Richmond Vale

Mervi, Finland: We have a responsibility to act

experience I am currently enrolled in the 18 month Fighting with the Poor program at the Richmond Vale Academy
I am currently enrolled in the 18 month "Fighting with the Poor" program at the Richmond Vale Academy. Before coming to ...
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Richmond Vale

Learn to Dive

jesper-diving-instructor-richmondvale-diving-center Jesper is a diving instructor at Richmond Vale Diving Center
When you join a program at Richmond Vale Academy it is possible to become a certified Diver. We started to engage in pro...
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Richmond Vale

When we make an agreement, we owe it to ourselves to act on that

richmondvale-frames-owe-it-to-ourself
As part of joining Richmond Vale Academy (RVA) every student agrees to what we call 'The Frames'. This is the policy in ...
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Richmond Vale

Discovering the best of myself!

Discovering the best of myself!
Richmond Vale Academy is "Another Kind of School" where adults gather to become enlightened and inspired, gain knowledge and become ready for action. Our school operate as a base for personal enlightenment, for general and specific knowledge such as organic farming, global warming, climate change and as inspiration to take action and march into the Open Future. Participants join for 1, 6 or 18 months and all are involved with The St. Vincent Climate Compliance Conference 2012 - 2021. The Idea of The 10 year standing action conference is that teachers, students and the people of St. Vincent make our island more Climate Compliant. Climate Compliant means to be ready for climate change and become food, water and energy secure. Now...
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Permaculture Ethics and Principles (A life Example) - by Heather

Permaculture Ethics and Principles (A life Example) - by Heather
When I first heard about permaculture, I didn't really have a concept of what it was. I knew that it was something to do with the garden and producing your own food, I knew it was organic and based around sustainability, it was a little alternative and out there on the edge (Principle 11: Use Edges and Value the Marginal). In the last 10 days, I have been able to take part in a Permaculture Design course and what a journey it was! I now know that there is so much more to permaculture, it is not just gardening or agriculture, it is actually a way of life and a willingness to be aware of the life we are creating. The...
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Richmond Vale

Heather: What does it mean to be 'Poor'?

Heather: What does it mean to be 'Poor'?
I have been lucky enough in my life to have travelled and lived in many different countries and worked with many different organisations. I have seen poverty in every place that I have been, whether it was in my own country, Scotland or where I am living now in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. When I look at it, being poor has a different meaning dependent on where you are, but the feeling is the same no matter where you go. According to the United Nations, poverty is fundamentally 'a violation of human dignity'. It is, I feel the best way of explaining both how and why people are poor and how our perceptions of people can create poverty. [caption...
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Richmond Vale

My 6 months in Ecuador by Ammon

My 6 months in Ecuador by Ammon
By Ammon  During the last six months working as Development Instructor in Ecuador we have worked with Humana Pueblo a Pueblo on many different projects as well as our own personal projects as Development Instructors. We are here as a team of 3 DIs from Richmond Vale Academy as part of the Fighting Shoulder to Shoulder with the Poor program. During my time here as a development instructor I have worked in the Community of Opoluca which is part of the district Paltas or Catacocha. I have worked with Humana to develop organic home gardens, compost production, and organic pesticides as well as working with large garden parcels and distributing saplings and seeds to the families in Opoluca. I myself...
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Investigating the Old Hegg Turtle Sanctuary

Investigating the Old Hegg Turtle Sanctuary
My team recently went on an investigation trip to the Grenadine island of Bequia. While we were there we explored a number of areas that were relevant to our social and environmental interests. One of these places was the Old Hegg Turtle Sanctuary. We had heard that the living conditions for the turtles at the sanctuary might be questionable. We decided to check it out and develop our own conclusions about the establishment’s legitimacy. What We Discovered   We drove all the way out to the Atlantic side of the island to visit the Turtle Sanctuary. This was an expensive cab right ($100 EC). We sort of already knew what to expect about the conditions of the sanctuary. These suspicions...
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Richmond Vale

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...
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Richmond Vale

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...
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Richmond Vale

Farming in St. Vincent: Tearing Up the Environment - By Ammon

I went on an investigation with my team to learn about the farming in St. Vincent. We visited many people and gathered heaps of interesting information about agriculture, history, permaculture and people. When it comes to St. Vincent, I would argue that agriculture is the single most important industry in the country. However, it doesn't get much attention from investors, due to a number of different factors. ST. VINCENT'S GEOGRAPHY: AN OBSTACLE TO COLONIZATION AND INDUSTRIAL FARMING [caption id="attachment_5701" align="aligncenter" width="500"] Photo Credit: ARRL.org St. Vincent is a volcanic island, meaning that it has steep slopes and a multitude of ridges. These characteristics have truly shape the history of the island and its agriculture. Let's see how. The mountainous nature...
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Richmond Vale

