The most beautiful places and moments in your life will always stay in your heart and memories. But what I’m scared of here is that I experience so many moments and see so many places that I want to remember the rest of my life, but the memories just fade away. I can’t choose if I will remember my last weekend’s hike or the moments when I’m laughing with my roommates so hard, that I fall from my bed.
When I’m going to be 55 and I will look back to this year, I hope I’ll remember how I felt in the special moments.
The other thing that I’m concerned about, is that I will get numb to all the beauty of the island, because I see it all around me all the time. I see the ocean every day and don’t really pay any attention on it anymore, but for example the tourists take pictures of it and just spend time near it. They want to take as many deep-ocean-breaths as they can before they leave. Also, I go on levadas and think they’re beautiful, but I think there are people, who are just amazed by them.
So, basically what I’m trying to say with my text? We shouldn’t take anything for granted, not even that we spend 10 whole months on this beautiful island. I hope I can enjoy the rest of my staying here as much as I have done until now. I’m here to collect as many memories and precious moments as I can (even if I will forget them with time).
Karoliina Nissinen, 21 years old volunteer from Finland. Loves new languages, cultures, coffee, nature and colourful clothes.
Erasmus+ is a programme of the European Commission embracing the fields of education, training, youth and sports during the period 2014-2020. One of the major aspects is the cooperation between the different fields where the programme acts, hence contributing for a diverse and rich Europe.
Amongst the several goals of the programme, the following are prioritised: the objectives of the Europe 2020 Strategy, including the headline education target; the aims of the strategic framework for European cooperation in education and training (ET 2020), including the corresponding benchmarks; the sustainable development of Partner Countries in the field of higher education; the overall goals of the renewed framework for European cooperation in the youth field (2010-2018); the objective of developing the European dimension in sport, in particular grassroots sport, in line with the EU work plan for sport and the promotion of European values in accordance with Article 2 of the Treaty on the European Union.
In order to achieve these goals, the Erasmus+ has several action policies. The Key Action 1 (KA1) is directed towards the mobility of people; Key Action 2 (KA2) for the cooperation for innovation and the interchange of good experiences; and Key Action 3, which is for the support of reformation policies.
Since 1991 the University of Madeira Students’ Union has developed a wide incentive policy for voluntary work. In 2013 the Students’ Union started the process to receive, send and coordinate Erasmus+ projects of the European Voluntary Service, in order to have a larger influence in the volunteering field. The Union received its first volunteer withing the ambit of a KA1 project in 2014. Many efforts have been done to allow young people from Madeira to take part in several initiatives in Europe, as well as propose several projects allowing young people from several countries to work in the projects of the Students’ Union of the University of Madeira. The main goal of the voluntary work is the contribution of the volunteers to the communities and places they will be staying, being their work not rewarded with payment.
We believe that the European Voluntary Service is a mechanism full of experiences, allowing the approved candidates to have the privilege of taking part in these projects and benefit the places and communities where these volunteers will be staying.
Since 2013, the University of Madeira Students’ Union has received volunteers that have collaborated in several activities and initiatives. Besides being able to enjoy a wonderful experience which will contribute to their personal and professional growth, they are able to contribute in a unique way to the community in which they are inserted and to join dozens of volunteers from the University of Madeira.