The water splashes against the rocks. The wind whistles over the boats. Both Egmond and Madeira, two places connected to the sea.
I come from a little village in the Netherlands named Egmond aan den Hoef, yes that complicated, just try to say that name out loud. Same as Madeira the sea is one of the most important features of this place. The sand turned into rocks, the dunes into mountains.
There is no other place like home, but along the way of life, the feeling of that word changes. For me home is not my home village but is the people and culture, for me most of all it’s the arts and freedom. The village and Funchal definitely have in common that there is a kind of lack of diversity as there is in, for example, Amsterdam or Lisbon. Both are more conservative places where it´s sometimes hard to fit in. Although I grew up in Egmond I will always stay an outsider same as I will stay an outsider here in Funchal with my blond hair, 1.80 height, and blue eyes. But next to that those two places offer some rest; being on your own mind a bit on the outside world.
Their sense of community and traditions is over beyond. The church plays an important part in all of this. And also the Catholic Church is the most important one in Egmond. So everything put onto one pile of occurrences I can say that there are quite a lot of similarities although I am happy that the pile of differences a much bigger one is. We are all the same because we are all different and let’s celebrate those differences.
I´m Sara, 19 years old, happy person, with tons of energy; quite positive with a passion for creativity; theatre, writing, drawing, painting, and styling; love dogs and rabbits; always in for some sarcasm.
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.