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

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

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

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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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

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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Richmond Vale

The Development Instructor Concept

Humana People to People is an international volunteer system. For over 30 years  it has been a significant, practical and ideological expression of the “From People to People” philosophy of the volunteer movement. The basic idea of the Development Instructor program is to open the possibility for everyone to contribute to development on the  grounds  of Solidary Humanism,   regardless  of  nationality, colour, background, race, etc. Solidary Humanism is a concept that binds together solidarity and humanism. During their time at the Humana People to People development projects, the Development Instructors (DIs) work in groups of three called a TRIO.  They work closely with the people at the project and with the leadership of the project. The DI's bring new ideas and international spirit to the project. Often the DIs are the ones spearheading new initiatives in the projects. DIs are trained at , for example , One World Center in USA and right here at Richmond Vale Academy. The DIs are part of the Fighting Shoulder to Shoulder with the P oor program. They must complete the first two periods of their program as a condition for signing a contract with Humana People to People. The DIs are employed by Humana People to People in Belize or Ecuador . Their task is to work towards achieving the goals of the project within three main areas: routine...
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Leadership and Mother Courage

Leadership and Mother Courage
Dear Reader , In the coming weeks we will share appetizers from the fascinating studies in the 18 months Fighting Shoulder to Shoulder Program. The 18 months teams have been running at the Academy since 2012 and more than 50 people have joined. Today's study piece is from the section of Leadership , specifically the task "Leading and managing the project". Enjoy! Kind regards Stina Herberg Director Richmond Vale Academy Leadership [caption id="attachment_9297" align="aligncenter" width="400"] The director exercising her leadership skills Good leadership is a straightforward thing. Bad leadership is probably easier to accomplish, especially when you have some power, meaning the means to punish people, when they do not obey orders. Bossing people around may look like efficient leadership , but does not accomplish anything in the long run, only a growing resistance and opposition towards the so-called leadership. Good and bad leadership A clever Chinese, I guess it was Mao Tse-Tsung, once made a telling picture of good and bad leadership , which is here passed on from memory; the good leader does not walk far ahead of the people showing himself off as somebody special you should admire and telling everybody unrealistically how to behave and act. On the other hand, he does not walk behind the people shouting and gesticulating with his arms either. This is not leadership at all, it is...
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What is Charisma?

What is Charisma?
Dear Reader, We like to share with you another appetizer from the fascinating studies in the 18 months Fighting Shoulder to Shoulder Program . This week's topis is from the subject Leadership Intelligence. This subject contains topics like Leadership, The Brain, Building Charisma and Charismatic People. Enjoy and please just write to me if you have any question in regards to One World University, the overall program or the specific curriculum elements. Kind regards Stina HerbergDirector Richmond Vale Academy Module: Leadership IntelligenceSection: Building CharismaTitle: What is CharismaWording: The task is for you to consider what charisma is, why it is worth building charisma, what personal skills you would need to train and finally to make out a plan for yourself. People can be charismatic in many different ways. Often the understanding of charisma is that it is something a person either has or does NOT have – and then there is nothing more to do. We do not agree in this way of looking at charisma. We find that each of us can build our own charisma and that we can decide how we want to do it. There is no final answer on how, each of us can use our natural talents, our enthusiasm, abilities, energy, body and soul, in short, all of it. There are people who use their charisma to gain power to...
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The Mayan food in Belize

by Manal When I was working as a development instructor in Belize , I was very lucky to get the chance to experience the Mayan cuisine .  In Belize we lived in a Mayan community. We lived very close to a family so we had many opportunities to eat different dishes from the Mayan cuisine. If I want to be talking about Maya food. Then I will be of course be talking about corn tortillas! Corn is something very important to the Mayan people. It is the crop they grow and cultivate and have been doing it for centuries and it is their main source of income, and main source of food as well.  But these people are really lucky as corn tortillas are very tasty especially when they are coming straight from the Kamal, there were many times when I ran excitedly to get myself some the first second I notice that mama wasbaking. Corn tortillas are amazing with everything! Jam, eggs, peanut butter! And of course beans! Which is another crop that is also grown by these farmers.  Because of this, the main and constant dish that Mayan people eat is the beans and corn tortillas. The beans are cook as a stew or grinded. And then the beans are eat with the corn tortillas. But this dish is delicious, and that is because...
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After our Service Period in Belize - FWTP Team October 2015

