Richmond Vale

How To: Tree Planting Actions by Malte

How To: Tree Planting Actions by Malte
A brief introduction to how to organize a tree planting action The tree planting actions are events of our program where we go out and plant trees at specific locations. We do this with the help of local groups and people. But before such a planting action can happen, there is a lot of preparation to be done. First, you have to choose the villages you want to plant in and look for local groups which might be interested in working alongside with you. After you found one, try to establish a relationship with them and inform them of our future plans. If they are interested in it, you start doing surveys in the village. This entails asking the people what trees they want/need at which locations and if they would be interested in helping out. Additionally, if they are interessted, you should ask for their contact information so you can inform them about coming planting actions. Now that you finished your survey, you have to look at the suggested areas yourself to determine how many trees of which kind. This includes the one's that were suggested/requested that you should plant there. Then you have to get the trees, either by raising or by buying them. But because raising trees takes a lot of time, it is recommended to have a list of trees beforehand. Choose...
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Richmond Vale

Fight Poverty: 4 Ways for Make a Difference (INFOGRAPHIC)

Fight Poverty: 4 Ways for Make a Difference (INFOGRAPHIC)
Fighting Poverty may sound something governments should be doing; we may think is their responsibility. But the truth is that we all should start doing something to help, either we understand or not what causes global poverty, it is a crucial part of the process implementing effective solutions to help eradicate the problem. [caption id="attachment_6648" align="aligncenter" width="500"] Photo Credit: American Center Mumbai . Fight Poverty The principal causes of Poverty are simple to name. Discrimination and social inequality, war and political instability, national debt, history and vulnerability to natural disasters have made this huge problem affect 80 percent of the World, and all the  terrible statistics shows worst results. But, here’s tips everybody can do to start marking a difference. (Click the infographic to enlarge ) Share this Image On Your Site </p><br /> <p><strong>Please include attribution to http://richmondvale.org with this graphic.</strong></p><br /> <p><a href='http://richmondvale.org/fight-poverty-make-difference/'><img src='http://richmondvale.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/Combating-poverty.jpg' alt='Combating Poverty: 4 ways to make a difference Infographic ' width='540px' border='0' /></a></p><br /> <p> Let’s fight poverty! #1 Donate [caption id="attachment_6649" align="alignleft" width="500"] Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan employees donating coats to the St. Vincent de Paul coat drive. Photo Credit: A Healthier Michigan . Other than the money, you can donate food, clothing, toilette items, old furniture, toys and books to local shelters and programs. Is incredible the kind of thing in a good state we throw...
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Richmond Vale

Embracing the New by Juliana

Embracing the New by Juliana
By Juliana, new student, CCC Team #15 “It takes a lot of courage to release the familiar and seemingly secure, to embrace the new. But there is no real security in what is no longer meaningful. There is more security in the adventurous and exciting, for in movement there is life and in change there is power.” - Alan Cohen This quote very much resonates with a decision I made a little over a year ago. Movement and change have been two constants in my life since, no pun intended. Just recently, I’ve learnt that the word courage is a derivative of the Latin coraticum, which could be translated as “action from the heart”. And this has made a whole difference on how I see my decision as being a courageous one. Because the decision to leave what was no longer meaningful had no rationale involved, it could only have come from my heart! And boy, this is freedom!! This is how I have come to be involved in projects based on a lot of courage and meet people who have also been acting from their hearts. This same movement has brought me to Richmond Vale Academy, located in one of the poorest islands of the Caribbean, to be a part of the Climate Compliance team for the next six months. Eleven of us, coming from...
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Richmond Vale

