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Richmond Vale Academy Dream. Decide. Develop. Do. Sustainability as the end goal! ! Today’s world is going through a difficult time, and this we all know. That is definitely not a secret to anyone anywhere, though there are still some deniers here and there, trying to deceive the masses in favour of their own interests. But more than ever, everywhere we are, we need to set examples of living a sustainable life. Many people are very willing to become more ecologically aware and contribute in their possible ways. Also here, and more than ever before, we are trying to set an example for St. Vincent and the Grenadines at first by making our Climate Centre a success. We need to be honest and say that this has been and is a challenging way to go, but every month we can see progress and sooner than later we will become sustainable when it comes to food, water and energy. Ultimately the island of St. Vincent will become a model for many other countries, and that is what we fight for, that is what we want to reach. And where there is a will, there is a way! By joining together many people, we can achieve big things, the power of collective actions cannot and can never be underestimated. ! Recently we have jumped on board of the Permaculture movement and Luke, a Vincentian permaculture farmer, is assisting us while we are studying and trying to understand all the permaculture ways of growing food. Many forces of our students and teachers have been put to work in our organic garden and the results are already to be seen, though we realise we still have a long road of working hard in front of us to truly Newsletter July 2014

reach our goal of sustaining our own food sources. Big progress has been made in the Animal Farm, thanks to one of our journal students, Martin, who has put a lot of time and effort in improving our meet and egg production. !

and to become ready for harder Climate Days to come. A Climate Station, for predicting the weather has been set up at our compound as well. Soon we will become part of warning systems in case of hurricanes or other forms of extreme weather. !

As a big part of the Climate Compliance Conference, the goal is to make Richmond Vale Academy Climate Compliant, meaning self-sustainable. Every group of participants that join the program has a 1 month period in which they work with this specifically. Many good efforts have been effectively put into work during the last years from organic gardening, to organic soap production, to making hurricane protocols, compost production, recycling projects, etc. !

At the same time, the Fighting with the Poor team is continuing their great efforts in Belize - you can read more about them a bit later, while the next team is studying hard and getting ready to move to their project in just 2 months. Read more about the fighting with the poor on our blog, shouldertoshoulderwiththepoor.wordpress.com!

Also the latest team, which by the way is doing a fantastic job, has gone through this month of making Richmond Vale Academy Climate Compliant. And their efforts have been great. They have set up a biochar production and a vermiculture project and have made a garden using recycled materials. You don’t know what this all means? You can find out more over the next few pages of this newsletter, which is dedicated to reaching for sustainability, the how and why of choosing a new and necessary lifestyle. ! Besides the big efforts that the teams are making, we also have been growing closer to many of the ministries in St. Vincent and are assisting each other in the best possible way to spread more awareness about Climate Change, to plant trees, grow our own food

Here, we are always on the move and always looking to grow more and becoming closer to reaching our goals. And we are definitely looking for more people to join our movement in St. Vincent. The more people join hands with us, the bigger goals we can take on and reach. International volunteers have joined our projects for 1 and 6 month period and we can see the big impact they have made, both in RVA, but also on the country of St. Vincent. Our wish is to find an ever-growing group of young and old passionates to make our dreams happen and to fight for a better world, beginning locally here in St. Vincent. So if you are reading this and your dream is to travel and to do Good for the world, please get out of the couch, pick up the phone and contact us. ! We definitely would love your help!! !

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The St. Vincent Climate Compliance Conference

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2012-2021 As stated before in the introduction, a big part of the Climate Compliance Conference is also to become an example of sustainability. The 3rd period in all Climate 6month program here goes under the name ‘RVA Climate Compliant’ and in this time, the team of international and local volunteers work with 4 main projects at our Campus to get closer to our goal. Team 6, that has started in March and is already moving into its’ last month, has been working hard here in RVA with different projects. Helena and Berry from Mozambique and Alex from US, together with their teacher Edit have set up different small projects here. ! Soon enough we will bring all our successful projects out to the public. Once we are fully on top of running those projects in the most efficient way, we can teach everyone around us in the communities of St. Vincent about the benefits of these actions. We also set them up here at the Academy to showcase them, as we also get many visitors who come and take a look at what we are trying to establish here. Over the next two pages, you can read two extracts of the RVA

