In the heart of a rich agricultural region of Northern France, the City of Amiens developed itself along the valley of the Somme. The city had during the medieval period a great influence. Indeed, the beginning of the construction of the Cathedral in 1220 highlighted the large prosperity of the Diocese at the time. The edification was quite fast.
By the end of the Thirteenth Century, the building was almost complete. By this fact, Notre-Dame of Amiens offers an architectural uniqueness which is missing in most of its contemporary rivals. Incidentally, the Cathedral mixed simultaneously flamboyant and rayonnant Gothic styles. It became thus a source of inspiration for the contemporary builders. The main portal is a unique piece, depicting with no fewer than a hundred statues the Last Judgment.
The monument was immortalized in literature by Father Antoine François Prévost. This famous French writer of the eighteenth century, inscribed the plot of his novel Manon Lescaut (published in 1731), on the parvis of the Cathedral of Amiens, where a devastating romantic encounter takes place. Around 1789, the French Revolution brought some vandalism, especially on the statuary of the frontage. However, the architect Godde took charge of the restoration in 1810. He tried to keep as far as possible the original architecture.
Hopefully, the monument was roughly spared by the wars of the twentieth century. In 1981, it is registered at the World Heritage of the humanity by the UNESCO. Notre-Dame of Amiens is the first flagship touristic place of the city with 692,981 visitors per year.
Elisa Maurice, a volunteer from France.
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.