Richmond Vale

10 Reasons to Start Backyard Gardens in Homes and Schools

10 Reasons to Start Backyard Gardens in Homes and Schools
Gardening is a way to teach children about how the farming industry works. It also teaches them the importance of good and nutritious food. It is vital that children learn about gardening because they might be interested to learn this and do it at home for themselves. It will teach people the importance of biodiversity and the importance of a broad variety in the garden. It is a good way for the family to spend more time together and learn about gardening. It is a good way for low income families to save money on fruits and vegetables. For families to grow their own food, it would also mean that people would consume more of a variety of food. For schools it is a great way to implement other ways of teaching for teachers and other ways of learning for students. Including environmental education in the garden will also teach about global warming, greenhouse gasses and what we can do ourselves to become aware consumers. By growing your own food, you know what goes into the soil and the water. Hopefully when growing your own food you have taken a stand against chemically produced pesticides, insecticides and fertilizers. Creating awareness to go organic in your garden may also introduce you to go more fair trade, local and low carbon emission foods. This is also good for...
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12 Benefits of Volunteering that will change your life!

12 Benefits of Volunteering that will change your life!
[caption id="attachment_5306" align="aligncenter" width="500"] Photo Credit: Wikipedia If you’re like us, you have given volunteer work a good, long thought . You have considered the volunteering options available to you in near and remote places. Also, you have mapped out the monetary expenses, the duration of the volunteering program you will engage in, the benefits of volunteering, plane tickets and so on and so forth. So much of the experience can get lost in translation. If you start thinking about it only in logistic terms, then you may end up not knowing why you are doing it! So, that's the reason of why we write this post for you. Below, you’ll find 12 benefits of volunteering. Also, you will find a bullet list of several the reasons why engaging in volunteer work is one of the most rewarding, fulfilling and formative experiences a person of any age can have. BENEFITS OF VOLUNTEERING: HOW CAN VOLUNTEER WORK AFFECT MY PROFESSIONAL LIFE? [caption id="attachment_5307" align="aligncenter" width="500"] Photo Credit: Flickr 1.Learn new skills and develop the ones you already have! In volunteer work, it often happens that you start by doing something you know you are very good at and eventually branch out, frequently into things you never thought you could do. There are people who are very good at, say, cooking, and so they enroll as a cook...
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Awareness

Awareness
I came to St. Vincent horse school because I want to learn how to develop a real connection with my horses. After just one week I have learned already so much! I have two miniature horses. Every day I spend lots of time with them to provide in their needs, but I'm missing something. The first lesson with Stina was all about social behaviour and politeness. When I met her horses I saw something I had never seen before. Very polite and well-mannered horses but still pure and natural. Not drilled by training but more like they had a lovely nurturing with very clear boundaries. The perfect environment where everybody is allowed to speak but also listens. So I realized my minis aren't polite at all, they behave like spoiled kids. To accomplish this kind of environment you need a whole new mindset. You can't use ego, productivity and focusing on results. You need the whole process to grow and for that you need awareness. To develop awareness it's important you learn to listen to your intuition. Your intuition can tell you exactly what your boundaries are, what you need and how you can react in a very clear and peaceful way. But this is not so easy. My mind is struggling because my ego really wants to interfere. The biggest challenge for me is, even...
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Water security

Water security
This blog will give an overview about water security, how the situation is for the poor , and water pollution . With the current level of modern technology, knowledge, and information which is spreading every day, we would think it will not be a problem.   The world’s population is estimated to grow to 9 billion people by 2050. For this reason, it is vital that there is enough clean and safe water for the world’s consumption. Water security is the ability to access sufficient quantities of clean drinking water to maintain adequate standards of food production, proper sanitation, and sustainable health care. The majority of water in the world is used for agriculture and irrigation systems. Worldwide, the demand for water for agriculture is increasing. It is estimated that it will continue to increase as much as 70% over the next few years. The World Bank and the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) are in collaboration to improve agricultural water productivity. This is especially in irrigated areas, where water supply is becoming less and less reliable (World Bank, 2014). Regions that are already under pressure from lack of water are Egypt, South Asia, Australia and the US. In countries like Morocco one of the major issues is that the demand for water is increasing while the availability of water is decreasing to crisis levels. Worldwide...
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Football Game with Rosebank

