Richmond Vale Academy partners with many organizations from community based organizations, schools, farmers groups, to international development agencies and government ministries. It is surely a privilege to work with so many different people for a more just and climate compliant future.

St Vincent Goverment

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The Richmond Vale Academy has won the following awards:

 

Tourism Social Enterprise Award 2019
Tourism Social Enterprise, a special award recognising an initiative by an individual or group/association which addresses social problems by applying innovative tourism development ideas.
by The Caribbean Tourism Organisation. Read more here

 

Energy Globe National Award for St. Vincent and the Grenadines 2019
Richmond Vale Academy won the prize for the Biogas Project. Read more here

 

Energy Globe National Award for St. Vincent 2018
Richmond Vale Academy won the prize for the Pass-it-On Sustainable Model Garden Project for St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Read more here

 

Energy Globe National Award for St. Vincent 2016
The ENERGY GLOBE Award was founded in 1999
 by the Austrian energy pioneer Wolfgang Neumann and
 it is one of today’s most prestigious environmental awards. Projects which conserve and protect our resources or employ renewable energy can participate. Richmond Vale Academy won the prize for the Treelympics Project for St. Vincent and the Grenadines.


Inter-American Institute on Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) Award
In the competition “Climate Smart Agriculture: Among stories from Farmers in the Eastern Caribbean States” the IICA identified successful cases of climate-smart practices. Richmond Vale Academy won the prize for St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

Saint Vincent’s Ministry of Agriculture Climate Smart Agriculture Award
During the World Food Day 2016, RVA received the award acknowledging the efforts achieved. The award was supported by the Japan-Caribbean Climate Change Partnership within the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).
The event was called “Climate is changing. Food and agriculture must too.” More than 1.000 visitors were present at the event.

Tripadvisor Green Leaders Award
The TripAdvisor GreenLeaders Program showcases a variety of eco-friendly hotels and B&Bs, from budget to luxury – and they’re all committed to green practices like recycling, local and organic food, and electric car charging stations.

 

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Richmond Vale Academy employs 25 people in teaching, farming, administration and maintainance.

 

  • Stina Herberg, Director

    Stina was born in Norway and is the academy’s director. For the past 25 years she has worked with education, environment and development projects in Angola, Mozambique, Denmark, Norway, Caribbean and USA. Stina became the director at Richmond Vale Academy in 2007.
  • Jesper Friis, Manager and Teacher

    Jesper holds a BA in Pedagogy from DNS in Denmark. He has traveled and studied in more than 40 countries including Turkey, India, Libya, Mozambique, Cuba, USA and Germany. Jesper is a certified PADI Diving Instructor and is also certified in Solar Energy Photovoltaic Design and Installation with NABCEP (North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners).
  • Tamas Gubicza, Teacher

    Tom was born in Hungary. After finishing Janus Pannonius University of Pécs with a teachers degree he worked as a ski instructor for many years. He went to Africa, where he worked as a volunteer-teacher ( Namibia ). He joined Richmond Vale Academy in 2018 as the teacher for the Fighting Poverty program.
  • David, Hiking and Diving Center

    David Christian was born in England and has been volunteering in Africa, England and St. Vincent for several years. David is right now taking care of guests coming to stay at the Hiking and Diving Center.
  • Selwyn Patterson, Teacher

    Selwyn comes from Rose Hall and is a community activist and drummer. Selwyn worked as a prison officer and with the Ministry of Agriculture before he started at Richmond Vale Academy seven years ago.
  • Luke Punnett, Teacher

    Luke is from Vermont and has a BA in Business Management. Luke is a certified Perma Culture Design Instructor running an organic farm in Vermont. He teaches organic farming, agroforestry, soil management, production of organic fertilizer. Luke joined RVA in 2014
  • Cleo Westfield, Accountant

    Cleo is from Petit Bordel and studied Principles of Business at St. Vincent Grammar School. Cleo has been teaching at Troumaka Secondary School before he started working as an accountant in 2017.
  • Raymond Matthews, Farm Manager

    Raymond is from Fitz Hughes and has been working at Richmond Vale Academy for more than 15 years. Raymond manages the commercial farm production which ranges from passion fruits, trees and eggs.
  • Else Marie Pedersen, Marketing

