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William of Orange – the ancestor of the Dutch monarchy

William of Orange was the main leader of the Dutch Revolt against the Spanish Habsburgs that set off the Eighty Years’ War (1568–1648) and resulted in the formal independence of the United Provinces in 1581.

He was born in the House of Nassau as Count of Nassau-Dillenburg. He became Prince of Orange in 1544 and was thereby the founder of the branch House of Orange-Nassau and the ancestor of the monarchy of the Netherlands. Within the Netherlands, he is also known as Father of the Fatherland.

A wealthy nobleman, William originally served the Habsburgs as a member of the court of Margaret of Parma, governor of the Spanish Netherlands. Unhappy with the centralization of political power away from the local estates and with the Spanish persecution of Dutch Protestants, William joined the Dutch uprising and turned against his former masters. The most influential and politically capable of the rebels, he led the Dutch to several successes in the fight against the Spanish. Declared an outlaw by the Spanish king in 1580, he was assassinated by Balthasar Gérard in Delft in 1584.

Nowadays, you can trace many national symbols back to William of Orange. He is the ancestor of the Dutch monarchy and the flag of the Netherlands (red, white and blue) is derived from the flag of the prince, which was orange, white and blue. The national anthem, the Wilhelmus, was originally a propaganda song for William. And the most obvious symbol is the national color of the Netherlands, what is of course orange. So now you see how a very old monarchy, our first, is still the beating heart of the Dutch Lion.

Short bio of the volunteer:

I´m Sara, 19 years old, happy person, with tons of energy; quite positive with a passion for creativity; theatre, writing, drawing, painting, and styling; love dogs and rabbits; always in for some sarcasm.

Erasmus+

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.

European Voluntary Service

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.