Football Game with Rosebank
RVA vs. Rose Bank This Tuesday, the 17 th of January, people from RVA and Rosebank came together to play a game of football. The Climate Compliance team invited the people of Rosebank to come play at RVA’s football field. Once everyone was ready to play, we had to mix the teams. Only 6 people from RVA played while Rosebank brought over 15 people! One team had more older players, while the other had more young one‘s. But as soon as we started you could see that it was dangerous to underestimate them! My team, the younger one, had a great captain. He was directing his team amazingly and exploiting openings in the enemy's defense every time he saw one. In the first half of the match, my team was losing. Not by much, we were behind 3:1. They had no captain but showed us that they were more than capable of taking the lead whenever they needed to. And they were scarily fast too! One moment they stood still on their side of the field, and the next they rushed past you with 70km/h (44mph). Ok, I am exaggerating a bit now, but it really was hard to catch up with them. What also helped them a lot were the people from RVA. All of us put our souls into the game, especially Casey. Since...
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13 Benefits of Hiking that you should definitely know about it! [INFOGRAPHIC]

13 Benefits of Hiking that you should definitely know about it! [INFOGRAPHIC]
[Tweet "The practice of hiking is perhaps one of the activities of greater gratification for the human."] That's why, the direct contact with nature makes this practice one of the most popular worldwide. So, people of all ages can do different types of hiking routes. Also, enjoy the differente benefits of hiking. So, the best of all is that the routes offered by different hikes are adaptable to the conditions and tastes of each person. Hiking has a direct relationship with camping activities, since usually a good hiking route, can get to occupy several days. Then, for some hiking trails, climbing skills are required and in others abseiling. So, everything varies depending on the adventure of hiking that you are willing to perform. So, additionally of the benefits of hiking, walking is an activity that relaxes the mind while exercising the organism. (Click infographic to enlarge .)   Share this Image On Your Site <span class="mceItemHidden"><span></span></p><br /><br /><br /><br /> <p><strong>Please include attribution to http://richmondvale.org with this graphic.</strong></p><br /><br /><br /><br /> <p><a href='http://richmondvale.org/13-benefits-of-hiking/'><<span class="mceItemHidden"><span class="hiddenSpellError">img</span></span> <span class="hiddenSpellError">src</span>='http://richmondvale.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/13-benefits-of-hiking.jpg' alt='There are many benefits of hiking for your health. So, in this <span class="hiddenSpellError">infographic</span> you will see 13 of them!' width='540px' border='0' /> </p><br /><br /><br /> <p><br /></p><br /><br /><br /> <p></span> Benefits of Hiking Many sports activities and games require special equipment or training to get started....
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Tree of the Week: Indian Almond aka Wild Almond

Tree of the Week: Indian Almond aka Wild Almond
Today my team and I spent the afternoon down at Richmond Beach. It is a wonderful place to relax in the sun, go for a dip, or even do some cliff diving. We were doing none of these things. Instead, we were harvesting Indian almond saplings for the tree nursery that we are currently developing. When someone pointed the almonds out to me, I was slightly surprised. The massive trees were not what came to mind when I thought of almonds. As it turns out, Saint Vincent’s beaches serve as an ideal home for these semi-deciduous tropical trees. They do well in sand or clay as long as there is proper drainage. They are also salt and drought tolerant. The Indian almond tree (Terminalia catappa) is not very similar to the more widely known Badam (Indian word for almond) tree. In fact, they are not even in the same family. However, its seed tastes quite like that of the Badam tree, hence the name.  Other common names for the tree are Sea Almond, Beach Almond, Story Tree, Tropical Almond, and Wild Almond. Vincentians tend to call it the Wild Almond. The exact origin of the Indian almond is uncertain. According to the World Agroforestry Centre, it is considered to be a native species in Australia, Cambodia, India, Japan, Laos, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam. Its usefulness to...
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What is RVA about? Meet Oscar, Jonna, Maria and Melanie

What is RVA about? Meet Oscar, Jonna, Maria and Melanie
Oscar from Venezuela; What is RVA about? Well, the answer to this question is different for every person that has been there or is there right now. RVA means something different for each of these people. What I can tell you is what RVA was for me and how I saw this place during my stay. RVA is a place for giving and getting great things back. During my short stay for only one month I participated in the climate compliance program and learned so many new things about sustainability, organic farming, permaculture, other problems we as the human race face and most important, I learned new things about myself. To be there feeling this energy of activism and drive was such an experience. Besides getting input in every kind RVA is about creating your own ideas when it comes to think about problems and finding a way to solve them or even to just start your own little project to make the academy and the whole island better and more sustained. All these things can't happen when you don't have a great team and so many great people around you. This is the heart of RVA, people who work and live there together, helping each other, teaching each other and of course having fun together. Seeing and experiencing the culture of St. Vincent and its...
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Less Trash, more Beach!

