More specifically, this project concerns around 200 painted doors which transformed this historic part of the city in open and permanent art gallery. This idea of painting doors emerged in 2010 and it was a result of cooperation between José Maria Zyberchema and João Carlos Abreu, the former Regional Secretary for Economy, Tourism and Culture, the Funchal Municipal Council and two private companies.
The project was presented for the first time in an event called PechaKucha by José Maria Montero. After that, on April 2011, in the street of Santa Maria at number 77 the first door was painted by the artist Mark Milewski. It looks like a real library with shelves filled with books.
Among many pieces of art, you can find there a peacock made by polish artist Olga Drak, an archangel made by Roberto Macedo Alves or a mermaid with a dolphin made by Tiago Machado. It is hard for me to decide which door I like the most but I would like to recommend to admire them in the early morning when you can actually feel like in a just opened art gallery, not filled yet with visitors.
The Open Doors art project was so successful that it expanded to other streets of Funchal and other cities in Madeira, for example to Machico. Apart from painted doors, it includes other visual arts, like sculpture, photography, video, music, and writing. Thanks to that idea these deteriorated areas took on new life and people became much more sensitized with cultural and artistic events of the city.
Karolina Szwaj, Polish with a Portuguese/Brazilian soul, volunteering in the Students’ Union of the University of Madeira project namely History Tellers. Passionate about Romance languages and Lusophony culture as well as traveling as a backpacker.
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.