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A small Dutch village

Smell the freshly cut grass, look at the swallows and make a trip on the tractor.

Kolderveen is an extremely small village where you can find a lot of cows, horses, tourists and many seniors on electric bicycles. Literally, Kolderveen consists of only one street which is almost 2,5 km long. I think with around 200 inhabitants there live many more cows and horses then people.

The Netherlands has twelve provinces, Kolderveen belongs to the province Drenthe which lies in the north of the Netherlands. Three of the provinces , included Drenthe, in the north of the Netherlands are well known because of the meadows, farms and sober people compared with the environment of the four biggest cities called the Randstad (Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Utrecht and The Hague).

It is funny because Kolderveen is a village which lies between two very touristic places called Giethoorn and Havelte. It could be you have never heard about these towns, so I will explain their touristic attractions. First of all, Giethoorn only exists out of little bridges and water. No cars, just boats. Instead of garbage trucks there are garbage boats,sometimes the mail is delivered by boat! Another fun fact is that Giethoorn has made it in the special edition of the famous board game Monopoly. Each year thousands of tourists visit this magical place which is also called Dutch Venice.

Beside there is Havelte. As everyone knows Stonehenge in Great-Britain, the Netherlands has a smaller version of Stonehenge. The enormous boulders, which ended up in the Netherlands because of the last ice age, can weigh as much as 20.000 kilos and together they form the dolmens. The dolmens served as burial chambers but nowadays it is still a bit mysterious how the people could move these enormous boulders…

So if you ever visit the Netherlands, I do recommend some rural places in the north of the Netherlands next to the standard trips to Amsterdam!

Short bio of the volunteer:

Merel Marcuse, a 19-year old girl who loves to sing, take photos of people & nature and to philosophize about everything.


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 (KA3) 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.