Less Trash, more Beach!
Beach Clean-up in Petit Bordel Last Saturday, the 7 th of January, the Climate Compliance November team had a beach clean-up in Petit Bordel. My name is Malte, and I am part of this awesome team! We went to Petit Bordel in the morning after breakfast. Our teacher, Jesper, drove us there with his new bus. At the beach, we were surprised to see so many people at the beach! But we had to wait a bit until the cleanup started, since some people were missing. Only by glancing at the beach you could already tell that the people got used to dumping their trash here. Trash, especially things that don't decompose easily (like plastic) are very harmful to the environment. It damages plants and if animals or fish eat it they can die. Trash makes a place look less attractive and thus fewer people will visit it. By simply building trash bins and picking the trash you see around, you make the place more beautiful and habitable. Unfortunately, many people in St.Vincent are not aware of the dire consequences of littering. It is our goal to teach as many people as possible about these consequences and how to prevent littering. Once everybody was ready, we handed out latex gloves and plastic bags and got started. I decided it would be smartest to start from one...
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The Powerful Vetiver Grass

The Powerful Vetiver Grass
A Vetiver Grass Planting Action on Campus Three months ago if you were to ask me about vetiver grass I’d have had no idea what you were talking about. Now, however, the gregarious bunch grass is an integral part of my team’s program. We are learning more and more about it every day. Probably the most important thing to know about vetiver grass is that it is a champion for preventing soil erosion . It has a strong and spanning root system that can grow as deep as 4 meters underground. In Saint Vincent , soil erosion and landslides have always been a problem. In recent years, weather has become more severe. Rainstorms are battering Caribbean nations more ferociously and more often than anyone can recall in the recent past. These unprecedented and unpredictable weather patterns making erosion and landslides an even bigger concern. We’ve had a lot of heavy and sporadic rain in the last couple of months. There was one storm in late November that was particularly bad. The storm started very early in the morning and didn’t stop until midday. Most of North Leeward lost power (RVA was out of power for several days) and there were landslides all over the island. We had several landslides around the school including one right in our front yard. It has become painstakingly clear that soil...
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Learning through Expressive Art

As students in the “ Fighting with the poor ” program at Richmond Vale Academy, we are expected to do a number of different studies. This is so that we can leave the program with a certificate from One World University. These studies include many different topics that are not only important and useful for us as development instructors, but as individuals who feel responsible to make this world a better place. Some of these topics are related to poverty  and the reasons behind it. Others talk about climate change and the environment . There are also studies about leadership and health. One of my favorite topics was expressive art. For example, one of the tasks asked us to write a short story, a song or a poem. To me this was interesting because I never thought about coming up with story or poem before. So here I would like to share the story I wrote. The Story of the Universe One day the universe decided to create itself. It gave life to itself and made everything alive with its energy of love and its energy of nature. It decorated itself with swirling galaxies, filling them with stars, moons and planets. Its love was so bright and big that it even created life on many of its plants. But there came a time when the universe...
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Petra: No big discussion, no drama, no impatience

Petra: No big discussion, no drama, no impatience
I came to St. Vincent and the Grenadines with big expectations. Since my childhood I live together with horses and those beautiful animals have always inspired me to search for new ways to be and communicate with them. As the commercial way of training horses doesn’t please me, I tried a lot of different methods and on my journey I also got in contact with Liberty Training and the Carolyn Resnick Method. That was when I found a video from Stina, playing with her horses at liberty – I immediately fell in love with her inspiring video and the beautiful surroundings. Short time later I knew: My spouse Kai and I will go to St. Vincent – not only for vacation, but also to learn more about horses and Liberty Training. On my first lesson with Stina I quickly recognized: on my long way with horses I lost to focus on small things, on basic things. I lost a lot of awareness – regarding to the horses signals and also regarding to my own body language. Stinas lesson didn’t start with beautiful dances, as I saw them on the video, but with basic things, like greeting the horse or consider the horses behaviour before putting a halter on. And I started to realize that the awareness of these basic things leads to all the beautiful dances...
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A diary of a week and a half at Richmond Vale academy

