My project in Madeira ended after 10 months. I arrived in Madeira in late September with the start of a beautiful autumn. The island presented itself with a lot of sun, long days and a water temperature I found highly surprising for October. But despite all this, it was not as tropical as I expected it to be and although Madeira’s nature is impressive I could not find the jungle I dreamt of.
During Christmas and New Year’s Eve, the capital Funchal started to glow, gleam and glint in every street due to its overwhelming decoration which made the darkest day of the year was a very shiny one and the welcome of the New Year the brightest I have ever seen. After this, the rainbow months January and February started in which one could see this natural spectacle with an almost frightening accuracy.
Springtime is giving the island the nickname flower island and indeed, nature is blooming and the untouched flowers in Madeira’s mountains are extremely beautiful so that the need to celebrate this with a flower festival is completely understandable. But even flower carpets and dances in the city cannot substitute experiencing spring in nature.
So now the last season summer has arrived and I need to plan what I will visit again or experience new. Evergreens like the walk from Pico Ruivo to Pico do Arieiro are amazing with a clear view and Veredas in the higher mountains of Madeira are a good choice to do in summer, when the days are long and the sun is shining. Furthermore, the ocean is going to be a great place to enjoy the day in a cool way. Swimming, surfing, sailing or diving are great sports and Madeira is a perfect place for all of them!
Julius Sax, a volunteer from Germany with interest in basketball, tennis, scouts, playing guitar, read and meet friends.
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.