Richmond Vale

How do we get Food and Water Security?

1-group Food, health, education, future income, all are inter connected
“Food security exists when all people, at all times, have physical and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life.” Promoting Food and Water Security - Richmond Vale Academy We are living in a time when food security is more important than anything else. All of us have probably seen pictures of empty shops, short supplies, and overwhelming reactions in the wake of the world coronavirus panic followed by ricing food prices. We realize just how fragile and dependent we are.  As Esther Duflo and A.V. Banerjee pointed out “The biggest problem is not the calorie-based poverty trap, it is not about quantity it is about quality - Micro- and macronutrients, enough iron and iodine”.  Of course, there are sensitive groups like pregnant women and children to even focus more on, but this is a worldwide problem, malnutrition and obesity becomes a global issue, your problem is my problem … “Experts warn of a double burden of malnutrition, with underweight and obese children living in the same communities and even within the same family. One in three low and middle-income countries are now affected”, according to experts within WHO. We hear this over and over again. In the middle of a world crisis like right now where all-economy will change, what can...
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Richmond Vale

Being a volunteer, being someone, being an activist and a smile behind the tears

banner Being a volunteer, being someone, being an activist and a smile behind the tears
“Being a volunteer is not about being a super hero, claiming to know everything, solving all problems as a Westerner might see it, instead it’s about giving the best of oneself, even when you can’t see the results, hoping that the people will, in turn, give the best of themselves, defying the odds which seem to destine them for hell.  I learned the importance of teamwork and living in a community with other volunteers, I got to meet extraordinary people, with huge hearts who astonished me with their caring, their generosity, their passion and their love for others.  When you go on a mission you are agreeing to let yourself be transformed, touched by the mission, by a country’s culture, by the contact with others and above all,  You will learn to open yourself to others” I think we can all agree that the world is a place full of inequality where mostly the blinded luck will put you on a map; and if you are lucky you will have toys during your childhood, many years in different schools, college, holidays, workplaces, a decent salary, health care, pension and all benefits which you feel are fundamental. If you are not one of the lucky ones you will see the dark side of life. Do we need to accept this phenomenon or can we do something? It...
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Richmond Vale

Time to set your alarm!

banner If you want to do something about it JOIN us!
  Why join the 10 Months program? Because you have the chance to find answers for many questions, let’s stop the ignorance and look at the world from a different angle. Put the problems on the table, let’s talk about inconvenient topics, let’s figure out together what we can do, make actions because we have enough armchair activists and philosophers around us but these issues need actions, we need to understand and work shoulder to shoulder with the poor and stand up for someone else’s rights. Some facts that might disturb you: Climate change is still one of the main global issues after all these years. Have you ever heard about the 50-10 rule? The fact is that the climate change is massively inequitable. The lion’s share of CO2 emissions is being generated in rich countries producing what people consume there. But the greatest share of the cost is, and will always be, experienced in poor countries. If we talk about economic growth and we do that year in and year out - we need to know something else too; the average estimate implies that when your income increases by 10 percent, your CO2 emissions increase by 9 percent. Obviously you don’t need to think that if someone’s income will raise 10 percent under the poverty line the same thing will happen, but it implies that,...
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Richmond Vale

Fighting with The Poor Team - Investigation Reducing our Waste

fwtp-header Part of the FWP program before going to the project is to learn how to do an investigation and then take action following what we discovered
Part of the FWP program before going to the project is to learn how to do an investigation and then take action following what we discovered. Here is what we do for the investigation part. We chose to investigate about recycling in zero waste in Saint Vincent. To do so, we asked people around about what is happening in Saint Vincent concerning thes...
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Richmond Vale

The fastest 18 months of my life

cover They say that time goes by fast when you are having fun.
They say that time goes by fast when you are having fun. I have to both agree and disagree. I have enjoyed my time at the Fighting Shoulder to Shoulder with the Poor program of course, and I can't even remember all the happy moments I have shared with my teammate and other students and teachers from our little school community. But it's not all abo...
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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

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

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

Fight Shoulder to Shoulder with The Poor in Belize

In Belize, one third of the population (126.000 people) lives below the poverty line. Since 2012, Richmond Vale Academy has co-operated with Humana People to People in Belize and several Development Instructors trained and supported the projects there.  The Humana People to People  projects in Belize aim to: - Mobilize children, youth and adults to be active in the economic, social and environmental spheres of their communities. - Improve family health, education and economy. - Reduce the vulnerability of small farmers and communities to adverse impacts of climate change. To date, HPP Belize has worked directly with 5,500 families – approximately 25,000 people. Enjoy a new video from Belize!
We still have a few spots left in the upcoming Fighting Shoulder to Shoulder with The Poor starting in October, you can help by sharing this blog with your friends and on your social media pages! Thanks!  
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Richmond Vale

