Richmond Vale

Shoulder to shoulder experience as a volunteer FWTP program

6-women-inside My name is Lina, I am a fine and visual artist and this story begins in Bogotá – Colombia.
Service Period Red Bank / Belize My name is Lina, I am a fine and visual artist and this story begins in Bogotá – Colombia. Going from home to work and from work to home, I accumulated hours and hours of daily thoughts and worries for several years. What I had not noticed was that they related not only to my life, but also to other beings, and I sa...
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Richmond Vale

About finding my way – and taking the first steps to get moving.

header-anna I started looking for volunteering projects involved in climate change and environment work and I came across RVA and its Climate Change Compliance program
​ "Know that if someone is not living bravely,  they will resent your courage.  If someone is unhappy,  they will resent your joy.  If someone is hiding from the truth,  they will resent your honesty.  Move on. Keep moving." ​ - Maggie Smith All my life I have been a people pleaser – trying to make people happy or have...
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Richmond Vale

Rights of Nature: Introducing a possible tool for climate change litigation

new-zeland-feature In 2017, the Whanganui River was granted legal personality in New Zealand
Article written by Jessica den Outer* The effects of climate change are immense ­— ranging from desertification and deforestation, to a global increase in extreme weather events, biodiversity loss, and ocean acidification. The most recent IPCC report reveals the potentially catastrophic consequences associated with a global temperature rise of 1.5º...
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Richmond Vale

How to make a coconut cup and a bowlie

brendax900 Brenda Roberts : How to make a coconut cup and a bowlie
In Troumaca, a village in Saint David Parish, the North Leeward side of St. Vincent, there is a home-garden shaped like a sun. Tomatoes, lettuce, okra, beans, corn, basil, asparagus, pineapples, barbados cherry, soursop… from very common crops to rare ones in St. Vincent, a variety of vegetables and fruits are growing vigorously. n rabbits and thei...
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Richmond Vale

It is just grass!

top Collecting horse manure with bare hands is a sign of personal change for me
I am a student at the Richmond Vale Academy situated in St. Vincent and Grenadines and I will share with you my story about manure up to now (5 months). Collecting horse manure with bare hands is a sign of personal change for me! Yes, manure is natural gold but holding it with bare hands and then putting it into sacks by holding, maybe sometimes by...
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Richmond Vale

Juliane: In movement there is life and in change there is power!!

20190111_13324 My students have come a long way from the start of the program
Today is hump day! For the November Climate Compliance Conference students and facilitator hump day has a special flavour! Since January, Wednesday mornings have been pretty hectic at Richmond Vale Academy as we temporarily move to some villages nearby. From Wednesdays to Fridays, we have been living in Petit Bordel, Rose Bank, Troumaca and Rose Ha...
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Richmond Vale

See the challenges as an opportunity to grow

blog-front I've met so many great people from around the world here and I want to keep exploring different cultures
Expectations vs reality for a student at RVA Before coming here, I had a very vague, unclear idea of what my life would be like for the next 6 months living in St. Vincent as a student at RVA. In fact, I made it a choice not to read the details of the program and other people's posts about their experiences living on the island. I wanted to start t...
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Richmond Vale

Calvert: I have grown alot

calvert-blog I’m so happy that I got this opportunity to go to RVA and I enjoyed it all
Calvert: I am 19 years old living in Layou and I have done a 6 months course at RVA. What we do here is to learn about Global Warming and Climate Change, about how some companies are destroying the planet – especially the fossil fuel companies. I'm in the RVA climate change COMPLIANCE CONFERENCE TEAM and I'm going to say a bit about what I have lea...
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Camille Bru

Back in Paradise

let-the-sun-facebook Sun set at Richmond Vale Academy
At the end of my 6 months program, I decided to come back to RVA as a teacher for the November team. But why this decision and what does it mean to be a teacher in another kind of school? Going home/ traveling for 2 months before coming back to RVA has given me time to reflect on my ambitions, my visions for the future and the way I want to live my...
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Richmond Vale

Art for social transformation

frontimage Painting a mural in the local Petit Bordel School in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.
Art is a tool that allows us to communicate and express different opinions. During the month of April 2018, our intention was to inspire and strengthen the relation between people and nature. This is what we hoped to achieve while painting a mural in the local Petit Bordel School in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. At the same time, we carried out...
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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 the Caribbean, I had worked 8 years for the same company and felt that I wanted a change in my life. The office job was making me unhappy and left me lacking a sense of meaning. I didn't feel like I was contributing anything to th...
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Richmond Vale

Julian: Embrace this unique learning experienceThe chicken project

IMG_20180122_075109 We hope they will take good care of our chicken project and see the fruit trees grow and blossom
The 6 months program is unique in many ways. It provides the students with a practical understanding of topics surrounding sustainable agriculture and climate change adaptation. For most of the students, including me, many of these topics would have maybe always remained theoretical concepts. The program is structured in several "periods", each of ...
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Richmond Vale

Felix: RVA is an amazing place

felix Felix worked in Ecuador
My name is Ammon Felix and I am from the Richland, WA, U.S.A. I was part of the Fighting Shoulder to Shoulder with the Poor Program at Richmond Vale Academy from April 2016 - November 2017. During this Time I spent 6 months studying the massive forces in the world that keep many people in poverty. I spent 6 months learning the practicalities of wor...
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Richmond Vale