A diary of a week and a half at Richmond Vale academy
Since we arrived to the Caribbean time just keeps flying. Every day, every minute here brings new surprises. When I start thinking what we have done so far I get amazed by everything we did in so little time. As we arrived Saturday late in the night, Sunday was just a day to chill on the beach and get to know the amazing surroundings of the school; forest fruit garden, chicken tractor, organic vegetable garden, horses, friendly pigs, and of course the lively ocean full of corals and beautiful fish that surrounds the closest beach. When we went to the beach, we took some of the exotic fruit with us that we had harvested from the fruit garden. The first thing I did was to jump from a cliff and swim around with diving glasses. I can't describe this awesome experience that embraced me when I was immersed in the light blue water full of life and amazing creatures. You just need to go there and witness it yourself The sun was strong and we already got burnt so the afternoon we rested, getting ready for the next day was going to be incredible tough as well. On Day Two we went to investigate the origin of this unbelievable island, the Volcano ! As I said before, it was a tough but amazing experience since that...
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7 Amazing Things to do in St. Vincent

7 Amazing Things to do in St. Vincent
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines is an island country in the Americas, located at the north of Venezuela and the island of Granada, in the chain of the Lesser Antilles of the Caribbean Sea. The country has a British colonial history and is now part of the Commonwealth of Nations and Caribbean Community ( CARICOM ). Its capital and more populated city is Kingstown, located in the island of St. Vincent. Formed by the greater island of St. Vincent and by a series of smaller islands in the south, the country has a very pleasant climate, with an average temperature of 27ºC in summer. Tourism has been an important source of income for this Caribbean nation, which has hotels, cabins and restaurants to receive visitors in each of the islands that comprise it. There are many things to do in St. Vincent. However, today we will present the best options. Enjoy it! Things to do in St. Vincent and the Grenadines Scuba diving St. Vincent is called the “Critter Capital of the Caribbean”, thanks to the abundance of marine life flourishing in its coral reefs. One of the things to do in St. Vincent, is search for baby seahorses, frogfish, and more while you're practicing scuba diving . Also, the waters of the northern part of the island of St. Vincent are unspoilt, virgin and scenery....
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7 Beautiful reasons why you should go hiking

Are you looking for a healthy sport that allows you to be in contact with nature and suitable for any type of person? Without a doubt, that sport is hiking . The frenetic pace of life, the work and the jungle of asphalt in which we live are passing the bill. It is not a purely physical matter, but a mental one. Depression is already a pandemic and rare is the person who has not experienced stress, anxiety or insomnia. Spending time outdoors may be better than you think. Hiking is obviously healthy for our body, but few stop to think that it could also be beneficial to our mental health. That is why more and more people are aware of the benefits of hiking, and therefore, fans are increasing. And is that, when we hike, besides just walking, we enjoy unique landscapes and we are in contact with nature. In addition, as hiking gets more and more followers you can find mountaineering or hiking centers that periodically offer routes for all those enrolled in it and outsiders who want to try the experience. We goin to help you take the next step. That's why in this post we present to you 7 reasons why you should go hiking. Beautiful reasons why you should go hiking 1-Doing Sport Is Always Beneficial As everyone knows, doing sports...
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Tree of the Week: The Coconut (Cocos nucifera)

When one thinks of the Caribbean it is almost certain that the coconut will flitter into the imagination in one way or another. It could be easily argued that it is one of the most prominent symbols of island culture and for good reason. Since its introduction to the West Indies it has deeply embedded itself into the lives of those who live here. The coconut is in the Palm tree family . It can grow to be up to 100 feet tall with leaves that are up to 20 feet in length. It is a very hardy tree. The trunk is comprised of hard, dense wood. The branches and fronds are also very strong. The “nut” is actually a drupe. It has a thick husk on the outside and the inside is a fibrous layer that can be eaten or pressed for oil. The center of the nut is hollow and typically contains a drinkable liquid known as coconut water.  While it may be near impossible to think of the Caribbean without palm trees, believe it or not, it is not a native species to this part of the world. Its origin is disputed but it is most widely believed that it comes from the India-Burma region of the world. The coconut was introduced to the Caribbean very shortly after Columbus landed in the Bahamas...
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“Voice, Opinion, Idea, Decision”