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Newspaper, Edition 2014. Climate Team 6 is ready to print the newspaper, which will be spread though out St. Vincent. First you read about the benefits of Biochar production and the second part is about Worm production for better compost. Enjoy with us the successes of our projects. ! “ We all know it! I say bio-char you say charcoal and barbeque! We already smell the nicely marinated, outside crispy, inside soft and juicy chicken drumstick! Yes we love that! Therefore we like charcoal as well! But I will tell you something else as well! I will tell you about increased soil fertility and I will tell you about reducing climate change! How? Listen here! Charcoal is produced from wood by pyrolysis. It means the wood is heated at a very high temperature without oxygen. (With oxygen it becomes ash.) The surface of bio-char has an enormous surface area compared to the total size of the piece. This huge surface absorbs a lot of water and a lot of different nutrients. Bio-char gives a big boost for the dirt by mixing them together; in this way the soil becomes more humid and more fertile, your

crop grows stronger, you can expect higher quality, more yields. However there is another big advantage of biochar. By putting charcoal back into the soil we conserve CO2 which is captured previously in the wood as a tree. Climate team Nr 6 has started a very successful bio char production. It is cheap, quick, and efficient. There is only one consideration, we have to make sure to use wood from fallen or sick trees and plant as many new ones as possible!! Let’s see first it’s role in agriculture…The thing with charcoal is the surface. It is enormous according to the size of a piece of charcoal. This huge

surface absorbs water and different nutrients, so if we mix bio char with soil the mixture keeps more humidity and more fertile. Your crop grows stronger the you can expect higher quality, more yield. The other huge advantage of bio char is reduction of climate change. We conservate CO2 which is captured in previously in the wood - by putting char coal into soil. Climate team Nr 6 has started a very successful bio char production. It is cheap quick, and works with high rate. There is only thing we have to make sure to use wood from fallen or sick trees and plant as many new as possible! “!

Climate Team 6 with the Biochar Production set up

Newsletter July 2014


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Making RVA Climate Compliant with Alex, Berry, Edit and Helena

how to begin, and how to take sour; if it does then you should care of it. ! add calcium carbonate, crushed “ Why a worm farm? It is a egg shells, dirt, sand or dried method of diverting kitchen food The rules of worm production leaves. When is the soil ready to scraps away from the landfill and are that it has to be between 15 – be used in your garden? As time instead feeding them to worms 27 C, so good news! Vincy progresses, you will notice less which turn them into beautiful weather is perfect. Worms like to and less bedding and more and garden soil and fertilizer. The eat many things so it is not hard more compost. After 3-5 months, fertilizer is called vermicompost, to please them. They like to eat when your bed is filled with which is one of the best fertilizers fruits and vegetables scraps, dry compost and very little bedding, and it is also organic. Some of the leaves and straw, apples, avocado it is time to harvest the bed. As benefits of the vermicompost skin, banana peel, cucumber, worms need to be separated from fertilizer are that it improves greens of any kind, lettuce, onion their castings.! growth in your plants, it softens and tomatoes, if you want it to go y o u r s o i l , i t q u i c k e n s faster it is better to have your feed To start a worm bed. There are decomposing, it naturally in small pieces as it is easier for many ways to make one. This is controls fungus, and it acts as an the worms to eat. How often one example. You will need two insect repellent. There are many should you feed your worms? If big plastic bins, a small flower pot ways of making a worm bed, you have 1kg of worms then you or a brick, dried leaves or old many home made beds too. My should feed them 0.5kg of food newspaper, and household food team and I were very lucky one to two times a week. What is waste. In one of the bins you will because a previous team started not recommended in your worm drill holes on the top and the up a worm production, and bed? It is best not to feed your sides of the bin, you will drill therefore they had built a very worms manure from animals that small holes for the worms to nice bed for the worms. In results, eat meat, no meat or dairy breathe. And in the bottom you we had to only to start it up products and do not over feed drill bigger but not too big. Then again. We started first by your worms. How do you know you place the brick or flower pot researching more about what it is, if there is something wrong? in the undrilled bin and stack the Your worm bed should not smell drilled bin on top. This allows some space for the liquid to drain out of the top bin into the bottom one. When you have made your bed you then follow these steps. First day: put in the dried leaves o r s h r e d d e d n e w s p a p e r, moistened, 3/4 full of the plastic box. On the Second day: put the worms in and let them make their home for a day. Third day: add soil. Ninth day: give the worms some food. “ ! Permaculture as the new basics for our own Food production.