Experiments in the Organic Garden

Experiments in the Organic Garden
The organic garden at RVA is based on Permaculture principles, which view the garden as an ecosystem, and applies a holistic systems approach to fertilization and pest control. Plants are positioned on a garden bed according to their respective plant families. In this way, by mixing plant families, the fertilizer requirements of the diverse plant families are more easily met by the soil than when growing a mono crop. The soil at RVA organic garden is sandy and in order to grow organic vegetables, fruits and herbs it is necessary that the topsoil have a structure that enables retention of water and nutrients as well as providing a cool and protected home for our all important microbes. To this end we have experimented with the burying of coarse organic material under garden beds as well as the mixing of soft rotted wood with horse manure and bio-char. This mixture is then applied to the tops of the garden beds and mulched. [caption id="attachment_10537" align="aligncenter" width="400"] Preparing the banana fertilizer The mulch, itself in time becomes fertilizer, as it is transformed by the soil microbes into rich humus. Mulch and composting materials are grown in and around the garden in the form of support species. These include trees and vining beans that are capable of fixing nitrogen from the atmosphere, the organic matter deriving from such species...
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Richmond Vale

St. Vincent bans the killing of sea turtles

St. Vincent bans the killing of sea turtles
St. Vincent and the Grenadines has implemented a total ban on the killing of sea turtles or the harvesting of their eggs. The ban came into effect on Sunday, Jan. 1, 2017. The decision to impose a total ban on the killing of all sea turtlescame in late 2016 in response to the increased global threat to sea turtles and to their status as vulnerable, endangered and critically endangered. The Ministry of Fisheries initiative to protect all sea turtles comes under the theme “No Extinction In My Generation.” [caption id="attachment_10462" align="aligncenter" width="323"] Green Sea Turtle in Tobago Cays, St. Vincent and the Grenadines A report from the ministry outlined that this year SVG will seeincreased vigilance in the effort to ensure that all persons abide by the law and end the killing of sea turtles, the harvesting of their eggs, and the sale of their shells in the jewelry industry. The Ministry of Fisheries said it will continue to work with and support fisherfolk to assist former turtle fishers as they move away from turtle harvesting. “The ministry, together with National Parks Rivers and Beaches Authority, will pursue a national Sea Turtle Conservation Programme, which is working to make turtle watching a viable eco-tourism opportunity in rural coastal communities. The Windward communities of Colonarie, Byera and Sandy Bay, Big Sand have been identified for two turtle...
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Richmond Vale

The Development Instructor Concept

Humana People to People is an international volunteer system. For over 30 years  it has been a significant, practical and ideological expression of the “From People to People” philosophy of the volunteer movement. The basic idea of the Development Instructor program is to open the possibility for everyone to contribute to development on the  grounds  of Solidary Humanism,   regardless  of  nationality, colour, background, race, etc. Solidary Humanism is a concept that binds together solidarity and humanism. During their time at the Humana People to People development projects, the Development Instructors (DIs) work in groups of three called a TRIO.  They work closely with the people at the project and with the leadership of the project. The DI's bring new ideas and international spirit to the project. Often the DIs are the ones spearheading new initiatives in the projects. DIs are trained at , for example , One World Center in USA and right here at Richmond Vale Academy. The DIs are part of the Fighting Shoulder to Shoulder with the P oor program. They must complete the first two periods of their program as a condition for signing a contract with Humana People to People. The DIs are employed by Humana People to People in Belize or Ecuador . Their task is to work towards achieving the goals of the project within three main areas: routine...
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Richmond Vale