We all have the right to say, but it’s not everyone’s personality to voice out, especially in front of a group. The more audience there is, the higher chance we will receive critique. Therefore some people opt to keep their voice in their mind instead of saying it out loud. It often happens in social media, or a company meeting with your boss, and for me now in Richmond Vale Academy (RVA). In other words – it happens when you say something and people are actually listening. Opinion cannot be wrong, but you can disagree with me. This is what a teacher in RVA said to me. Opinion represents one’s stand, one’s interest, and one’s voice. There is no right or wrong about expressing, but only if people accept the opinion or disagree. However, we may mistakenly cover our ears when we hear a different opinion or an unpleasant opinion that will harm our interest. Don’t forget it is always good to voice these opinions than to have no one express at all and it is better with different opinions because it drives us to think from different angles. With different opinions, we start to think further and we also start to give ideas if we want to get the thing done. Sometimes solutions provide us a more efficient way, eventually. Either way, we will have...
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Tree of the Week: Breadfruit (Artocarpus altilis)

The breadfruit tree has an exceptional significance in Saint Vincent because of the peculiar story behind its introduction to the Caribbean. It began in 1787 when the English Captain William Bligh and his ship, the Bounty, set sail for Tahiti in the South Pacific. Their mission was to collect breadfruit which England hoped would be a successful crop for feeding slaves. Shortly after departing from Tahiti, Bounty’s crew mutinied. The reason for the mutiny is merely speculated. Many believe that during their five months in Tahiti the crew fell in love with the Tahitian women and the easy island life and did not want to return to the rigors of seamanship. Another story is that the crew was angered at Bligh because he was using their drinking water to keep the breadfruit trees alive on the voyage. Bligh then set out on a second breadfruit voyage in 1791. The fruit finally made it to the Caribbean; its first introduction taking place right here in Saint Vincent. It arrived in Kingstown on January 23, 1793. The breadfruit tree has been deeply embedded in Saint Vincent culture ever since. It is sometimes referred to as a Caribbean “super food” and is even included in the country’s national dish: breadfruit and jackfish. The most popular way to prepare the breadfruit is to roast it over an open fire or...
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The damage after Storm Matthews

By lily In St. Vincent there was a tropical storm not too long ago and the damage has been severe with landslides, power cuts and water shortages in several villages. So, from 28-29 September, St. Vincent experienced heavy rainfall. And extreme wind from the tropical Storm Matthews . T hat affected the whole eastern Caribbean. The whole island there has been effected. [caption id="attachment_7210" align="aligncenter" width="400"] Photo credit: mic Some hospitals reported that there was power cuts and water shortage due tenon-functioning as the generator was out. Then, many people on the East side of the island have lost everything and for several days lived in shelters. So, the reason most people lost their homes are due to flooding and landslides. Then, this makes it more difficult for NEMO to clear the roads. So, deliver emergency help, such as water. And food and shelter where necessary. The schools was closed for 2 days. And people were advised to stay indoors as well as off the roads. Then, sadly one person died during the storm matthews. Even though it has been several weeks since the storm matthews. And the effects are still visible. Here at Richmond Vale Academy (RVA) we are conscious about the effects that global warming and climate change have on a small developing country in the Caribbean. Because extreme weather happens more frequent and...
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The Beginning of the Nursery

10,000 trees, that's our goal. The November Climate Compliance Team aims for propagating 10,000 trees—in the nursery that we are building—and for planting at least 3,000 trees ourselves, hopefully even more! There are a variety of trees on our list. For example, coconut, papaya, pandanus, avocado, soursop, etc. Regarding the last flood caused by the unusual amount of rain in the last weeks, the team decided on planting more vetiver grass than we originally planned. It has very deep roots and prevents erosion so that landslides are less likely to happen. We started collecting saplings from a mango tree and replanted them in planting bags. Unfortunately we didn't have enough bags left so we had to come up with solutions like normal plastic bags with holes in them. These plants were a lot more likely to die than the ones in the planting bags. We also started collecting seeds from the fruits we were eating at breakfast: papaya, avocado, and soursop. Most of the seeds are already planted in trays or cups with holes in them. We need space for the trees while nursing them, so we started building more tables for our trees. Then, we cut the steel, drilled holes, screwed the steel together and put them in the holes we dug in the ground beforehand so the tables would be stable. We haven’t put...
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