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 Ecuador where we were working with Humana People to People, a humanitarian organization established in Africa, Latin America and Asia, we were living very interesting but different life at RVA. But everything started much earlier, before I even heard about the school. It started inside of me when different feelings started to grow. Feelings which pushed me to do something that I was dreaming about for a long time. I always wanted to meet new people, see new places and at the same time learn new things and do something that is a bit challenging. I always found too many reasons (excuses) why not to go;...
Continuar leyendo
Etiquetas:
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...
Continuar leyendo
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 time that was put into making improvements in the house; we fixed a broken fridge, constructed our shower, closed leaks in the ceiling and bought new equipment necessary for our daily routine. We also spend quite some time playing with local kids, trying to understand a bit how life works in the village and how is the relation between family members and neighbors. After a couple of weeks, we felt more comfortable and could start some interaction with the locals. The first step was to build an organic garden and compost with our host family in our backyard. We are still struggling to get it correct...
Continuar leyendo
Etiquetas:
Richmond Vale

Effects of Poverty

The effects of poverty are so tightly interwoven with its roots that at times it results very difficult to determine if a poverty-related issue is a cause of it or caused by it.  Using education as an example of this: people living in poverty have limited access (if any at all) to education at any level, which in turn makes it nearly impossible for them to find a job with a wage that allows them to gain access to education. These people continue to be poor and their children are born into poverty, with no hopes of improving their lives. These causes-effects, or factors, that perpetuate poverty in a household are known as the cycle of poverty . Families who fall in this cycle tend to stay in it “for enough time that the family includes no surviving ancestors who possess and can transmit the intellectual, social, and cultural capital necessary to stay out of or change their impoverished condition” ( Melio , 2015). [caption id="attachment_3807" align="aligncenter" width="350"] Poor Kids in Rishikesh, India - Wikipedia THE EFFECTS OF POVERTY IN SOCIETY: CRIME AND STABILITY Another of the causes-effects of poverty is crime . Statistics reveal that these two issues are geographically related, e.g., one is certain to find crime where poverty abounds. This is not at all surprising, considering that the instability brought in by crime...
Continuar leyendo
Etiquetas:
Richmond Vale

Poverty Definition: Using the Capability Approach

Universal in reach and spanning millennia, poverty has been a problem of mankind for as long as the latter has existed. However, a final definition for it has yet to be agreed upon. According to Cambridge Dictionaries , an appropriate poverty definition is “the condition of being poor”; but this hardly seems sufficient for a multi-faceted obstacle to global development such as this one. It becomes evident, upon further inspection, that a definition for “poor” is necessary to establish a poverty definition; and this is where the discrepancies arise. What exactly constitutes being poor? [caption id="attachment_5962" align="aligncenter" width="500"] Poor children in Uganda - Photo Credit Pixabay The classification of an individual, household or country as poor or non-poor depends on the indicator used to study the subject. With poverty being a concept that depends on the definition of poor, each indicator has a different perception of it; and hence tackles it using an unique approach. Furthermore, standardized views on poverty product of statistical analyses differ from those of the poor themselves; which only serves to justify the existence of multiple definitions for it. Taking this into consideration, the capability approach to identifying the poor and hence measuring poverty is, perhaps, the most complete in today’s world. Poverty Definition: Using the Capability Approach [caption id="attachment_5963" align="alignleft" width="300"] Photo Credit: Pixabay Erenstein et al (2002) define it as an...
Continuar leyendo
Richmond Vale

35 of the best Martin Luther King Quotes

Martin Luther King Jr. was without a doubt one of the most important figures of the 20th century. He contributed to the advancement of Civil Rights in the United States through non-violent disobedience based on his Christian beliefs; and hence played a key role in shaping the United States as they are today. [caption id="attachment_5956" align="aligncenter" width="500"] Photo Credit: Wikipedia Moreover, the work of Martin Luther King Jr. has echoed around the world, inspiring civil rights activists in places as far and different from each other as South Africa and Ireland. To honor his cause and legacy, we celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. on the third Monday of January each year. On the occasion of this day, we chose 35 of his most inspiring quotes. Read them below. MARTIN LUTHER KING ON LOVE 1. "darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that." 2. "I have decided to stick to love... Hate is too great a burden to bear." [Tweet "3. "Let no man pull you so low as to hate him.""] MARTIN LUTHER KING ON HOPE [Tweet "4. "We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.""] MARTIN LUTHER KING ON RACIAL EQUALITY 5. "I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will...
Continuar leyendo
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 all of us melt by their cuteness. I keep getting impressed of what animals do to people’s feelings. Walking further ahead we heard the parrots making their sounds. Since I was little I have hated to see animals in cage, and especially birds. Birds have wings for a reason; I think the worst we can do to a bird is to lock it in so it is unable to use the function that represents them as a bird. Even worst is that it is animal lovers who do this to them. It was really touching to see them fly there free in the sky over the...
Continuar leyendo
Richmond Vale