12 Ways to Save Our Planet (INFOGRAPHIC)

12 Ways to Save Our Planet (INFOGRAPHIC)
When we heard about Environmental Activism there's a bunch of difficult things that comes to our mind, but actually, it's not hard to be part of the move, and here are 12 easy ways to save our planet and it would make you feel great. Global Warming There's bad news about global warming everywhere, dying oceans , and endangered animals flooding us every day. And even if we don't want to know about it, this topic is gaining more attention because is already happening. [caption id="attachment_6517" align="aligncenter" width="500"] Photo Credit: Jesslef . Also, it may seem like the actions of one person won't make a difference, but there are many ways you can help and it does mark a huge change. Save our planet There is a surprising amount of people, businesses, and communities that would like to do more to conserve and protect our natural resources. But, the complicated part is that they don't know where to begin with becoming more environmentally friendly. So, here's 12 easy ways to help save our planet and we ordered this by category. (Click infographic to enlarge .) Share this Image On Your Site </p><br /><br /> <p><strong>Please include attribution to http://richmondvale.org with this graphic.</strong></p><br /><br /> <p><a href='http://richmondvale.org/help-save-our-planet/'><img src='http://richmondvale.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/info-esay-ways.jpg' alt='12 Ways to save our planet Infographic' width='540px' border='0' /></a></p><br /><br /> <p> Public Actions We know that sometimes, our...
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Richmond Vale

One Day out of My Life as a Working Student by Michelle

One Day out of My Life as a Working Student by Michelle
With this blog I want to share one of my days with you. This way you get a look inside. Tuesday 14 February 2017: I woke up at 6 o'clock in the morning. Today is laundry day, which I started early because I need to dry my sheets before evening. There is a schedule and everybody has one day a week to do laundry. I planned to bring Jack and Spirit to the field below, near the beach. But when I got outside I saw a small yellow airplane flying very low. Today they're opening the new airport so I assumed it was because of that. Because I wasn't sure how the horses would react I decided to wait. In the meantime I went to "the fruit forest" to cut some Moringa. I brought it to all four horses and hung with them until they were finished eating. [caption id="attachment_10456" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Star fruit trees Meanwhile the airplane was gone so I took the halters and went to Jack and Spirit. I called them and they came to the gate. They were very polite and focusing on me so I put the halter on and walked them outside. When I started walking I noticed that I had just started walking instead of first asking the horse to come. So that was already a good lesson to start with...
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Richmond Vale

Why should you feed your horse with moringa?

Why should you feed your horse with moringa?
[caption id="attachment_10058" align="alignleft" width="320"] Moringa forest My daily task in taking care of the horses is to feed them moringa. Moringa, also called The Miracle Tree, really is a miracle. It's a very healthy plant that can be eaten by humans and animals and it's very easy to plant. Almost all of the parts of the tree are edible, raw or cooked. It contains an incredibly high dose of vitamins, minerals and proteins. At the academy we eat moringa leaves in our salad and drink it in tea. The horses and the pigs eat the whole branches. Raw it tastes a little bit like radish and cooked it has a mild neutral taste. At Richmond vale is a forest where they plant the moringa. There is enough and it grows very fast. For the horses I cut the whole branches. New leaves will appear in several days. If you love horses it's a great joy to spoil them with moringa. They're really fond of it. They know exactly when I'm going to the forest and waiting for me to come back. They're looking with the prettiest faces ever and calling for me. They immediately start eating and won't stop before they are finished. To get the moringa, it is also good exercise and keeps me fit. I cut as many as I can carry. The branches...
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Richmond Vale

Communication with horses

Communication with horses
Most of the time when people communicate with horses it's just one-way. People do speak but mostly fail at listening. When you want to accomplish something with your horse without force it's important that you can understand each other. Communication is speaking and listening. Stina told me that it’s important to take time, wait and listen. Think about what's going on in his mind, where is his attention? To understand what the horse is saying you don’t need much knowledge of horses. Just some good sense and lots of interest will manage. Be curious, when you focus on details it becomes very interesting. It's like communication with people. How often aren't we just listening to confirm our own thoughts instead of being interested in what's going on in someone else's mind? Now I become more aware of how often I ask something while the horse is still processing or focused on something else. Stina taught me that it's not that the horse doesn’t want to listen. It’s just that he can't hear you. When the horse is distracted, wait wait wait. If necessary ask for his attention and then ask your question. Repeat this every time you ask something while the horse is distracted or isn't reacting directly. You also will notice that the horse tells a lot himself, mostly when you are not aware. He...
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Richmond Vale

