding back any rain, so the bed was washed away. Solution: add some wooden boards around the...
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Richmond Vale

Do you know about the United Nations Green Passport?

[caption id="attachment_6779" align="alignleft" width="233"] Photo credit: unep Most of the time, we are thinking of going on vacation. Also, we want to know new countries, learning about culture, gastronomy, and have fun. But have you ever thought about how your vacation can affect the planet? No, we're not telling you not to go on vacation.  But, you can help take care of the environment and enjoy your vacation while you do it. To do this you only need the United Nations Green Passport. The Green Passport  (http://www.unep.fr/greenpassport/) was developed in the International Working Group on Sustainable Tourism Development.  It was launched at the Berlin Tourism Fair 2008 by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP). And by the Ministry of Ecology, Energy, Sustainable Development and Territorial Planning. Also, by the Ministries of Environment and Tourism of Brazil and other partners. By browsing the Green Passport website consumers will be able to find practical and ecological tips.  So, this tips help them reduce their environmental and social footprint. So, tourists will discover that traveling green is not as hard as they imagined. The Green Passport website is designed to look fun and user-friendly. And you can even submit your own green travel tips. So, A large part of the program is focused on traveling responsibly. In other words, educating yourself about your destination and culture before going on...
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Special project in Belize. Fighting Poverty Team March 2016

During the project in Belize and  Ecuador , the Development Instructors have the chance to leave their mark on the village and the people with a special project. The special project can be anything that is benefiting the village and not just each family. Among the three development instructors in Belize 2016 we had several good ideas, we were bouncing ideas back and forth between each other. Ideas such as trying to get a garbage collection system, bartering club, library and  welcome signs to the villages. We discussed with the Humana team what would be good options for the people in the two villages we were working with. In the end we came up with three really good projects with will make the villages and each of the families that we were working with remember us for a long time. Manal’s special project was to plant 55 fruit trees around the schools and at the families that we were working with. With the help from our project leader, Pantaleon Escobar, the project went smoothly. Manal collected ten different variety of fruit trees in Silk Grass in Stan Creek about 3 hours drive from our village. She was able to transport the trees to the villages where the families were waiting patiently. Together we went to San Miguel and had a planting action with our families. Several of...
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3000 New trees to be planted

[caption id="attachment_6755" align="alignleft" width="300"] Part of the damage caused by Hurricane Tomas. Photo Credit: Wikipedia St. Vincent and the Grenadines is one of the world’s most disaster prone countries. During the past few years hurricanes and floods have affected St Vincent. Hundreds of people lost their homes, jobs and loved ones. Have been done major damages to bridges, roads and buildings. Thousands of trees and many acres of agricultural soil have been lost. Although St. Vincent and the Grenadines and other Caribbean nations have contributed little. To the release of the greenhouse gases driving climate change. We pay a heavy price for global inaction in reducing emissions. The new tree planting project. Aims at sensitizing and mobilize people to take action. To mitigate and adapt to the challenges of Climate Change in St. Vincent. To learn a bit more about this topic. The Richmond Vale Academy website gives us a brief introduction about what is climate change? With a 10 year perspective, Richmond Vale Academy launched the St. Vincent Climate Compliance Conference in 2012. Aiming to form the future of St. Vincent into that of being a more Climate Compliant Country. The Climate Compliance Conference works with a small group of people from Richmond Vale Academy. Together with the Government of St Vincent and the Grenadines, various community organizations, schools and volunteers. Richmond Vale Academy has...
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Changing the world through renewable energy

At Richmond Vale Academy we run Another Kind of school where adults join to become inspired, gain knowledge which they will turn into action.  Through The St. Vincent Climate Compliance Conference Program we are doing our part to change the world by walking our talk. Burning of fossil fuels are polluting our atmosphere and creating Global Warming and we have taken concrete action to change our energy consumption to renewable energy with solar panels.A few months ago we set up 70 solar panels and a battery bank.  [caption id="attachment_6740" align="aligncenter" width="448"] Our New Solar Panels! [caption id="attachment_6739" align="aligncenter" width="448"] The batteries! Our monthly energy consumption is a bit over 2000 KwH which makes the monthly electricity bill around US$ 1000.  The payback time on the investment of $56.000 will be 5 years, which is less that our current electricity bill.After months of planning and finding out how, we finally set up the batteries and panels during the Building Week in July. It was very exciting because the time had come to turn off fossil fuels and turn on for solar. During the common meeting we planned the Building Weekend and decided that everyone should be part of setting up the panels.By producing our own energy we have become aware of the use of electricity that it is not something that is just there coming from somewhere...
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La Soufriere Leeward Trail Clearing Report

Background This report is a partial fulfilment of the GEF funded project to rehabilitate the La Soufriere Leeward Trail on St. Vincent .  No maintenance work was done on this trail for a number of years and in 2010 it was made worse with the passing of hurricane Thomas which totally devastated the trail. Huge trees were uprooted and blocked the trail, landslides took out sections of the trail which caused persons to use alternative route.  In 2013 further damage was done to the trail by the passing of a trough system that affected the whole island.  Despite these negative impacts the trail remained untouched, visitation was low because of the trail condition, shrubs and trees grew up on the trail way covered by vines thus making the trail impassable.  To get to the summit one had to bend down and go through dark vine tunnels amid obstacles of shrubs and dangerous vines for most of the way.  At the end of the tree line grass completely covered the trail past waist height with just a very narrow foot path which was barely visible almost to the top.     Trail Clearing At a meeting on 5 th September the stakeholders decided to implement work on 19 th of September, to clear the trail. A crew of 8 was decided on however one did not turn...
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Distance Learner at One World University

One World University/ ISTC is ADPP Mozambique’s university, training professionals within two areas: Pedagogy and Fighting with The Poor.The students are trained to become teachers at teacher training colleges as well as social activists, practicing intellectuals, fighting shoulder to shoulder with The Poor against all the effects of poverty, whilecreating economic development.One World University’s idea is to equip students with relevant theoretical knowledge, skills and practical experience so that they become able to act with others in the present reality, implementing practical actions to respond to challenges. One World University presents the students with a program that inspires while opening up to a whole new world filled with other ways of doing things and of being challenged. The program places its academic training right into our contemporary world and its human conditions. Faculty of Pedagogy The faculty started in 1998 and provides a Licentiate Degree in Pedagogy. The training aims to support graduates in professional careers within education and as instructors at teacher training colleges. In 2012, there were 94 Pedagogy students. Faculty of Fighting with The Poor The faculty started in 2008 and provides a Licentiate Degree. The training aims at creating social activists and community developers with a broad general understanding, specific knowledge of development theories and ability to put their knowledge to practical use in actions together with The Poor in their communities....
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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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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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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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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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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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