Richmond Vale

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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Richmond Vale

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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Richmond Vale

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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The Natural King and Guardian of St. Vincent

Going up to La Soufrière: The natural king and guardian of St. Vincent.   Richmond Vale Academy  Climate Compliance Program – Team 13  Study task 2 – Experience  María Olano. St. Vincent and the Grenadines is not far from that. La Soufrière is the country volcano, a natural monstrous marvel that can be seen from almost every point of the island. It stands there, with all his imperial magnitude, the king and guardian of this portion of land that carries all the warm of the lava within their citizen kindness. Every country have they own appealing characteristics with historical monuments, unique landscapes, and particular roadways. These touristic assets that are frequently use by travel agencies to show how attractive a destiny can be, and carry an interesting number of people to get astonished by different wonders. La Soufrière is the most highest peaks in St. Vincent. It’s 1.234 meters (4.049 feet) and the last time it erupt in 1979. Is especially releveant more than 14 thousand people evacuate from the fervent red thick blood of the volcano. But, no worries, by now it keeps calm and quiet, like a baby sleeping with a lullaby. At 9:00 in the morning we left the school to start the crossing journey to reach the highest point of the mountain, willing to see the crater and tests how far we...
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Farmers Market Project

Farmer's market project is an initiative which aims to bring some good advantages for the locals while caring about our environment and our own health. The idea of the farmers market is a group of climate activists who wonder why there wasn´t a local market in the village despite being mostly farmers and fisherman living there. How did they manage to sell their products and soon?. After a bit of investigation we got to know that people were going to the city (35km far and 2 hours driving) to make their selling every Friday, that mean that they invest money, time, effort and fuel besides their work in the garden, and all of it just to sell their product to mostly the same people who live in their own village. Friday is the shopping day everybody goes to the city, takes the minibus and starts spending ¼ of their shopping budget just in transport. They pack all their stuff and they carry them all the way forward and back, some of them end up smash due to the long trip. So all those reasons together with the fact of promoting the local economy, organic food and use the change to spread Moringa use for the sake of the environment but mostly for their own health are some of the “why” a farmer´s Market in Chateau Belair...
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Cleanup Day At The Petitbourdel Beach.

The two main sources of marine pollution are garbage and sewage water from industrial and commercial use in cities. Preventing Pollution. Johnny from Colombia. Through the cleanup day organized by Richmond Vale Academy in Petitbourdel beach where we collect several hundred kilos of garbage. Comes to my mind the following thought: How far can human unconsciousness? I really do not know. Anyone would think that the people who defend nature are the pure tree hugging hippies, nothing further from reality the ocean is alien to many people. However, it is the one to make it all work from the weather to the life of the species; the problem is that the oceans have become huge garbage dumps. All this because of widespread mismanagement of urban waste. A study by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), has quantified in million tons the garbage that accumulates in the funds the water column, the sea surface, and shoreline. Garbage in the sea is the symptom of a serious disease: constant misuse and mismanagement of natural resources; the amount of plastic bags, bottles and other debris in the ocean. Can be drastically reduced by improving the management of waste, reducing the amount and recycling, all these are solutions that can be implemented from the beginning, from our homes and daily lives the serious impact on our huge seas. According to...
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The Importance of Wetlands.

Wetland and Importance to Protect Them. By Vanessa from Spain. The wetland is a land area full of water, either permanently or seasonally. The primary factor that distinguishes wetlands from other land forms or water bodies is the characteristic vegetation of aquatic plants, adapting to a unique soil. Wetlands play a number of roles in the environment principally water purification, flood control, carbon sink and shoreline stability. Wetlands are the most diverse of all ecosystems, serving as home to a wide range of plant and animal life. Here at Richmond Vale, we count with the only extension of wetland in the whole island,  this area is in devastation  by the flood in 2013. That happen because the vegetation is burned and turn around contaminated with a large amount of waste. Flooding along with the fact of sea level rise, he has compromised the area and part of the island. That is why the restoration of the zone starts in 2015. In order to prevent the erosion continue, Richmond Vale Academy with the Ministry of Tourism has been working. Many actions as tree planting and cleanings up have taken place in the last years. The area is partially salt due to the type of vegetation. The action consisted of planting various trees like, neem, mangroves, coconut trees the "penguin" and plants that have been mounting in this...
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Children Visiting Summer Camps RVA.

Children Visits RVA From a Local Methodist Church Group. By Pippa From England. They were members of a summer camp, where they stay overnight for a week and partake in different activities. The children were age between 8 – 15 and and around 30 in total. The group visiting Richmond Vale for a few hours and organizing several stations for them to engage in whilst they here. Once the group arriving, the children were split into 4 groups of around 8 each. 20/25 minutes to spend at each station. Our first station dedicating to colouring in environmental pictures and the first of our activities. We want it to vary the actions to keep it interesting for the children, some sporty and some purely for learning. Also a station for vegetable and fruit bingo which got very competitive. Each child given a piece of paper with 9 pictures of different fruit/vegetables. One by one the name of a food calling out and if that fruit or vegetable on page then need it to cover it over. All the pictures covering up the winner and shout ¡BINGO!. There were several victory dances and I’m not sure who enjoying themselves more at this station the children or the RVA students running it who got extremely competitive. One station to creating pots for the children to plant their very own...
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Resilience Is The Answer To Adversity