Grey Water System

Grey water system in Richmond vale academy. The greywater is water that comes from the showers, laundry and kitchen. Basically is the water that contains inorganic particles like soap, oil and some synthetic compounds. This water once is used for differents purposes it is thrown to sewage systems or waterbody like rivers, lagoons and seas. These actions are very harmful for the nearby gray water effluent ecosystems and the environment. Having in account the facts that have been happening through the years (soil and water pollution, loss of biodiversity and climate change) it is necessary take action about this situation that affects the whole planet. [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="1200"] How a Grey Water System in your house works Recycling water In Richmond Vale Academy we are building a greywater recycling system in which we are taking the water from the laundry and six showers, we estimate recycle about 1000 liters of water per day. For design and built this system, is necessary to consider the type of contaminants, the amount of water, available materials and the use to which it wants to give the treated water. The latter consideration is very important due to this kind of water can’t be used for human consumption, where is include drinking, showers, wash kitchen utensils and cooking. Some benefits that in Richmond Vale Academy we are going to get...
Continuar leyendo
Richmond Vale

Local communities taking action against Climate Change

Taking action against climate change Where many governments have been slow to act against climate change, cities and localities where the community has more direct influence on politicians have started to act to limit greenhouse gasses. In July 2015, Pope Francis gathered mayors from big cities around the world, who discussed how they could make cities sustainable such as planting trees, providing public transportation, making room for bicycles, installing solar panels etc. Because local communities for some time have acted on their own, this has started to push national governments towards more action. We see a change where cities and local communities are taking action for climate change. Financial capitalists begin to see the writing on the wall The pressure to move away from fossil fuels is finally having an effect on the financial capitalists, who are the major force behind the capitalist system. The governor of the Bank of England that issues the British currency warned investors in September 2015. He simply said that the vast reserves of fossil fuels could never be burnt and thus investors will end up owning useless oil or coal reserves and making huge financial losses. Goldman Sachs, the leading investment bank in the USA and the ultimate insider whose chief executives go on to become leaders of government agencies and central banks in North America and Europe, announced in...
Continuar leyendo
Richmond Vale

Learning From Nature

From the moment we open our eyes for the first time and throughout life we are learning constantly. We are primarily taught and inspired by teachers in school, our parents, friends and others. The specific environment we grow up in also has an impact on who we become, some of us grew up on the countryside, some in the city, some in a village or some , somewhere completely else. Most of us go to school and learn about the world and some of us see the world with our own eyes by travelling when we get older. But with this article I would like to speak about is, for me, the greatest teacher of all; nature. The meaning The word nature can have so many different meanings for each individual; it is really a broad concept. According to Wikipedia nature is “the natural, physical, or material world or universe. Nature can refer to the  phenomena  of the physical world, and also to  life  in general. The study of nature is a large part of  science . Although humans are part of nature, human activity is often understood as a separate category from other natural phenomena.” I found it very interesting that we often define nature as something explicit, something that is outside ourselves, instead of including it in what we are. Nature is life. Nature...
Continuar leyendo
Richmond Vale

Horses

Richmond Vale

Scuba Diving

Richmond Vale

Rooms

Richmond Vale

Hikes

Richmond Vale

Food Production

[caption id="attachment_253" align="aligncenter" width="623"] Food Production Time - Garden With soaring food costs, one billion people going hungry every day, fast food and junk food causing malnutrition, obesity and health problems, food production based on fossil fuels contributing to global warming and climate change – with all these problems and more, the question of how to produce and supply healthy food for all is a burning issue of our time. [caption id="attachment_252" align="aligncenter" width="467"] Permaculture in our Greenhouses At RVA, you will be involved in food production on several levels and from different perspectives. You will study the issues globally and locally, getting the facts and investigating the consequences for ordinary people. Why are the people of St. Vincent, with their seemingly perfect conditions for farming, far from selfsufficient with food? What does it mean when giant corporations control food production with profit as their only goal? You will work in the academy’s garden farm, growing organic vegetables and fruits for own consumption, raising animals for meat, and growing lime, passion fruit and bananas for sale. [caption id="attachment_255" align="aligncenter" width="528"] Setting Seedlings You will learn how to plan and start garden farms as an important action when fighting with The Poor in Central or Latin America, and how to solve obstacles such as getting water for irrigation, making compost from local waste materials, and fighting pests without...
Continuar leyendo
Richmond Vale