Biodiversidad

La biodiversidad de San Vicente San Vicente tiene una gran variedad de recursos biológicos. De acuerdo a la “Estrategia y Plan de Acción de la Biodiversidad Nacional – 2006, las siguientes especies se encuentran en el país: Mamíferos : 17 especies, incluyendo 12 especies de murciélagos; Pájaros : 190 especies, incluyendo 2 endémicas – El loro de San Vicente y el “Whistling Warbler”, así como también unas 14 especies endémicas de la región caribeña; Reptiles : 21 especies, incluyendo 5 endémicas, 4 lagartijas y una serpiente, la serpiente negra. Hay 4 especies de tortuga: Hawksbill, Verde, Loggerhead and Leatherback. 2 de las 21 especies son aparentemente especies invasivas recientes; Anfibios : 4 especies incluyendo una endémica y 2 invasivas; Plantas : 1150 especies de plantas florecientes con 16 endémicas. Hay 163 especies de helechos, 4 endémicas, incluyendo el Árbol Helecho que se encuentra en las regiones más altas del país dentro de los bosques de nubes y lluviosos; Agua fresca:  25 especies de agua fresca y salobre; Marinas : más de 500 especies marinas incluyendo 450 especies de peces, 12 de ballenas y delfines, 4 de tortugas, 9 de gastropodos, 11 de algas marinas y 30 especies de corales. 25 especies de diplopodos (ciempiés y milpiés), 220 especies de arácnidos , 2000 de insectos y 35 crustaceos terrestres ; 875 especies de moluscos , 75 terrestres...
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Richmond Vale

Terraced gardens

Terraced gardens
One of our farmer friends, Pat, invited us to his farm so we could check out his terrace farming. It was interesting to see how all of the land available was being used to produce vegetables or some type of crops while also preventing soil erosion. Terracing is basically grading steep land, such as a hillside, into sections of levels. Terrace farming has been used for thousands of years and is a really effective farming method. For example, in Peru terrace farms are built to use the shallow soil efficiently and to enable irrigation of crops. The Incas used a system of canals and aqueducts to direct the water through the levels and increase the fertility. Many people prefer having a vegetable garden on a flat area and making most use of the land that way. However, for many people that is not always the case. An example is St. Vincent, where there are too many mountains to count and it can be very steep. For this reason, many people have to grow their vegetables on the hillside. Remember, there are different degrees of slopes. This will have an effect on the irrigation. It is always best to plant the vegetables across the slope using contour rows, terraces, or raised beds. To build up the terraces you can use old wood, bricks or stones, as well...
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Richmond Vale

Climate Change vs Health

Climate Change vs Health
Climate change does not only raise the temperatures and it won't bring us just warmer seasons. It will bring threats to our health. Extreme weather conditions will appear more often and more frequent, such as hurricanes, floodings, and heat waves. Older people, children, pregnant women, homeless people, and people with certain medical conditions will be affected the most. Especially in developing countries and coastline areas will this be an issue. Rising sea levels will destroy homes and affect the supply of fresh water. It will also heighten the risk of water-borne diseases and infections and other diseases spreading quickly over big areas. Also, the supply of medical and health services will be disrupted. People will have to wait to get food, water, and medical treatment. These are all essential and needed things in a functioning system. Exposure to extreme heat can cause dehydration, heat strokes, cardiovascular, respiratory, and cerebrovascular diseases. Breathing problems, heart attacks, and apoleptic insults are the consequences.Furthermore, the high temperatures raise the ozone level in the air which will increase the breathing problems and heart attacks. Another threat will be malaria and dengue fever. These diseases are influenced by the weather. Climate change will create perfect breeding conditions for mosquitos which then will spread the diseases. Malaria already kills almost 600,000 people every year and this number will increase. According to the World...
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Richmond Vale

