Find your passion and get inspired.
Whichever the reason it brought you to RVA, the day you arrived there it becomes the beginning of something you will never forget.
It is as a matter of fact a great example of how life is, because however it is perfect or not, it is up to you. It is up to the way you want to look at it and the ways you could improve it. Something I learnt while I was there is that it does not exist any perfect place but any place can be perfect if you work for it.
It will also be the place where you will meet people, some like you and some different and some of those people, strangers today, are going to become your friends for life and perhaps while you spend your days there you may find your soul mate, as it happened to many people I knew there and like it actually happened to me.
There will be days you will love to be there and days you will wish not to be there, but that is life, isn’t it? Again it is up to you how you will face those challenges because you are not going to face a problem bigger than the skills you have, but you must realize this first.
It does not matter how long you stay enjoy every single second, laugh loud, pay attention, make other listen to your point of view but respect others opinions, enjoy every sunset and full moon you can, say sorry if you make a mistake and forgive when you must and make it better place before you go.
My only wish for you during your time in Richmond Vale Academy is that you find your passion and you get inspired because your passions will become your dreams and the inspiration will push you to make them true.
The day you arrive to RVA it is one of those dates you will always remember, mine was a 1st of November of 2009.
Maxi Ruti, Argentina
Maintain our gardens without the use of chemicals
For the one month at I have been a student at the Richmond Vale Academy, I have learned a lot about different topics that has to do with the way we live and about the world we call home.
The course is based on both practical and theory training. The main purpose of the course is to educate the people about organic farming and the principles of the world of permaculture.
The practical training includes where we go out into the green house and learn how to maintain our gardens without the use of chemicals, only using organic materials such as Mulch, Compost, Bamboo, Cardboard, Glory Cedar branches and the list goes on. It also includes going to Rose Hall at the model garden where we are making a garden as stated from recycling materials for eg: Tires, Pallets, and old Telephone poles.
The most interesting part of practical training is where we go out into the community and taugh lessons to many people.
I advise you to listen and follow only your hearts.
First, I want to thank you for the step that you are giving in benefit and well-being of the whole humanity and our planet, for his conscience and development.
My name is Jonathan Muñoz and some years ago I was in the same place that you are now, confused and disoriented by the world circumstances that were afflicting in that moment to the planet, full of illusions and with the whole indomitable spirit wanting to do of this one, a better world for all the alive beings.
I want to tell them that during these 6 months that you will be in Richmond Vale Academy you will have to face all your fears and deepest demons, you will have to learn to coexist as a real community, to think not only about you but about your team, your school, to work and look for solutions, you will want to Give up and you will judge everything, I advise you to Listen and follow only your hearts, since only they know the real way and the real circumstances that make you take this decision, forget your mind and the constant prattle of his thoughts and especially learn that as equipment you are like a chain, where each one is a link and that the force of this chain only will depend on the force of his weakly link, at the end of these 6 months, like happened to my, you will look behind convinced that, to come until the end was the best decision that you could take, this, because you will be full of real friends, satisfied for your contribution to the world his develop and with the flame of constant improvement lighting inside each of you.
You are in this moment of your lives in one of the more beautiful islands of the planet, in the Caribbean, be useful every second of this experience, just sleep the necessary and this one will be for much the best experience of your life.
“Be the change that you want to see in the world. Mahatma Ghandi”
Jonathan from Colombia
I strongly believe that everyone needs the re-education that RVA offers.
My time at the RVA was time well spent and significantly rewarding, even life-changing!
RVA offers an enriching experience to interact, share, cooperate and learn from other people of different backgrounds and cultures. RVA's core programs dealing with climate, environmental protection, food safety and natural and sustainable methods of farming and living are quite relevant and timely in today's fragile and volatile economic conditions and in light of the increasing threat of the degradation of the Earth's natural resources.
As a past participant in the one-month Team's climate conference program for mid-year 2014, I strongly believe that everyone needs the re-education that RVA offers, especially young people. It is critical that they understand the environmental challenges that we are faced with today and to be exposed to incredible knowledge on sustainable living and such things.
The enthusiasm and energetic vibrancy of youth are the ingredients necessary to effect changes to ensure an improved quality existence for now and future generations. If you're given this opportunity today to be part of the RVA experience, it is unwise to let it pass.
I hope this is ok
I think Miri and I both grew enormously and the programme also shaped our following educational decisions.
My name is Melanie, I participated in the Ecuador programme in 2010/2011. It's absolutely fantastic to see many new students starting and from so many parts of the world! Back in 2010 it was only me and Mirjam, an Austrian girl, who had signed up for the volunteering experience in Ecuador - yet we had an amazing time and surprised ourselves by how much even just the two of us were able to achieve during the 5 months we worked and lived in Milagro.
My strongest advice is to really work as a team. Neither Mirjam or I could have even started to do what we did by ourselves. We are two very different characters but the intense and wonderful time we shared in the programme helped us to appreciate each others different ways as our complementary qualities contributed to our "power team". We are still very good friends, I went to visit her in her city only two weeks ago.
I won't go too much into the concrete projects we worked in as I am sure the teachers will hand you out our reports which discribe our work perfectly. Just this much: In St. Vincent as well as in Ecuador our collegues were extremely open to our ideas and proposals. They allowed us to start our own projects, and supported us in every possible way. There were no immovable structures, and that is something I extremely appreciated about the project. Obviously that comes with more responsibilities, much to do, and the need for some creative ideas and visions you are determined to realise.
But that kind of work can be so much fun and extremely rewarding. I am not so sure what else I can tell you at this stage but you are very welcome to contact me at any time, and we can arrange a skype call, once you have fully arrived and start to have more precise questions I will hopefully be able to answer. I very much enjoyed life in St. Vincent and Ecuador, I think Miri and I both grew enormously and the programme also shaped our following educational decisions. I envy you just a little bit but most of all I just wish you an amazing time. For me it was just so much more than what I had expected and I can say I really got the most out of my time there. In case you are interested, I have plenty pictures uploaded on facebook about my time and work in SVG and Ecuador, you can find me among Stinas friends for instance (Melanie Lea). I would be happy to hear from you, don't hesitate to get in touch.
Best best Melanie