Joost, Germany: Everyone can make a change

joost Joost, Germany: Everyone can make a change
As my team arrived in St. Vincent and at the Richmond Vale Academy, we decided pretty early that we want to assist in re-establish a farmers market in Chateaubelair, a little village on the North-Leeward side of the main Island of St. Vincent. As there were attempts to build up a farmers market before we came to St. Vincent, which ultimately failed...
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Richmond Vale

Building weekend in the mountain

Building Weekend at Richmond Vale
Our Permaculture Teacher, Luke, and his family, own land in the province of Vermont in Saint Vincent. This piece of land is located in the mountain, when you reach the end of the paved road you still need to drive for a couple kilometers on a very bumpy rocky muddy road. At the end of the path, there is a small shed with a covered deck, full of too...
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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 which we agree to have no drugs and no alcohol as part of what we do here at the school. There are several reason for this from simple things such as reducing work ethic to having negative impact on the community.  For me one...
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Richmond Vale

Belair Government School Visiting RVA

Today, 6th-grade students from Belair Government school came all the way to Richmond to visit our Campus! It is always a little adventure and a great learning experience for everyone, for the school as much as for us here at RVA! Heather gave a presentation about living at RVA, our programs, the home-garden projects and of course about climate change. After a quick lunch with a view of the volcano and St Lucia, we divided into smaller groups and all the students from the Climate compliance March team and Fighting with the poor team became tour guides for the day! In another Kind of School we want to live a sustainable life, so we try to be pioneers and to build example projects. Showing our sustainability projects to 10-12 year olds taught us RVA students how to keep things simple and exciting!  We showed them our solar panels, the biogas station, the new Permaculture Kitchen Garden, our Chicken Hotel, the Water collection system, Our Organic Gaden, the Compost system, the Fruit Forest, the Pigs, and even a little visit to the Horses! Seeing how enthusiastic and excited the students were about the visit made us very happy :) We love showing our other kind of school to many interested kids and to inspire them to change the World! Such a positive feedback made us smile: "This is a little...
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Richmond Vale

Maria, Latvia: RVA is a place you can make a real impact

Maria, Latvia: RVA is a place you can make a real impact
My name is Maria. I am from Latvia. Richmond Vale Academy is not about theoretical exercises. It is a place where you can make a real impact. The six months teams are focusing on building home gardens for local families. It is really possible to make a change in peoples lives. Gardens are an important step towards self-sustainability, self-sufficiency and adapting to global climate change. Long time ago people called St. Vincent: “The Land of Blessed”. It is true. This place is magical: rainbows almost every day, fireflies, hummingbirds, diverse marine life, breath-taking views. My 18 months FWP team was so blessed to participate in the Permaculture Design course . I am very grateful for this chance. We have an amazing teacher Leon-C. Malan who is not only professional in permaculture, but also a very good teacher. He gave us a very good theoretical base, awaking enthusiasm in things which at first might sound boring. If before coming here somebody had told me that I would be interested in watching videos about soil and compost in my free time, I wouldn’t believe it. Permaculture reminded me about connecting with the Earth, and this place made me really curious and passionate about the environment and gardening. As our final product we will design a home garden project based on permaculture principles. The most overwhelming part is that...
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Richmond Vale

John: One month with the Climate Compliance Conference

John: One month with the Climate Compliance Conference
RVA Climate Compliance: 1 month programme evaluation Expectations: From attending the 1 month Climate Compliance programme at RVA I hoped to learn about Permaculture in relation to sustainable farming. I wanted to see how it works in practice, getting to grips with the day to day management of the farm and gardens, whilst picking up new ideas and developing skills. I also hoped to live a healthier lifestyle and perhaps even get myself fit. Courses & Studies Morning classes I found some of the one hour morning classes to be very useful sources of information and learning. Highlights were those on Agroforestery, Soil Structure and Solar Panels. Documentaries – documentary evenings provided opportunity to watch material selected from the wider RVA community within a focused environment. It was good to discuss the subjects afterwards, and take on board diverse insights and opinions. Effects of Climate Change Tour – perhaps the most poignant element of the course was this tour of places and people suffering recent extremities of weather. People were forthcoming with their views once they got going highlighting education and sustainable living as improvements to be made. Climate Compliance practical actions  Solar Dryer We constructed a solar dryer which we presented this to the RVA community and to the wider community on the RVA open day for which we made flyers alongside a variety of...
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Richmond Vale

Magdy from Mexico: Do what you can

Magdy from Mexico: Do what you can
In this past year I have been studying and learning about the causes of poverty and what can I do to make this world a better place. I think is possible to change the world, we can change our world! There are many places, people we all can help in our own countries; there many organizations that are trying to make a difference but they need people who want to work and see a change like "If you want something well done you have to do it your self". There are many ways and ideas of how you can help but everything comes down to do what is NEEDED. You can start little with your neighborhood your city or you can go and travel and participate with different organization. I have been a volunteer almost all my life, my parents were missionaries and since I was a child I was there to help my brother or sister when needed. I remember thinking as a child and wondering why more people don’t participate in helping. Why? We all want a better world for us and our children so why don't more people participate in changing the world to the one we want! You only need to take the decision that you want to help, it can be big or can be small it doesn’t matter. Just be...
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