Worm Production!

Newsletter July 2014

Helena showing and explaining about the Worm Production that she has set up together with her team.

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“Let’s forget all about so-called globalisation. Let’s Localise and let’s start were we are. “ !

About 500 years ago when the European colonizers set out for finding more natural resources and new markets, the process of what we now know as globalization started. Ultimately a chain of events resulted in the current state of the world, where more and more economic capital got concentrated with an evershrinking group of people having control over more and more. ! In the corporate- or consumercapitalist system that today is dominating the world, the corporations and especially the big monopolies are influencing everything from small to big. Finding the cheapest resources, finding the cheapest labor,

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finding the best new markets is daily common good for the transnational corporations of today.! Regional, national and international politics are decided upon by those with their hands on the money. ! Wars are fought over resources and economical interests rather than over ideological reasons. ! If you think about it, globalization breeds basically all problems of today’s world. Cultural self-rejection, competition and divisiveness of the people are induced by it. G l o b a l i z a t i o n s t ru c t u r a l l y promotes the growth of slums and urban sprawl and it is d e c i m a t i n g d e m o c r a c y. T h e system has an obscenity of waste that results from trade for the sake of trade: apples sent from the UK to South Africa to be washed and waxed, then shipped back to B r i t i s h supermarkets; tuna caught off the coast of America, flown to Japan to be

processed, then flown back to the US. The suicides of Indian farmers and the demise of landbased cultures in every corner of the world are other examples. And an epidemic of depressions and eating disorders are just some other symptoms of a sick world. ! Globalization is built on economic growth, GDP, topdown approaches of economy. This brings about his very morbid aspect of it: when someone gets sick, it is good for the economy. When somebody crashes his or her car, it is good for the economy, when there is an oil spill it is good for the economy, burning more fossil fuels is good for the economy, eradicating biodiversity and species is good for the economy. People feeling poor or feeling that they need more and more, is good for the economy. !

works for the 1% or maybe even only a small portion of this 1%. ! Many of the people around the world have understood and are understanding this and practical solutions are sprouting all around us. Groups of people are coming together. Not for protest, but for bringing about practical solution thinking and implementing. Just think about the local food movement that is growing tremendously, the permaculture movement, In Transition Towns, urban farming and community gardens, etc. Everywhere around us a quest for sustainability is getting started in small groups and sustainable communities. !

Globalization is an economic system of unhappiness. !

There is one common in all these movement, there is one determinant and that is Localization!! Let’s rethink the world, let’s step away from economic globalization, and move towards economic localization. !

The globalized world, where money and economic growth are the main goals and profits are absolute good has not worked and will never work for the people, for the 99%. Globalization ultimately only

Localization brings back the community spirit to the people. We go back to knowing who produced our food, knowing who has made our products. We go back to knowing for whom we spend our money. ! Newsletter July 2014


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Farming multiple crops for a local market is not only restoring biodiversity, but also brings healthy food to the people. Rural livelihoods can be enjoyable and highly respected once again.! This fact—that there are two very different possible forms of food production—urgently needs to be communicated, especially in the less industrialized nations.! Localization is the economics of happiness—because it's about restoring that human connection and care. ! The “global to local” way of thinking about economics brings together the profoundly practical, in terms of our livelihoods and ecosystems, with our spiritual and psychological needs. All of these dimensions are pointing in the same direction, towards localizing as the economics of happiness.!

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measure them in any sort of meaningful way.! We need to be shortening distances and creating more accountable and visible arenas, basically decentralizing and localizing our economies. But because of deregulation of both trade and finance at the global level, businesses are being pressured to grow faster and faster, to become more global, to increase in scale at any cost. The idea is either you go big and global or you die. But for our real needs, relatively small businesses closer to home can actually provide for our needs more efficiently and sustainably.!

When people reach out to each other to start rebuilding the local economy we will see a reduction in polarization, across political divides as well as across ethnic ones. At the same time, localization helps people reconnect to the natural world around them, It can’t happen if we continue to something which fulfills another maintain a scale of economic deep human need.! activity where neither the producer nor the consumer nor the CEO nor Let’s forget globalization. ! the investor can actually see what's going on—in other words, if we Let’s localize. ! continue to operate in such a vast global arena, it's virtually impossible to see the consequences of our actions and impossible to

“Globalization is an economic system of unhappiness. What we see everywhere in the world is that people create their own happiness through localising their systems, by going back to how it was before.”