Last 6 months in our Service Period By Lillian Hallmark After returning to the Academy   after our service period we have several things to get in order. We are back to the communal living, common action and food production. However it's not all.  We are also in the process on making our own product. Which we will share with others who are interested in learning about Fighting shoulder to shoulder with the poor (stay tuned). We have many ideas on what we would like to  make for our journal product. I will write two articles about gender inequality and the environment. The articles will compare Belize to either St. Vincent or my home country Norway. My team mate Mariana will illustrate the articles. Manal will make videos on “How to live sustainably” that you will be find on Richmond’s Youtube channel . Baha will make short stories or poems describing the true story about the world. It will have music and will be beautiful. This is all up to us, what we would like to share with others. There is no limit to what we can do (unless it includes putting a flag on the moon, RVA does not have budget for that). Not all of people like to write essays, meaning they should not be forced to. Others are more artistic and like to create art...
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Starting an Organic Garden in Belize. Fighting Poverty Team March 2016

by Baha Alzain We arrived to the place that will be our home for the next five months, Silver Creek , a village in Toledo, the southern most district in Belize . As part of our duties as development instructors .  We were encouraging the families we were working with to have organic backyard gardens for economic and nutritional reasons. In order to be able to advocate such an idea. We had to prove that it is indeed possible to start an organic garden from scratch. And that was exactly what we did. We started by choosing a small area that would house our small garden. We made sure to find a flat ground that would get enough sunlight during the day. And that it would have enough space to contain two large beds as well. As providing enough space for possible future expansions. Then we decided to make a compost pile. This contain an organic decompose material that is add to the beds as fertilizer and soil enhancer. Next was the digging of the beds. In fact, we dug two large beds then decided to connect them together for aesthetic reasons. Then the first challenge arises. It rains really heavily in Belize. One particular night the sky wasn't holding back any rain, so the bed was washed away. Solution: add some wooden boards around the...
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Special project in Belize. Fighting Poverty Team March 2016

During the project in Belize and  Ecuador , the Development Instructors have the chance to leave their mark on the village and the people with a special project. The special project can be anything that is benefiting the village and not just each family. Among the three development instructors in Belize 2016 we had several good ideas, we were bouncing ideas back and forth between each other. Ideas such as trying to get a garbage collection system, bartering club, library and  welcome signs to the villages. We discussed with the Humana team what would be good options for the people in the two villages we were working with. In the end we came up with three really good projects with will make the villages and each of the families that we were working with remember us for a long time. Manal’s special project was to plant 55 fruit trees around the schools and at the families that we were working with. With the help from our project leader, Pantaleon Escobar, the project went smoothly. Manal collected ten different variety of fruit trees in Silk Grass in Stan Creek about 3 hours drive from our village. She was able to transport the trees to the villages where the families were waiting patiently. Together we went to San Miguel and had a planting action with our families. Several of...
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Richmond Vale

