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 id="attachment_12129" align="alignleft" width="300"] Heather: Let's share all we have! When I was young, before my concept of rich and poor was formed, I went to school in an area that was considered to be 'poor' by Scottish standards. I saw children at school that had clothes with holes in them and who came to school in non-matching shoes. I didn't know what this meant until I was a lot older because as a child you don't appreciate the difference between you and your peers. When we create the difference, the us and them, that is when we take away a level of dignity. In Edinburgh, I...
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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

A view from Above!

A view from Above!
We are excited to share with the first drone videos where you can see The Richmond Vale Academy and our Garden Farm from above. Thanks to Ken from Bridges from Prosperity's great images! Enjoy! Richmond Vale Academy
Our Garden Farm
  
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Richmond Vale

War and Peace studies - USA vs North Korea

During the week we have 2-3 classes all together covering topics from compost toilets, health benefits of moringa to the exploitation of Haiti.  As a Climate Activist and Development Instructor it is important to get a better understanding about the world. In the Fighting with The Poor Program there are several studies such as reasons for war, situation in the middle east, The role of NATO, UN Security Council, Anti War Movements and how to stop wars. Here are some interesting facts being used in preparations of a new morning class that will be held in September in regards to the North Korea "conflict": The US has 800 military bases in 63 countries worldwide, and military personnel presently active in 156 countries. The US has been at war or in a military conflict for 224 of its 241 years in existence. The US defense budget is over $610 billion yearly, which is higher than the defense budgets of the next 8 countries combined: China (215), Russia (69), Saudi Arabia (63), UK (48), France (55), India (55), Japan (46), and Germany (41). The US is the only country that has ever dropped an atomic bomb on a population, killing about 200,000 people in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. A December 2013 WIN/Gallup poll asked 67,806 respondents from 65 countries, "Which country do you think is the greatest threat to peace in the world today?" 24% of respondents said the US. The...
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Richmond Vale

Impressions on St. Vincent by Karolina

Impressions on St. Vincent by Karolina
By Karolina St. Vincent, the place about witch I have been dreaming for a long time   I am in the place about witch I have been dreaming for a long time (without even knowing that it exists). One might wonder why St. Vincent is so special. To begin with, the nature here is just breathtaking. No matter where you turn, you are always surrounded by mountains. It is been two months since we are here, and I cannot get enough of the view. Vegetation is incredibly rich as well. The soil is so rich that if you stand on it for a while you will become taller they say. Moreover, there is a huge variety of fruits here. When one end, other start bearing fruits. By the way, mango season is about to start and when it starts people can survive just on mangoes. Also, coconuts are very important part of life in St. Vincent. If you are thirsty they provide you with water, if you are hungry they fulfil you with nutritious coconut meat and et cetera. Second off all, Vincentians are super friendly, it is even hard to describe in words how friendly they are. I really like to be around locals: they are bringing good vibes. Vincentians always greet you! Usually, after “good morning”, “good day”,  “good night” follows other sentences or...
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Richmond Vale

Can organic farming feed the world?

The agribusiness and industrial farmers have for years expressed that organic farming is unprofitable, maybe OK as a tiny niche for those who are willing to pay high prices, but certainly not anything that would ever feed the world. The view of agribusiness is probably not changing much, since they earn their money on selling their products to industrial farmers and their profits depend on the amount of products - hybrid and genetically modified seeds, pesticides of all kinds and chemical fertilizers. But as many smaller farmers show that it is actually profitable to farm organically and as more and more customers ask for organically grown products, and as the crop varieties for organic farming are developed, even some of the industrial farmers become interested in this.                   There are examples of industrial strawberry farmers in Mexico, who have hundreds of hectare under production who have seen some of their neighbors produce organic strawberries on a much smaller scale, and can see that the profit per hectare is actually higher. Not just because there is a better price, but most of all because there are much smaller expenses of spraying chemicals. The extra file connected to this task tells of some long-term trials to compare organic farming with conventional methods. They have run for more than 30 years at the...
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Richmond Vale

Moringa 10000

Richmond Vale Academy and its’ Climate Compliance Conference plan the next big step with a new project, which gave birth under the name of ‘MORINGA 10,000’. The goal is to plant  - hand in hand with the people of St. Vincent - 10,000 Moringa Trees around the island of St. Vincent, within 20 different communities. The aim of the project is to bring this miracle tree to this beautiful island, to teach about creating a better health for everyone, to teach about climate change and to make a positive action towards a better future for all on this beautiful planet. Moringa 10,000 Around Christmas time 2013, Richmond Vale Academy – teachers and activists - will go out to the public with the tree planting action in St. Vincent. 10,000 trees will be planted in 20 different villages all around this beautiful island. Together with mobilized people we will give birth to a new St. Vincent. Getting Started Today The Tree Planting Action will take place later, but we are kicking off the action already now in August. The Tree Nursery is getting a shape, soil is being prepared, the irrigation system is getting installed and the first trees are being planted. At the same time the project plan is getting more concrete and the next steps are being decided on. A Miracle Tree The Tree can...
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