Types of Scuba Diving 101 | Infographic

Types of Scuba Diving 101 | Infographic
The sea is an amazing place to explore. A space of the earth that, throughout the history, has caught the attention of the human being. Enigmatic, grandiose and dangerous in a way. And perhaps for that reason the ideal place for explorations of all kinds. In which the individual feels embraced by all its immensity. So, the best way to enjoy the ocean, is with your favorite types of scuba diving [caption id="attachment_7090" align="aligncenter" width="710"] photo credit: Pexels Scuba diving is one of the most popular activities for both travelers and for outdoor sports enthusiasts. Unlike free diving or snorkeling. Scuba diving utilises breathing apparatus containing compressed air, carried by the diver themselves.  In order to dive freely to larger depths and for longer amounts of time. Whether your goal in diving is to experience marine life. To dive deeper than would otherwise be possible. Or just to explore the sea without worrying about breath hold. We present you the types of scuba diving that suits you. Types of Scuba Diving Though there are more diving locations strewn throughout the world than you’ll ever be able to dive in a lifetime, there are only two types of diving; freshwater diving and saltwater diving. Each type has its own unique properties, concerns, and life forms, and both will render different experiences. (Click infographic to enlarge .) Share this...
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Richmond Vale

St. Vincent bans Styrofoam

St. Vincent bans Styrofoam
All Styrofoam products will be banned in St . Vincent from May 1st, 2017. The announcement was made by the Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves inan effort to lower the cost of environmentally positive substitutes forplastics, including Styrofoam , and reduce the effects that plastics haveon our environment. Taxes on biodegradable packaging and food containerswill be removed. Styrofoam products are made with petroleum, a non-sustainable andheavily polluting resource. Styrofoam is made from the plasticpolystyrene, which is based on building blocks called styrene monomers.When you drink your steaming cup of coffee or chicken and rice out of a Styrofoam plate, you also take in doses of chemicals that leach from it. Here’s a list of cities in US that have completely or partially banned Styrofoam ; New York CityTakoma Park, MDSeattle, WashingtonWashington DCMiami Beach, FLFreeport, MainePortland, MaineNantucket, MassachusettsMinneapolis, MinnesotaPortland, OregonLos Angeles Country and St. Francisco [caption id="attachment_9654" align="aligncenter" width="400"] No more picking up of styrofoam trash at our beaches.
Richmond Vale

Tree of the Week: Red Mangrove (Rhizophora mangle)

Tree of the Week: Red Mangrove (Rhizophora mangle)
Mangrove Workshop at the Prospect Salt Pond Mangrove Conservation Park Last week my team had the great pleasure of attending a workshop on propagating and conserving mangrove ecosystems. A mangrove ecosystem is a group of several different species of trees that grow in coastal areas. They are particularly resilient and are able to thrive in conditions that most plants could not survive. These conditions include water with high salinity and strong current energy. There are about 40 different species of mangroves but there are three that are most common in the Caribbean. These are Red (Rhizophora mangle), White (Laguncularia racemose), and Black (Avicennia germinans). During the workshop, we learned about all three of these species and how they work together as an ecosystem. The three usually grow in the same area. The red grows in the front, closest to the sea. It requires a high saline concentration for survival. The red serves as a barrier against wave energy. The black mangrove grows above the high water mark, as its tolerance for salt water is less than the red. The white grows the farthest back from the sea. It is the least salt-tolerant but can still survive in brackish (combination of saltwater and freshwater) conditions. The primary focus of the workshop was on the red mangrove. The red mangrove, an evergreen, is the tallest of the three....
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Richmond Vale

Compassion

Compassion
I have been working with Stina and practicing "basic" exercises with her four horses: Jack, Spirit, Elena and Magic. Through this it has become more and more clear that there are just a few essentials to build up a real connection with horses. These are: lots of fun, be open minded, enjoy every single step, and be full of life. But the harder I try, the further it goes. I think this happens because we learned to stop listening to our true selves. We all have different kinds of needs. Sometimes there is a need missing and there appears a feeling of displeasure. A long time ago people started teaching each other to get rid of this feeling as soon as possible. That's why I think our mind (ego) is ingenious to come up with all kinds of strategies. It's an external process what makes us dependent, it can easily come and go. It makes us vulnerable because we aren't in control of it. To accomplish what I think is needed is awareness. To develop awareness you need lots of compassion. Compassion is an internal process. It's about allowing everything that’s going on inside to happen. To me it means that it's okay to feel displeasure, just feel it. It’s okay to invent strategies, just let them pass. You even can practice strategies, just be aware of...
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Richmond Vale

