RVA giving free horse rides to youths who clean community

By Demion McTair. Updated 1:04 p.m., Friday, June 11, 2021, Atlantic Standard Time (GMT-4).

One of the participants in the cleanup gets ready to take his ride on the horse Shoni.

The Richmond Vale Academy, through its horse school, has been giving free horse rides to young people in the Buccament Valley who keep the community clean.

The academy is operating temporarily in Pembroke, in the Buccament Valley, where it was relocated just before the explosions at the La Soufriere volcano.

The cleanup has begun at the academy’s main headquarters at Richmond, North Leeward, in the Red Zone, but in the meantime, the academy’s environmental programs are being carried out from Pembroke.

Principal of the Richmond Vale Academy, Stina Herberg told One News SVG on June 11, that one of its main environmental outreach programs is ridding communities of trash.

Since the program recently started in the Buccament area, ten (10) horse rides have been given to seven (7) young people.

Children participating in a cleanup at Pembroke/Cane Grove in the Buccament Valley. Photo: Stina Herberg.

Each youth brought at least one bag of trash to the academy’s temporary location at Pembroke, she said.

The young people who clean up their community get to ride the academy’s ‘eco horse’ called Shoni.

So far, the academy has led a charge to cleaning up part of the Buccament Bay beach area, picking up improperly disposed plastic bottles, bags, and other forms of trash.

Principal of the academy, Stina Herberg says they are encouraging more people in the area to keep it clean.

She said improperly disposed trash can create many problems, including harming marine life, when the trash gets into our oceans.

Youths cleaning the community of Buccament Bay. Photo: Stina Herberg.

The academy is known island-wide for its environmental work, including establishing home gardens, training locals in permaculture and climate change, and winning Gold in the 2014 ENO Global Treelympics for St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

The academy is also involved in biogas production, solar energy production, organic farming, filing and diving, and training international students in Climate Compliance.

The RVA’s work in the country continues even though it has suffered extensive damage at its Richmond headquarters from heavy ash deposits.

In the aftermath of the eruptions, the RVA has distributed tonnes of animal feed to Red Zone farmers and animals left stranded.

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