    Else went to Africa with the Travelling Folk High School in Denmark. Before that she studied and traveled all over the world. She has visited over 10 countries in Africa and been to several Humana People to People projects. She worked at One World Center in the United States for 12 years. In June 2014, she joined Richmond Vale Academy. Email:info@richmondvale.org
  • Danail Petrov, Teacher

    Danail was born in Bulgaria and has a BA in Forestry. Danail has worked with community development and water security with DAPP in Zambia before joining RVA in 2017.
  • Pat Otley, Landscaper

    Pat is a lifelong farmer from Chateaubelair, has his own farm in the Richmond Valley. Pat is in charge of developing the park areas around the Academy.
  • Joan Maizy Patterson, Farmer,

    Lifelong farmer from Fitz Hughes and works in the passion fruit department.
  • Christobelle Charles, Cook

    In secondary school I found my passion in cooking by doing “cookery” classes.  I built up my knowledge from working various places with many different cooks from St. Vincent and other countries as well. After having worked at Richmond Vale Academy for a couple of years I left to work somewhere else, but now I am happy to be back.I look forward to meeting you and serving one of my soups or other dishes for you!
  • Samuel Glasgow, Ecotourism

    Sam has travelled the world working on cruise ships. At Richmond Vale Academy he is working with Eco Tourism, Transport and various other tasks.

The country of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, also known as ‘Hairoun (a)’ and also 'Yurumein', is located to the south of the Caribbean Sea and has a population of 110.000 people. SVG is a small island nation with the main island called St. Vincent and 31 smaller island and cays called The Grenadines. The history is remarkable and its landscapes are breathtaking.


The country has had a long history of resistance against European imperial powers. The people of St. Vincent, the Caribs, managed to protect their homeland from the French and British settlement for 200 years. They were so vigilant that this territory became the last of the major Caribbean islands to be colonized. During this struggle, African slaves escaping from shipwrecks or the surrounding islands were welcomed to settle on the islands. They mixed with the Caribs and are now known as the Black Caribs or the Garifuna people.

In 1719 Britain took control over the country and remained in power until 1979, when St. Vincent and the Grenadines claimed its independence and its right to control its own affairs.

The country imports the majority of the food, which heavily affects the local economy. Half of the population lives in rural areas of which 25% are employed in farming. The farming population is aging and few young people are going into farming. Due to the effect of global warming and climate change the overall rainfall will decrease. Furthmore, it will fall more violently and in fewer days. This will lead to more destruction of agricultural crops and fields due to drought as well as flooding. The main island St. Vincent has plenty of water and only a few months of dry season. Only 7% of agricultural land is irrigated and most farmers use a lot of imported pesticides, herbicides and Nitrogen, Phosphorous and Potash (NPK) fertiliser.


SVG is heavily dependent on imported fossil fuel for electricity generation, transportation and cooking. It has an energy mix of 90% fossil fuels and about 10% hydro power with an increasing contribution from solar photovoltaic (PV). Fortunately, this nation has many potential carbon neutral sources which include geothermal, solar and wind. In the main land, half of the energy usage is from households. Today, most people use imported LPG gas for cooking and the use of home solar water heaters is common. Currently, the government has installed solar panels in 3 government buildings and in a college; people are more aware of the benefits of using solar power.
There are three hydropower plants in Saint Vincent. With improvements and investment, they can provide up to 20% of the country’s renewable energy. Additionally, the government has partnered with a private company to build a 10 - 15 MW geothermal plant which will be in operation by 2021.

When compared by area, SVG is ranked globally as the second most disaster prone country. As part of the Caribbean, SVG is in the Atlantic Hurricane Belt. For this reason, damaging hurricanes and flash floods hit the area almost every year. Added to this annual threat, it is predicted that climate change will negatively affect the region by increased intensity of hurricanes, rising sea levels, decreasing rain falls and ascending temperatures. With hurricanes and tropical storms getting stronger and more damaging, the country will see more landslides and soil and coastal erosion. Furthermore, sea level rise and storm surges will affect the towns and fishing villages all over the country. This will have a direct impact on 85% of the population.