[caption id="attachment_6156" align="aligncenter" width="500"] Photo Credit: http://stockholmresilience.org Resilience is the ability of people to recover from adversity. Difficult circumstances may develop virtues that were hidden in the individual. For example, negative situations like the financial crisis, and natural disasters can stimulate the strength in people. The most important quality of resilience is that help in many cases of life and it grows with a constant daily work. Having a Positive and empathetic attitude helps in difficult circumstances and develop unknown resources inside the individual. Resilience is the human capacity to assume extreme situations with flexibility and overcome them. [caption id="attachment_6159" align="aligncenter" width="500"] Photo Credit: http://www.een.edu.com   Especially children with good self-esteem become adults with good resilience to overcome the obstacles they will encounter throughout life. Therefore they can develop a constructive way of dealing with life situations positively. In addition to this, parents and children should understand the impact of resilience and how this helps society in general.   [caption id="attachment_6160" align="aligncenter" width="500"] Photo Credit: http://www.wikipedia.com Humans and nature are one. Resilience starts with the belief that humans and nature are one. For psychology, the problems are addressed and overcome by people, thanks to the resilience in different circumstances that favor or not development in all men as education and social context. Humanity must understand the importance of establishing a good relationship with family and friends....
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Scorching July is World’s Hottest Month

Climate change is a phenomenon that continues increasing the heat of a world level. The NASA scientists informs  that July was the hottest month of 2016. According to data released by NASA, July was also the hottest month on record for the world the streak means that 2016 is still well on its way to upsetting last year as the hottest year on record. [caption id="attachment_6146" align="aligncenter" width="500"] Photo credit: NASA According to NASA, the heat is rising streak since October 2015, which was the first month in your dataset hotter than normal. July 2016 was hotter than the 1951-1980 average it wasAccording to NASA, the heat is rising streak since October 2015, which was the first month in your dataset Hotter than normal.above July 2015, the next warmest July in records that go back to 1880. The record July heat also means this was the hottest month the planet has seen over the course of NASA's records. That's because July is also generally the hottest month of the year due the fact that it's summer in the northern hemisphere where there's more land. [caption id="attachment_6141" align="aligncenter" width="500"] Photo credit: NASA Earth’s temperature spiral toward 2°C flirting with the 1.5°C threshold 2015 set frenzy of climate records. Will be the last record hot month most important of this year as the residual heat from an exceptionally...
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The Four Industrial Revolutions In a Glimpse

Mankind has taken gigantic leaps forward in the last two centuries; to the point that, if we were able to travel back in time, we wouldn't recognize life in the pre-industrial era. So much of what we do now has been made easier —or possible!— by the inventions and innovations of the four industrial revolutions. As we dive head first into the fourth one; it is worthwhile to take some time to assess the impact of the previous three in our society and environment. After all, it is only by knowing our history that we can truly move forward and better ourselves. Keep reading for a glimpse at all the Industrial Revolutions. The Original Industrial Revolution [caption id="attachment_5555" align="aligncenter" width="500"] Photo Credit: Wikipedia Coming from an agrarian society with virtually no urban centers, the shift towards steam-powered textile factories and cities was a momentous event. The First Industrial Revolution paved the way for the remaining three industrial revolutions. Therefore, had it never happened, we wouldn't have the basic goods we now take for granted. The steam engine was perhaps the greatest invention of the First Industrial Revolution. It was used to completely transform the textile industry; which implemented it in the power looms  —for weaving— and cotton gins —for separating cotton fibers from the seeds. Further innovations to the steam engine allowed to use it for...
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This Is How We Celebrated Earth Day at RVA

[caption id="attachment_6041" align="aligncenter" width="500"] Photo Credit: Flickr If you are a frequent reader of our blog, you know about our committment to making of St. Vincent a Climate Compliant Country. Consequently, we make the most of any occasion to show people how they can prepare better for the effects of climate change ; and what better chance to do this than Earth Day? So we strapped on our boots and we took upon the task of celebrating Earth Day at RVA. Keep reading to see what we got up to. What is Earth Day? [caption id="attachment_6039" align="alignleft" width="300"] Photo Credit: Plus Quotes Celebrated every year on the 22nd of April, Earth Day marks the birth of the modern environmental movement, all the way back in 1970. Gaylord Nelson, the founder of Earth Day, started it with the idea of a day to focus on the environment. He sought to draw in the energy of the student anti-war movement into the discussion of environmental pollution; with the hopes of eventually bringing environmental protection into the national political agenda. Afterwards, Nelson and his colaborators focused on promoting a series of nationwide events on the 22nd of April. On that day, 20 million Americans took to the streets and other public spaces to protest against the deterioration of the environment. The result was the creation of the United Stated...
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Horses: The Importance of Second Chances

The first time I rode a horse was almost 10 years ago. It was in a very nice landscape in La Calera; a village in Colombia where people usually make horse rides within groups. Champagne was the name of the horse that was taking me. She was white and had a beautiful blondish hair. After few minutes, Champagne started to run really fast, having me on top of her back. She had bolted and I could no longer control her; thus making me lose stability. After this experience, I hadn’t had the chance to be close enough to any horse; and to be honest, I didn’t feel like searching for a second time either. That was until the past two weeks when I arrived at Richmond Vale Academy; a place where nature is the main character of the scenario. Among others animals I found horses. Not one, but five, and the first thing that made me curious about them was that they were out in the garden, like pets. They didn’t have bridles and they were totally used to people, dogs and cats, all going around. That called my attention and I decided to have a one on one class with them and Stina, from whom I had heard the special relationship and language she shares with them. [caption id="attachment_6013" align="aligncenter" width="500"] Taken from La Bitácora...
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