The place where I come from is located in the center of Poland. It is a peaceful countryside where days pass slowly. There is neither a river or lake. Unlike Funchal, which is surrounded by waves of the Atlantic Ocean. No doubt Funchal and whole Madeira have unbelievably varied and beautiful flora. Much more diversified than flora in my countryside.
Nevertheless, forests remind me my countryside. Especially during the Levada walks I have that familiar feeling of peace and relaxation. Another similarity is the hospitality of local people. Their kindness and willingness to help others bring to my mind my family and friends who wish me well. Both, the Portuguese and Polish respect and preserve their history, which is a part of their national identity and constitutes a precious value for them. They try to protect and maintain their national heritage by sharing history knowledge among themselves and tourists. The idea of History Tellers is the best example of that. People from my countryside also take care of history. All the above make Funchal and my locality slightly similar.
My name is Magda. I come from Poland and I am a volunteer in the Students’ Union of the University of Madeira.
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.
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.