The most famous monument, in the region I live in, is the Wewelsburg Castle. It is a huge triangular Castle/fortress, whose history started in 1123, as a small, soon to be destroyed, city Wall like building.
From 1301 until the 19th century, the Castle belonged to noblemen, bishops and the Prussian state and was more or less unknown to the overall population of Germany.
This vastly changed in the 20th century during the time of the Second World War. Heinrich Himmler, the head of the SS (an elite police force of the Nazi regime), chose the Wewelsburg Castle as its headquarters, with the plan to turn it into the center of the world. In order to achieve this goal, Himmler ordered the reconstruction of the village next to it, in order to have more space. Furthermore, a concentration camp was opened close to it, to keep up with the growing demands in construction.
When the Nazi regime was finally overthrown by the allies in 1945, Himmler and his soldiers, as a last act of defiance, tried to burn the whole castle down, luckily without success.
After the war, the Wewelsburg Castle was turned into a Youth Hostel and, later also into a museum. The main aim of this museum is to demonstrate the Castle’s purpose during the times of the Third Reich, even though it is also the host of smaller exhibitions focusing on the history of the middle ages.
My name is Helen and I am an 18-year-old volunteer from Germany. I am especially excited to be a part of the Madeiran Heritage project, as I am really interested in the history of foreign places and of course of my own country.
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.