I heard many stories about new years eve in Madeira during the time I stayed here. A lot of people told me that it was the biggest new years in Europe, with large fireworks and parties. Obviously, I looked very much forward to the show. Luckily we managed to secure the roof on our residence during the new year so that we could see all of the fireworks and lights that would be ignited. We also made it a bit of a party where we served food and snacks to each other, with my contribution being ‘oliebollen’ (a traditional Dutch food for new years eve).
When it was finally twelve a clock the fireworks started, and they did not disappoint. It was mostly fireworks that were fired up by the city and professionals instead of regular people so it was different than that I was used to, but it was still a great sight. I especially enjoyed the fact that our place was very close to one of the points were the fireworks went off, giving us a great view of the lights.
After the big spectacle that was Christmas and new year, the city finally stopped with the festivities. The lights were broken down, the music stopped and slowly everything returned to normal. At first, it was pretty weird not seeing the colored lights alongside the roads, and I sometimes get surprised at the fact that I don’t hear jingle bells in the supermarket. Still, it was pretty great and I am glad that I got to experience it.
David Spoor, a 20 years old Dutchman wanting to live above sea level for a while. likes traveling, nature, food and buildings over 300 years old.
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 to 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.