Richmond Vale Academy

Richmond Vale Academy

Richmond Vale Academy is a non-profit school, focused on training international participants to become Development Instructors and Climate Activists. 

After a volcanic eruption in 2021 we are ready to start 6 months Climate Activism teams in February, August and November 2022.

The teams will do a special project in the area of “getting ready for climate change” by taking action to protect against storm surges and sea level rise. 

The project has great potential to teach about the importance of man and nature protecting our valuable biodiversity to the Vincentian Public by the involvement of several groups and individuals.

Some of the program elements to be carried out by these Teams are:

  • Reconstruct and restart the RVA Nursery with mangroves and other coastal trees.
  • Recover and develop the Richmond Coastal Conservation Area.
  • Work with six community groups planting mangroves in neighboring villages.

The project is connected to 12 other Caribbean NGO’s, which are also restoring mangroves across the Caribbean from Trinidad and Tobago to The Bahamas and Jamaica. There will be conservation conferences among all participating projects and lots of learning and resource sharing. 

There will be special focus on marine conservation and the team will have a mix of Vincentian students and Internationals. Besides the focus on the climate studies, everyone will get an Open Water Certificate and a number of dives to do mapping, research on corals and other marine life - as a foundation for new teams coming after.

The first month of the 6 months program you will learn in theory about what Global Warming and Climate Change means for smaller Island Nations.

You will go on trips around the island to see the devastation from the Hurricanes and flooding and will take part in different actions like planting trees etc. You will be introduced to the community living and responsibilities, day structure, common meeting, kitchen duty etc. and you will be welcomed!

Then follows a project period at the school whereafter you have 2 months project period in the community followed by 2 months evaluation and smaller projects according to the needs and choice you make on your team.


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Richmond Vale Academy Reviews

A wonderful experience for a gap year

Wow! It has been five years since I was back from RVA. It took me more than 20 hours to fly from HongKong to SVG, but it is one of the most important journeys I made in my life. When I was 21 years old, this journey made me realise that we can be so different but we can also have so much fun due to our diversities. It is just a totally different world from what I used to experience and what I am experiencing now. This world is with love, freedom and responsibilities. We learnt to listen to, respect for and share with each other. If you are lucky to have a gap year, this place you should not miss! I do appreciate who I met there because of those beautiful memories we had together. These lessons and skills still have huge impacts on me. Thanks!

By: Sixia Li
Nationality: China
Age: 0

6 months program

I have experienced lots of challenging situations in my life and spending March to September at RVA has to be amongst my top 5. I became more open to humanity and how we as a global community have witnessed first hand the destruction and abuse of our beautiful planet Earth. Together all the students and teachers were involved in trying to change what we have all collectively done, and explore better ways to undo the damage and rethink what we as people have been taught.

Top areas of development learning were:
Team work makes the dream work.
Nature has all the after day.
Less is more ...we don't really need all those material things.
Communication is key....wrong can never be right.
Sharing is caring.
Global vision will make the world a better place to live.

By: Linda Francis
Nationality: British/Carribean
Age: 55

Great people great program great effort

My country is among the most preserved natural country in the world, we are volcanic organic. The RVA has been very instrumental in preserving our natural pristine eco system. Their programs are geared towards sustainability of self and environment in a very challenging time when the globalised activities are not so tolerant of eco friendly ways. I like most the opportunity RVA create for Vincentians... we get to meet new people and share new ideas for our development. We learn and earn a lot from them and I hope RVA continue their successful programs in St. Vincent

By: Andrew Providence
Nationality: Vincentian
Age: 52

Great people great program great effort

My country is among the most preserved natural country in the world, we are volcanic organic...d rva has been very instrumental in preserving our natural pristine eco system...their programs are geared towards sustainability of self and environment in a very challenging time when the globalised activities are not so tolerant of eco friendly ways...I like most the opportunity they create for a better life for vincentians...we get to meet new people and share new ideas for our development...we learn and earn a lot from them...I wish d rva well and continued success in St. Vincent

By: Andrew Providence
Nationality: Vincentian
Age: 52

One month in Caribbean

I was at Richmond Vale in July for the one month climate change program. I learned how to live a more sustainable life and did a variety of work including putting up solar panels, planting trees, and gardening. It was a rewarding month for me. Plus St. Vincent is a beautiful island with beautiful views. Would recommend for anyone who isn't scared to get their hands dirty and love to eat fruit!

By: Alexa
Nationality: USA
Age: 21

The fastest 18 months of my life

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 about that. These past 18 months have made me experience different things every day.

The first six months taught me to be open minded. I have realised that there is a history I have not been told, which steers the way the world turns today. It was an intensive online study period, which among all the information about worlds economics, globalisation, climate change or health and nutrition taught me to be patient, mainly with myself. The theoretical studies combined together with practical permaculture gardening activities and food preservation actions have prepared me for my time in the field.

Next six months, which I spent working on projects in a Maya community in Belize were a mixture of everything, you name it. I don't think I have ever laughed as much as with our Belize youth group, I have also never felt so exhausted, frustrated, motivated, helpless, optimistic,.... all at the same time. Learning that everyone behaves according to their context, the way they have been brought up and the conditions they live in, was a big lesson for me.

The last six months seemed slow and relaxed compared to the busy time in Belize but yet, they've made everything come together. I have finished studies about the reasons of poverty, passing the last exam was so exciting, but it wasn't the end. I have learned many things but there is still more. Whether it is from interesting conversations, from working in a community garden or through teaching new teams, I have realised that knowledge is a crucial tool which needs to be shared and passed on over and over.

Fun is important, but I believe that it was the feelings of being useful and being able to make a change, however big or small in our complicated world that made my 18 months program fly by. There is still so much more to do but we all have a new paths to go. I have no doubt that Richmond Vale Academy together with Humana People to People Belize had prepared me for a journey which is worth the travel.

By: Jitka
Nationality: Czech
Age: 28

I recommend this company

I joined the climate activism 9 month program. Three of them in RVA and it was great and impressive to see and learn about a new way of living that is environmentally sustainable. One of the highlights was taking part and helping to make home gardens for local people. This was a unique experience where I learnt how to use the permaculture system and see it introduced into a community. There was a lot of people from different countries so there was cultural diversity as well. I totally recommend this program.

By: Alejandro Barrios
Nationality: Spanish
Age: 23

This is my experience with Richmond Vale Academy (RVA)

I'm from St Vincent and the Grenadines and I attended a 6 month program with RVA.

RVA is all about making a change in SVG and I found the experience really interesting. When I was on the program we studied about important issues including climate change and organic farming.

The first 2 months studies were focused on climate change and bringing awareness to local people to make sure that no one is in the dark about the effects of climate change on the environment. The program encouraged local people to take a stand, because if anything isn't done soon future generations are going to feel the full effects of climate change.

We can't stop it but we can come together and slow it down because guess what the earth is getting hotter and the ice is melting in the arctic and the sea level is rising so climate change is very important not just for me but for everyone.

We studied organic farming for 2 months and helped to build gardens for local people, taught them about organic farming are the reasons why they shouldn't use pesticides but grow naturally. RVA is trying to build up to 200 home gardens for the community so they can eat healthy and make an income as well.

Overall, RVA is a really good school and if you are keen to make a step to change the future then this program will appeal to you.

By: Calvert
Nationality: Vincentian
Age: 19

Don’t go here!

It’s a business. You will not be appreciated for what you can do. There is a set structure in place which is very stressful and overpriced.

By: Natalie Singh
Nationality: British
Age: 28

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