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Newsletter June 2014

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Working with the schools in Belize!

It’s hard to believe we are already halfway. It feels as if we are just getting into all the work. But when we look back at the last months, it has definitely been an eventful period.! We started working with the school in San Isidro, our ‘home’ community. We started up a vegetable garden in the school and mobilised some children from each classroom to be responsible for the garden. We made seedlings and planted the first vegetables out in the garden. It was definitely challenging. We are also in the process of starting up a youth group here in the community.! Also in the San Isidro school there was a high need to get safe drinking water for the children. There was unfortunately no budget for this, so we had to find our own means to get things done. We started up a fundraising with people at home. It was quite a success and we managed to get a tap of safe drinking water to each classroom. It’s a pleasure to see the kids washing their hands after

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each break and before they enter class. ! Also in the school Yannick has worked with the children who have s o m e l e a r n i n g d i f fi c u l t i e s . Classrooms consist of 30-40 children, so of course some of the kids who are a bit slower need some extra attention to fully understand everything. There is no system available for those kids, and Yannick has been a great help for them. ! In the pre-school of the other community were we work we have also been working. The buildings were old and it didn’t really look like a pre-school at all. So we decided to start painting the school and with the help of a projector we are managing to get some nice cartoon figures on the walls, as well as a welcome sign and the national symbols of Belize. There has been a big support form the local community. Children have come to help, parents have come to help and slowly the school is being transformed into the light of the community. !

One of our next projects is to build a playground here in the school. There is very small playground, but it hasn’t really been taken care of for a long time and so we decided to do something about it. We had some money left from our fundraising action and we are investing it in local lumber and we will try to use some recyclables as well, mostly tyres. ! We have been doing several other things in between, such as organising common events for local farmers, and we were part of organising graduation parties, we started to map our area and creating a folder with all the data about the communities were we work. ! Together with some local families, we are starting up vegetable gardens. We can provide seeds for the families and together with the ones who are interested we are starting up nurseries and making vegetable beds.We will teach about the importance of vegetable and nutrition in the daily diet.! Another part of our nutrition project is to make solar dryers, so people can

start - in a very easy way - to dry fruits and other food. ! A few weeks ago we looked at our plans for the last 3 months and we have definitely a lot of things left to do. One of the main projects will be to be part of organising a summer camp for local children, and to assist local youth in leading this summer camp. Other plans are to teach many basic things about health and hygiene and to hold some Open Days for the people of the communities. ! For sure the next months will be pretty intense. There are so many things to do and we hope to do as much as we can to help our new friends here. Sometimes we have to say to ourselves not to forget to enjoy this little time we have left here. For sure the people here are finding their way into our hearts and being able to help them has been very fulfilling. The thank you of a child is something that leaves no-one untouched. Hopefully we can leave a small footprint here in this small place in southern Belize. !

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Newsletter July 2014


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Continuous learning at Richmond Vale Academy!

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Newsletter July 2014

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We Take Action and you can get involved now!! Over 350 international activists from countries all over the world have chosen to participate in our programs and have helped us to build Richmond Vale Academy into the place that it is today. With the Climate Compliance Conference and Fighting with the Poor we have big visions and dreams and for that we are welcoming hundreds more activists to fight Global Poverty and make the island of St. Vincent and the Grenadines into a climate compliant country. ! Find out on our website how to join one of our next Teams starting up in the fall of 2014 or the spring of 2015: ! - Fighting with the Poor Teams (18 months): October 2014 and April 2015! - Climate Compliance Teams (6 months): September and November 2014, March & July 2015! - Climate Compliance Teams (1 month): Every Month! Don’t hesitate and join hands with us in this big quest!!

Richmond Vale Academy

July 2014

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Richmond Vale Academy! Chateaubelair ! St. Vincent and the Grenadines! www.richmondvale.org! www.facebook.com/RichmondValeAcademy! +1784 458 2255! stina@richmondvale.org!

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RVA Newsletter July 2014  

Richmond Vale Academy, July 2014 Fighting Poverty and Climate Change in the Caribbean and in Latin America.

RVA Newsletter July 2014  

Richmond Vale Academy, July 2014 Fighting Poverty and Climate Change in the Caribbean and in Latin America.

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