I live in the capital city of Liechtenstein, a town called Vaduz. Liechtenstein itself is smaller than Madeira and Vaduz is also a lot smaller than Funchal. Vaduz has about 5,500 inhabitants and Funchal has got about 110,000. Similarities are hard to find, because the size of the towns are very different, also because of the climate. Funchal is located near the ocean with a lot of humidity and it’s always very warm. Vaduz is a lot colder and it also rains a lot there and it’s not humid at all.
But there are also similarities like the tourism and the university. A big part of Vaduz is the tourism. There are a lot of tourists arriving in Vaduz from all over the world like in Funchal. Vaduz is the town where our only university in the country is located and the university of Madeira is also located in Funchal.
We don’t have a lot of bars and clubs, also not many supermarkets and not even the same currency. The biggest similarities are the tourism and that they both have a university.
Livia Schädler, a volunteer from Vaduz, Liechtenstein who likes swimming, hiking and watching series.
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.