Ammon's Experience at RVA

I have lived at Richmond Vale Academy, on the Island of Saint Vincent, for about three and a half months. Myself and two other people started the Fighting Poverty program at the beginning of April 2016. The program lasts 18 months and is full of outstanding experiences. These range from a week-long Agricultural Investigation, to planting trees, to teaching people how to work the garden and kitchen for common action. You can read plenty about these experiences on our blog . However, what I really want to tell you about is the first period of the Fighting with the Poor program. MY EXPERIENCE IN THE FIGHTING POVERTY PROGRAM The first six months of this program are the study period. In...
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Richmond Vale

Life at RVA - Breaking Cultural Paradigms - by Jocelyn

At RVA we are part of something bigger than just one traditional school, we also have we join different programs as well, the two larger programs we have are “Fighting Poverty” and “Climate Compliance”, we have classes and presentations, the life in the school it's based on the community, that means we share in the same way different classes, where we need to learning different skills, not just theory, we are learning about gardening, cooking, environmentally friendly cleaning, and a lot of other different things we must to do together, and in this process we start to learn about our different cultures, history, and way of life. Here at RVA you will often meet people from different continents, so you...
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Richmond Vale

Baking our own Bread - by Jocelyn Flores

In RVA we have time to take care of our own house. Twice a week we meet to cook, clean, farm or anything else that is necessary. One of our favorite things to do in common action is to make the Bread, and not just because it’s so delicious, it’s because we can use our imagination and love to make everybody happy in the school. We try to inspire and give more and more energy for our projects in the school ! We want you to enjoy like us the classic, but not for far less relevant, recipe. Then you can use with you family, friends or at any event. Or you can make your own bread for the whole week (just...
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How we keep our Home Clean - by Ammon

Here at Richmond Vale academy we have many beautiful and brilliant people constantly moving and working to make our community as lovely and productive as possible. This leads to a lot of dirt and debris getting swept all over the place. Bathrooms get mucky and spiders take up roost any place their web will stand. When unattended entropy reigns and it becomes very dirty very fast. This could either be a very stressful situation or a huge expense if we had to pay people to clean the entire school every day. Instead we work as a community to keep the school clean. Obvious things like not leaving dishes around and not letting trash make it's way into the surrounding environment...
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Richmond Vale

The Challenges of Fundraising

The Fighting shoulder to shoulder with the poor program involves that the team has to fundraise $1200 US per person. In theory this should not be a problem, because the amount of team work and many ideas we had from my part I thought it would be a piece of cake. Like any other project there were many problems that we as poverty fighters had to turn into challenges and work as a team towards a common goal. One of the biggest challenges we came across was to fund raise in a poor country. St. Vincent is the third poorest country in the region, thus making money is sometimes a form of luxury. We have done actions in poor communities in...
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Richmond Vale

Once in a Lifetime

  Six months in Ecuador - Once in a lifetime experience!   The second part of my program as a volunteer was one of the best things that could come to me in my life. It literally changed my life in many aspects, it helped me to understand many issues related to poverty. The period in Ecuador lasted six months from October 2013 until end of March 2014. The opportunity to be a volunteer is a once-in- a-lifetime experience that allows you to use all your knowledge in practice, the opportunity to meet new people, the opportunity to share your culture as well as learn a lot about the new one, to learn new skills, to come across a new...
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Richmond Vale

The Best Year of my Life!

                  By Tjasa Zupanc, Slovenia THE BEST YEAR OF MY LIFE! One year of life can be very normal, sometimes even boring if nothing special happens. But I can’t say that for the last year of my life. I can’t use words normal, usual, nothing special, ok…Everything was different, new, exciting and most of all challenging. I’m talking about my life in Richmond Vale Academy (RVA), another kind of school that seeks for those who want to make our planet more equal and those who care about our nature and the place we live in. I was a part of Ecuador team for one year and before we went to the project in...
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Richmond Vale

Life can be much simpler than we imagined!

It has been about two months since we arrived in San Isidro, Belize, for the project period in our Fighting with The Poor program. On the first weeks we’ve spent most of our time adapting to the new lifestyle and understanding a bit from the Project Leader what were our goals on the project. For this part, we had two meeting with local leaders, as the head of the women’s group and the “mayor”, visited local families to get their point of view of the situation they lived in and made a quick trip to see what the other DI’s had done in the village of Aguacate where they were last year. During this initial time, we had some free...
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Richmond Vale

Respecting and loving nature

Beautiful nature The nature in St Vincent must be one of the world’s most beautiful ones. Always growing and always green. It amazes people who sees it from the sky or from the ocean and does something to you to be a part of it. On the nature weekend some of us had the opportunity to walk the Parrot trail , a 1½ hours walk in the eye of the jungle. Just by going up in the car through the valley towards the start of the trail kept us quiet and amazed. The start of the trail was on a wide road. Along the road there was a goat with her two baby goats drinking milk from her and making...
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