Climate Change in St. Vincent

[caption id="attachment_4178" align="aligncenter" width="640"] Infrastructural damage in the St. Vincent and the Grenadines town of Georgetown, following the Christmas Eve 2013 storm. Photo Credit: trust.org In a lot of developed countries, and especially those in temperate climates, it is easy to think of climate change as something that is going to happen. A threat that will influence the lives of our children or grandchildren. However, in a lot of places people are already experiencing a lot of the negative effects of global warming . Particularly developing countries around the equator are seeing the impact and if you happen to live in a small island state you are facing an even higher risk. St. Vincent & the Grenadines , unfortunately, fits perfectly into all these categories. At  Richmon d Vale Academy we went out into the local communities to observe and talk to people about their experience with living in a place that is changing rapidly. Not all of the people we met were familiar with the concepts of Global Warming or Climate Change  but everyone could tell that their country was acting differently than it used to.       The consequences of Global Warming and Climate Change in St. Vincent and the Grenadines Rising sea levels. As glaciers and icecaps are melting the sea level is rising. A group of older Vincentians we met told us...
Continuar leyendo
Richmond Vale

Fitness

[caption id="attachment_249" align="aligncenter" width="560"] Training for the soccer match Whatever your fitness level is when you arrive at Richmond Vale Academy, you can look forward to improving your health, strength and stamina and getting fit for fighting poverty and global warming, by enjoying sports and exercise of many different kinds, individually and with your teammates. Most participants try out their limits on this adventure trip, building both stamina, confidence and comradeship.                                      Swimming, Ball Sports, Running, Hiking , Yoga , Insanity , are among the chosen sports. Fitness Center                                               Towards the end of 2010, the teachers decided to build a fitness center for everyone living at RVA. During 2011 we made several actions and building weekends together and finished the center in August 2011. We completed new bathrooms, showers, built a big terrace, made new floors and painted the corridors. We imported used fitness equipment from USA that includes yoga mats, yoga balls, hand weights and a small variety of fitness machines.
Richmond Vale

No drugs No Alcohol

The frames of the school In order to ensure the best possible conditions for the programs at Richmond Vale Academy, the Teacher Council has from the start set frames regarding alcohol and drug use while in the program: 1.Nobody who participates in a course can take alcohol while carrying out the program. This also applies when traveling to or from home travel. 2.Nobody who participates in a course can be involved with euphoriant or narcotic substances. This applies whether you are at school, traveling, on home travel, or in Central or Latin America during travel and work periods. In short, it applies all the time. 3.Former drug users must have been free of heavy drugs for a minimum of 18 months before the course starts. * A participant who does not comply with the drug and alcohol frame is no longer on the course. * The main arguments for this decision are: Re. 1) and 2) Learning about and investigating the present-day reality is both physically and mentally demanding, and so is taking action as a consequence hereof. Drugs and alcohol will be a hindrance to the implementation of the program and an impediment to the social life and comradeship between people during the course. Moreover, the program takes place in countries with severe punishments for possession of drugs, and the projects where you will work in Central or...
Continuar leyendo
Richmond Vale

About Us

R ichmond Vale Academy  is a non profit institution in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. More than 500 students from St. Vincent and around the world have participated in shorter and longer courses to reduce poverty and protect the environment since 2002. Richmond Vale Academy is an educational institution with the aim to train activists from all over the world to fight global warming and global poverty shoulder to shoulder with the poor. The Academy currently runs two main programs: 1. The Climate Compliance Conference , which is host of the Climate Change Activists  where new students join for one or six months at the time and take part in a 10 year project to spearhead that people in St. Vincent adapt to the challenges of Global Warming and Climate Change. 2. The Fighting Poverty Program , students join an 18 months program in cooperation with One World University. Students earn an A or B-certificate in "Fighting Shoulder to Shoulder with The Poor" as Distance Learners . Students spend 6 months Service Period at a Humana People to People project in Ecuador or Belize. We also run a smaller horse training program and offer 2-4 week courses to school groups that learn about and experience St. Vincent. How Richmond Vale Academy was started The Academy was built in the 80's as a Vocational School for Vincentians...
Continuar leyendo
Richmond Vale

Meet the Students

Casey, age 24 from Hong Kong “Living in a big city life I’ve seen how wasteful we are and how we are so bound by this dependent way of living. I’m looking forward to learning at RVA to make a change personally and to bringing it back to my community.”   Sara, age 27 from U.S.A. “I came to RVA because I really wanted to travel and try something new. I also thought it would be a good opportunity to participate in positive and meaningful change. Some of the things that I enjoy are hiking and camping, reading, animals and live music.” Sam, age 24 from England “I have travelled from the U.K. in order to pursue my passion in gaining knowledge about the environment. My interests lie in the outdoors, hiking, climbing, slacklining, and diving.” Lilith, age 21 from Germany “I came to RVA to learn more about gardening and global climate change and to take that knowledge back home with me to pass it on to other people.” Kwakou, age 19 from U.S.A. “I’m from Washington D.C. and I’ve decided to come to RVA because I want to learn more about being self-sufficient and making a positive impact on my environment. My ultimate goal in life is to be a drive for improvement in today’s society. When I look around I don’t see enough...
Continuar leyendo