Shoulder to Shoulder

Development Instructors in The Fighting with The Poor Program at Richmond Vale Academy have the opportunity to work in the the HPP Child Aid Project in Belize.  The idea with the Child Aid project is to fight poverty hand in hand with the people of Toledo District and secure that every child can grow up to his or her fullest potential. The project will build capacity in the people in the project. The families will work with activities within 10 lines. 1,000 families will be reached directly through their enrollment in the project and many more will be reached through common activities via the schools, open days and activities in the communities. Child Aid Toledo was launched in December 2007. Together with a dedicated staff and local and international volunteers many activities have taken place since then. The main activities have been establishment of youth clubs, construction of latrines, implementation of income generating activities, planting Moringa trees, raising chickens, organic vegetable gardens, implementation of cacao and coffee organic farming, women groups with activities to produce pineapple jam, rugs and craft, HIV/Aids awareness campaigns, construction of firewood saving stoves, Global warning courses and much more. The Project’s situation Belize’s population is estimated as being approximately 324,000. Belize’s small private enterprise economy is highly dependent on commodity exports, tourism, and increasingly on petroleum since an oilfield discovery in...
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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

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

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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Richmond Vale

An Open Letter for an Open Future

An Open Letter for an Open Future
Dear all, We wish you a very Happy New Year and like to share an article from a subject that the  18 months Fighting with The Poor Team study at Richmond Vale Academy . The concept of Open Future zooms in on the Future. Not the past, not the present, but the future. With lessons learnt from the past, we can influence the Future through the Present. The concept of Open Future consciously looks at the future as something that we can have an influence on, as something with possibilities, as something that we can take decisions about, something that we can plan for, as something that we can conquer. We want the Future and we want it without an end in sight. This is Open Future! The other future, the opposite one, we call the Closed Future, which is a future with an end. As a human society at large (as well as each one of us by him or herself), we do many things that support a Closed Future for Humanity – even though we don’t want to act like that. In those acts we don’t consciously consider the future as something with many different possibilities that we can pursue, but instead we consider it as something that is already decided. That is closed future. The concept of a closed future is omnipresent. It...
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Richmond Vale

Mi experiencia en RVA (Spanish & English Version) by Nelson Ramirez

Hola a todos! Acabo de iniciar mi experiencia en el programa impartido por RVA llamado “ Luchando contra la pobreza ”. Es mi tercer día en el centro de estudios y estoy gratamente sorprendido en varios aspectos:   1. La belleza natural que rodea la escuela es impresionante, estamos cerca de ríos, cascadas y del mar.  Al atardecer en la puesta del sol, se puede apreciar paisajes de una belleza única.                       2. Los temas que están propuestos en el programa son súper interesantes, muy actuales y el material de apoyo es muy completo. Este material de apoyo ha sido en su mayoría elaborado por los estudiantes y profesores de la escuela.   3. La diversidad cultural que se encuentra en la escuela hace muy enriquecedora esta experiencia (en el centro de estudios se encuentran más de 15 nacionalidades), adicionalmente la posibilidad de comunicarnos en el inglés como idioma común para todos hace que esta experiencia sea apropiada para aquellas personas que desean mejorar sus habilidades en el manejo del idioma inglés. Nelson Ramirez – Colombia English version   Hello everybody I am Nelson from Colombia, this week started my experience as a part of the team called “ Fighting with the poor ”. It is my third day at Richmond Vale Academy and really surprised for...
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Richmond Vale

Poverty in Saint Vincent and how we can make real change by Ammon

Poverty in Saint Vincent and how we can make real change by Ammon
By Ammon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines is located between Saint Lucia to the north and Grenada to the south. Saint Vincent is a very mountainous country with a long history of indigenous peoples. The Island was first “discovered” by Spanish explorers in 1511 but was colonized by the French in 1719 and eventually by the British. The colony was ruled through slavery until 1834 when Britain abolished slavery. Saint Vincent was still controlled by the British until 1979 when independence was gained. These histories of Indigenous peoples and colonization provide the foundation for the economic and cultural problems that afflict the country of Saint Vincent to this day. The effects of slavery are devastating to any culture and Saint Vincent is no exception, you might even say it is the rule. Saint Vin cent was under slavery for a relatively short time compared to other colonies and had a very stiff resistance from the indigenous people of the island, the Garifuna, but this may have made the colonial crack down all that worse in the end. When the Garifuna were eventually suppressed their men were captured and deported from Saint Vincent (named Yurumein at the time meaning Homeland) to the coast of South America. Under the system of slavery people were taken from their lands and traditions and forced into a system that they did...
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Richmond Vale

