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Saint John the Evangelist church

The church is built in mannerism and baroque style.

The Saint John the Evangelist church, or college church, was built in the seventeenth and eighteenth century after the Jesuits college was built. It is, for me at least, one of the most impressive monuments in Funchal.

In the 16th century, the Jesuits came to Madeira. They came to the Island because the island was invaded by French protestant pirates. Jesuits are part of the Society of Jesus, this Catholic order emphasizes on Education. Because of this, the Jesuits were the perfect chosen ones to convert the people in the island. The Jesuits college was built in the sixteenth century under the order of king Sebastian and right after that, the Church was built.

During the masses in this church, the Jesuits and students had the best places: they could sit in the balconies. The rest of the people had to stand in the midship of the church. The masses were open for everyone so that everybody could see the beautiful building from the inside. Also, there were two pulpits, this was for doing some kind of theatre. In one stood the good and in one stood the evil priest. By watching this theatre, the people could understand the stories of the bible better, because at that time the bible was still written in Latin.

But the nicest thing about this church is the huge amount of decoration. It is literally EVERYWHERE you look. The Jesuits had a lot of money, to earn all this money they traded for example in Malmsey wine and did a lot of missionaries. The result is a beautiful church that you will always remember if you visited it!

Short bio of the volunteer:

Eva Dijkstra, 18-year-old volunteer from the Netherlands. Is a by nature chaotic person that tries to be structured, who loves food, animals, dancing, and art.


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.

European Voluntary Service

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