Infante Dom Henrique of Portugal (1394-1460), who is most commonly known as Prince Henry the Navigator also held the name of Duke of Viseu.
Right at the entrance of the Saint Catherine’s park in Funchal, we can see a bronze statue of Prince Henry, sitting underneath an arch. The statue was created in 1941 but officially inaugurated on 28th of May 1947. It was designed and made by the sculptor Leopoldo de Almeida (1898-1975), who was a striking figure of the 20th-century sculpture art.
During the early time of the Portuguese Empire, Prince Henry had an essential part in the maritime discoveries and expansions in the 15th century. Nowadays he is called the main initiator of the Age of Discoveries, which gave him the name ‘Navigator’. This nickname has been added several centuries after his lifetime though.
The discovery of Madeira is also linked to Prince Henry. As Grand Master of the Military Order of Christ, he had enough resources and income available to send one of the Knights in his service, alongside companions into the Atlantic Ocean to discover new territories. This happened during the time of his father’s reign, John I.
Later in 1433, his brother Duarte became king and offered Henry territories, such as the island of Madeira. He used parts of Funchal for agricultural experiments and sugarcane from Sicily. So until now, he is known for his great impact on Madeira’s history and development.
Helmi Krappitz, a volunteer from Germany, nature and food enthusiast.
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.