4 Terrible Effects of Poverty on the Brain That You Should Know About It!

4 Terrible Effects of Poverty on the Brain That You Should Know About It!
Issues like hunger, illness, and thirst are all causes and effects of poverty . That is to say, that not having food means being poor, but being poor also means being unable to afford food or   clean water . The effects of poverty are often interrelated so that one problem rarely occurs alone. Bad sanitation makes one susceptible to diseases; and hunger and lack of clean water makes one even more vulnerable to diseases. Impoverished countries and communities often suffer from discrimination and end up caught in a cycle of poverty. However, poverty also affects the brain and the body of those who experience. In fact, poverty on the brain can extend well beyond the years of financial struggle; even helping to perpetuate this situation. What are the Effects of Poverty on The Brain? Imagine having to stress every penny and count every calorie to make sure you are getting enough into your system. Imagine being scared of getting sick because you don’t have medical insurance, or access to any health care service. Now, imagine you have children and you have to provide for them while not being able to financially support yourself. That is what goes through the mind of an adult person living in poverty  24/7; 365 days a year. There are several effects of poverty on the brain, like:  #1- Poverty on...
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Richmond Vale

A life-changing experience with the Fighting with The Poor Program!

A life-changing experience with the Fighting with The Poor Program!
Poverty is about not having enough money to meet basic needs including food, clothing and shelter.  However, poverty is more, much more than just not having enough money. The World Bank Organization describes poverty in this way: “Poverty is hunger. Poverty is lack of shelter. Poverty is being sick and not being able to see a doctor. Poverty is not having access to school and not knowing how to read. Poverty is not having a job, is fear for the future, living one day at a time. Poverty has many faces, changing from place to place and across time, and has been described in many ways.  Most often, poverty is a situation people want to escape. So poverty is a call to action -- for the poor and the wealthy alike -- a call to change the world so that many more may have enough to eat, adequate shelter, access to education and health, protection from violence, and a voice in what happens in their communities.” Money isn't everything. The greatest form of wealth is human connection and human interaction. It's one of the most influential currencies in the world. In our Fighting with the Poor Program, we go shoulder to shoulder, hand on hand with the Poor, to tackle the possible limitations they have to overcome this unfair situation where they are. What is The...
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Planet of Slums

Planet of Slums
During the 18 months Fighting with The Poor Program , participants both study and take action to fight global warming and global poverty in St. Vincent, Belize and Ecuador. Part of this program is to also to plant trees, organize clean up actions, teach in schools and start vegetable gardens along with a number of theoretical studies to understand the causes of poverty. One of the study tasks focuses on the book "Planet of Slums" by Mike Davis , and here is from the introduction to the study task.   In 2008 the number of people living in cities for the first time surpassed the global rural population. The individual who tipped the scale might be a baby born to a city dweller or an adult migrating from the countryside, but in either case, it's likely that the newcomer will have arrived in a Third World slum. By 2030, an estimated 5 billion of the world's 8.1 billion people will live in cities. About 2 billion of them will live in slums, primarily in Africa and Asia, lacking access to clean drinking water and working toilets, surrounded by desperation, poverty and crime. Already these slums are huge. According to Mike Davis, author of Planet of Slums, nearly 80% of Nigeria's urban population, or some 41.6 million people, live in slums. The comparable numbers in India are...
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Richmond Vale

6 Main Causes of Poverty in the World

6 Main Causes of Poverty in the World
Poverty is a social condition that is characterized by the lack of resources necessary for basic survival or necessary to meet a certain minimum level of living standards expected for the place where one lives. The income level that determines poverty is different from place to place, so social scientists believe that it is best defined by conditions of existence, like lack of access to food, clothing, and shelter. People in poverty typically experience persistent hunger or starvation, inadequate or absent education and health care, and are usually alienated from mainstream society. Poverty is a consequence of the uneven distribution of material resources and wealth on a global scale and within nations. Sociologists see it as a social condition of societies with unequal and inequitable distribution of income and wealth, and the exploitative effects of global capitalism. Causes of Poverty In the war against poverty it is crucial to understand the underlying causes of it; for only tackling the roots of the problem one can provide a final solution to it. This is especially useful to remember when considering that although poverty is a global issue, there is no blanket cause for it. Therefore, there is no common solution. The causes of poverty vary from one country to the other and are ascribed to their history, governance and the dynamics of society within it. However; when...
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