This fame is not only because his art, but also because of his life. He was born in 1853, in a village near the Belgian border. When starting adulthood he did not really know what to do. He first became a schoolteacher, then a book salesman, studied theology and became a preacher in a coal mine.
He did not really do well in all these jobs and got fired for all of them. Eventually, his brother Theo convinced Vincent to become an artist after seeing the sketches he made. He moved around in the Netherlands, Belgium, and Paris before eventually moving to the village of Arles in France, his brother Theo constantly giving him financial support. He started living with another artist called Paul Gauguin, who he had long and loud arguments about art with. It was during a particularly big argument that he threatened his friend with a razor knife, before cutting off his own ear. A few months later Vincent checked himself into a psychiatric ward.
After seemingly getting better, he moved to the French countryside. A few months after that he went into a grain field and shot himself, dying a few days later next to his brother Theo. He only sold one painting in his life, during an exhibition when he was in the psychiatric hospital. He was a driven and perfectionistic artist, making all of his work (900 paintings, 1100 works on paper, 902 letters) in 10 years. This, together with his presumed mental sickness, is believed to have led to his death. Indeed, the last words of his unfinished last letter to his brother read: ‘’well, my work, for that I risk my life, and it has costed me half of my sanity, but what do you want…’’
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 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.