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

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

The Situation of Children in Ecuador

Under the law System of Protection and Equity (art. 46), the Government of Ecuador guarantees special attention and protection to girls, boys and teens in situations of abuse, violence, sexual exploitation, drug, and alcoholism —as well as priority attention in cases of disaster and war. There is also a clear prohibition on labour exploitation for children under age 15, although exceptions are admitted on instances where said labour does not involve harmful practices or compromises the child's education. These provisions were made in theory —in reality, the opposite is happening.  In big villages, the figure of child labour is present at nearly all times , especially in communities that depend on farming as a mean of subsistence. Boys are called to help during the crop season, which means that they often do not attend school in a prolongued time. In the poor villages of Ecuador the people are very machista —the family is under control of the father, who is considered the sole breadwinner. The women are in charge of the house chores, most of the time they get married after they've graduated secondary school and birth three children in average. Farming is very common —if not the only way of living— in these villages, and the craft is passed along from the father to his eldest son, who must go with him and learn the skills in...
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Richmond Vale

Once in a Lifetime

  Six months in Ecuador - Once in a lifetime experience!   The second part of my program as a volunteer was one of the best things that could come to me in my life. It literally changed my life in many aspects, it helped me to understand many issues related to poverty. The period in Ecuador lasted six months from October 2013 until end of March 2014. The opportunity to be a volunteer is a once-in- a-lifetime experience that allows you to use all your knowledge in practice, the opportunity to meet new people, the opportunity to share your culture as well as learn a lot about the new one, to learn new skills, to come across a new lifestyle, to discover a lot about yourself, you will be able to reflect on your own values, and the most important aspect of being a volunteer is to help other people! The project I participated in was Child Aid Celica. Celica is a small village up in the south of Ecuador very close to Peruvian boarders. In the village and in all the communities I was working in, everyone was friendly and they accepted me with open arms. The Child Aid project is a very broad program in which the whole family is involved in and many various activities are carried out in order to improve...
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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;...
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