In my opinion, you can look at the two cities with two different perspectives. In a physical way but also in a psychological way. The visible and the invisible way of comparing cities with each other.
The easiest way to compare similarities is what you see, the physical things. For example buildings, streets, churches, and cars. Firstly, what I noticed when I arrived in Funchal is that there are a lot of taxis and buses! Just like the place where I used to live in the Netherlands, here in Madeira the distances between villages are too far to do only by foot. Where I used to live it was also necessary to go by bus and car because of the big distances.
Furthermore the church bells. You cannot only see them but also hear them a lot in Funchal. Even the main religion is Catholicism on this island and where I used to live people are Protestant, the religion shares the same sound. I think this is very interesting because this is a beautiful similarity.
On the other hand, you have the psychological way of looking at a city. In other words, I mean the culture and mentality of a city, the invisible things. In terms of resemblance with the village where I used to live I have experienced a relaxed atmosphere here in Funchal. Easy going people, no hurry, no stress. I think this is the part of Funchal I like the most because I come from the countryside in the Netherlands where the mentality is definitely similar!
Merel Marcuse, a 19-year old girl who loves to sing, takes 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.
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.