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Antoine de Saint Exupéry

One of his famous books is Le Petit Prince.

Hey guys! After telling you my first impressions about the Island, then about food, after about a little bit of Flora and Fauna, in February we talked about History, and one of the Kings of Portugal. About March we’ll talk about one French author, Antoine de Saint Exupéry, and of course of one of his famous books, Le Petit Prince.

Antoine de Saint Exupéry is a French aviator and writer. He wrote several books, but the most famous for children and even adults (no matter the age) is Le Petit Prince.

He was born in Lyon on June 29th, 1900, and died in Marsilla (Marseille) on July 31st, 1944 (so he died at 44 years old, losing him and his plane in the sea. We found his plane only in 2000).

He was 12 when he made his aerial baptism (first flight), which gave him his love for planes and aviation.

At 17 y.o., he succeeded to rich his Baccalaureate (“BAC” or “Baccalauréat” in French), but he also lost his brother (François) the same year, sick since many years.

In 1922 he succeeded to have his pilot’s license. But after a plane accident, he was demobilized and so had to stop in 1923. At 26 years old, he published a novel in “Le navire d’argent” (“The silver ship”), and entered as a pilot in a postal transport company.

Then he stayed in Africa. When he arrives in 1929 in Argentina, he created new aerial roads with France. He received in 1930 “La Légion d’Honneur” (The Legion of Honor), so he was named “Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur” (“Knight of the Legion of Honor”). At 30 y.o., he also met his wife, they married one year later.

After that, he entered in Air France Airplane Company where he realised Studies Trips and Conferences. In 1936 he was hired by the Spanish newspaper “L’intransigeant” to cover the Civil War. He was promoted Officer of the Legion of Honor (“Officier de la Légion d’Honneur”) in 1939, nine years after receiving the Title and being a member of The Legion (of Honor). Indeed someone like him who showed some merits eight years after receiving the title of Knight can become Officer (of the Legion of Honor).

In 1939 Europe entered in the Second World War, and he entered in the conflict in the French Air Force, affected in the Air reconnaissance squadron. After the Armistice between France and Germany in December 1940, he left France for New York with as aim making Americans enter in the War. Dreaming of action, he joined, in Spring of 1944, in Sardinia and then in Corsica, a photographic reconnaissance squadron in order to prepare the Landing in Provence.

That was when he disappeared in the sea with his plane on the 31st of July.

All the work of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry makes a point of honor on the moral of action and duty based on belief in the greatness of man. Topics you’ll find in his books. Le Petit Prince was published with his own watercolors.

Let’s now speak about the book Le Petit Prince. One famous quote from the Story is “One sees clearly only with the Heart. What is essential is invisible for the eyes”.

This Philosophical story was published in 1943 in New-York, and was and is transmitted since back then from generation to generation. That is a phenomenon of World publishing.

This a story of “an adult” with the child living in himself/herself, who is represented by a little prince. Coming from an asteroid, this latest left over there “his rose”. Before visiting Earth, he knew others planets whose inhabitants, all “adults”, embody the faults of humans. When a fox teaches him that what is essential is invisible for the eyes and that we are responsible forever for what we tamed, the Little Prince goes back to “his rose”.

That philosophical tale is transmitted from generation to generation thanks to the Values he’s carrying. Responsible for creation of links between generations, men and continents, Le Petit Prince is also an icon for sustainable development, an actor for Peace in the world, and a defender for the Child Rights.

So I hope that now you will like (re)discover or (re)read this book, no matter your language (and your age) !

See you next month, in April, for another subject !

Short bio of the volunteer:

Augustin COCHET, French (from Lyon area), with knowledge in Food Process and Food Industries. In studies reorientation: to Theater and Tourism, Human Sciences; and passionate of books/magazines, new languages, food, and culture.


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.

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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.