11 Innovative Ways To Use Less Paper That Will Blow Your Mind INFOGRAPHIC

11 Innovative Ways To Use Less Paper That Will Blow Your Mind INFOGRAPHIC
The use of paper is one of the major factors contributing to climate change. The felling of trees in the first place directly contributes to carbon emissions. So, this result of machinery used both in the process and in transportation. But there's a simple solution for that: use less paper.  Once paper is made, it must then be transported, which inevitably will involve the burning of even more carbon fuel. This snowball effect makes saving and recycling paper vital if we are to tackle climate change. There are a number of ways to save paper, many of whish should be apparent to anyone with a sense of practicality and a desire to save money. The problem lies in putting these notions into practice, and that requires discipline as well as the lure of more potential profit as a result of savings. Benefits of Using less paper Economic Benefits When we save paper we actually save money. The initial cost of paper may not look much in comparison with other office expenditures, but that is just the tip of the iceberg. Use of paper has a lot of hidden accompanying costs. Apart from the purchasing cost, the company incurs other costs such as costs of printing, copying, postage, storage, disposal, recycling, etc. Hence, any reduction in the amount of paper used translates to a reduction in all...
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Richmond Vale

Leadership and Mother Courage

Leadership and Mother Courage
Dear Reader , In the coming weeks we will share appetizers from the fascinating studies in the 18 months Fighting Shoulder to Shoulder Program. The 18 months teams have been running at the Academy since 2012 and more than 50 people have joined. Today's study piece is from the section of Leadership , specifically the task "Leading and managing the project". Enjoy! Kind regards Stina Herberg Director Richmond Vale Academy Leadership [caption id="attachment_9297" align="aligncenter" width="400"] The director exercising her leadership skills Good leadership is a straightforward thing. Bad leadership is probably easier to accomplish, especially when you have some power, meaning the means to punish people, when they do not obey orders. Bossing people around may look like efficient leadership , but does not accomplish anything in the long run, only a growing resistance and opposition towards the so-called leadership. Good and bad leadership A clever Chinese, I guess it was Mao Tse-Tsung, once made a telling picture of good and bad leadership , which is here passed on from memory; the good leader does not walk far ahead of the people showing himself off as somebody special you should admire and telling everybody unrealistically how to behave and act. On the other hand, he does not walk behind the people shouting and gesticulating with his arms either. This is not leadership at all, it is...
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Richmond Vale

What is Charisma?

What is Charisma?
Dear Reader, We like to share with you another appetizer from the fascinating studies in the 18 months Fighting Shoulder to Shoulder Program . This week's topis is from the subject Leadership Intelligence. This subject contains topics like Leadership, The Brain, Building Charisma and Charismatic People. Enjoy and please just write to me if you have any question in regards to One World University, the overall program or the specific curriculum elements. Kind regards Stina HerbergDirector Richmond Vale Academy Module: Leadership IntelligenceSection: Building CharismaTitle: What is CharismaWording: The task is for you to consider what charisma is, why it is worth building charisma, what personal skills you would need to train and finally to make out a plan for yourself. People can be charismatic in many different ways. Often the understanding of charisma is that it is something a person either has or does NOT have – and then there is nothing more to do. We do not agree in this way of looking at charisma. We find that each of us can build our own charisma and that we can decide how we want to do it. There is no final answer on how, each of us can use our natural talents, our enthusiasm, abilities, energy, body and soul, in short, all of it. There are people who use their charisma to gain power to...
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