Distance Learner at One World University

One World University/ ISTC is ADPP Mozambique’s university, training professionals within two areas: Pedagogy and Fighting with The Poor.The students are trained to become teachers at teacher training colleges as well as social activists, practicing intellectuals, fighting shoulder to shoulder with The Poor against all the effects of poverty, whilecreating economic development.One World University’s idea is to equip students with relevant theoretical knowledge, skills and practical experience so that they become able to act with others in the present reality, implementing practical actions to respond to challenges. One World University presents the students with a program that inspires while opening up to a whole new world filled with other ways of doing things and of being challenged. The program places its academic training right into our contemporary world and its human conditions. Faculty of Pedagogy The faculty started in 1998 and provides a Licentiate Degree in Pedagogy. The training aims to support graduates in professional careers within education and as instructors at teacher training colleges. In 2012, there were 94 Pedagogy students. Faculty of Fighting with The Poor The faculty started in 2008 and provides a Licentiate Degree. The training aims at creating social activists and community developers with a broad general understanding, specific knowledge of development theories and ability to put their knowledge to practical use in actions together with The Poor in their communities....
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Humana "Pueblo a Pueblo" Project Report Jan-Jun 2016

Ecuador’s "Humana Pueblo a Pueblo" is a nonprofit foundation that began to work in June 2007. To boost the development project of the Ecuadorian communities with fewer resources. During the first six months of the Child Aid project in Loja we have involved approx. 4,000 families which in total benefits approx. 20,000 people. The project has contributed to improve the family´s economy, increasing their self sufficiency through their involvement in the income generating activities such as: implementing organic family gardens using organic fertilizers; small animals breeding programs like chickens, pigs and tilapia-fish. These activities have been carried out thanks to the training and practical support provided by our project team. The families have had the support of 17 Area & Co-Project Leaders to successfully do the programed project activities. We have also implemented health training for the prevention of infectious diseases such as chikungunya and dengue, both which have growing incidences in our area of intervention. During this first 6 months, our activities to foster community development have been developed in three municipalities: Celica, Paltas and Macará. In Celica we have been working in four areas, two are part of the municipality center (Celica 1 and Celica 2) and two are rural parishes (Pozul and Sabanilla). In Paltas we have been working in 6 parishes: Catacocha, Lourdes, San Antonio, Lauro Guerrero, Yamana, and Guachanamá. In Macará we have the head office to coordinate the strategies in...
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Richmond Vale

Development Instructors in Belize

Development Instructors Are International Volunteers. Humana People to People Belize is glad to have the assistant of three Development Instructors; Manal Beirut from Jordan, Baha Alzain from Jordan and Lillian Harkmark Lie from Norway. Who are working with the communities of Silver Creek and San Miguel for 6 months. Development Instructors have many ideas and give a lot of inspiration to the people they work with. While at the project the Development Instructors work shoulder to shoulder with the people. They live in the community, where they work, for the entire 6 months. In that way, they get really close to the people and their conditions and there by also better prepare to fight the relevant, important and necessary fights together with the children and adults in those communities. The Development Instructors Experiences After Three Months: The Youth Group in Silver Creek is very active and interested in doing things in the community. The group is made up of 11 young and talented people who are interested in learning and doing things for their community. Their aim and objective are to create funds for their studies or to start up a small business. The youth and Humana have together organized events such as movie nights and the open day at the primary school in Silver Creek. At the Open Day, the club sold second-hand clothes and...
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Richmond Vale

Children Visiting Summer Camps RVA.

Children Visits RVA From a Local Methodist Church Group. By Pippa From England. They were members of a summer camp, where they stay overnight for a week and partake in different activities. The children were age between 8 – 15 and and around 30 in total. The group visiting Richmond Vale for a few hours and organizing several stations for them to engage in whilst they here. Once the group arriving, the children were split into 4 groups of around 8 each. 20/25 minutes to spend at each station. Our first station dedicating to colouring in environmental pictures and the first of our activities. We want it to vary the actions to keep it interesting for the children, some sporty and some purely for learning. Also a station for vegetable and fruit bingo which got very competitive. Each child given a piece of paper with 9 pictures of different fruit/vegetables. One by one the name of a food calling out and if that fruit or vegetable on page then need it to cover it over. All the pictures covering up the winner and shout ¡BINGO!. There were several victory dances and I’m not sure who enjoying themselves more at this station the children or the RVA students running it who got extremely competitive. One station to creating pots for the children to plant their very own...
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