This following article will be about some of the major similarities Madeira has in common with the Mainland of the European Union, but also some of the most interesting differences for me, compared to my hometown in Austria.
Starting with some of the things which appear very different in Austria. First off, the mentality the people have on this island is about 180 degrees turned from the one the people in my area have. There is a famous saying, ‘Schaffa, schaffa, Hüsle bua!’ which means translated into English ‘Work and do not stop working until you can build a house and get a family’. In these past two months, I got the feeling, people on this Island keep things way more chilled than we do, back there.
On the other hand, in general, Madeira is also Europe/EU, which means we suffer from the same problems here and everywhere in the EU. For example in Austria these days a lot of the people move from being open to new things and new cultures, back to this stupid nationalist thinking. I also got the image of Madeira having the same kind of problem for example. But, I think this is not a bad thing because we are ‘together is this’, maybe this will help people realize that we are all the same, even if we might look a bit different, earn different amounts of money, believe in different things or have different interests.
My name is Raphael Johler, I was born and raised in Austria. A week ago I turned 19 years, which sounds like a lot to me, but in the end I am just a kid with a bird’s nest of hair on his head.
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.