For someone from the United Kingdom, the European Union is incredibly important for us now more than ever. Therefore, I believe that the most important thing I can do for the EU and my country is to show my support for remaining in the EU.
The EU brings many benefits to a country, in my opinion, I care mostly about the ease of travel. Without the EU I would not be able to travel as easily or possibly take part in Erasmus at all. It is so important for young people to be able to travel, study and work in new places. Being able to experience a new culture, learn pieces of a new language and meet people from all over Europe is something so life changing that throwing away this opportunity is unfair to future generations of young people.
One of the goals of the European Union is to combat social exclusion and discrimination. I think the best way to do this is to encourage young people to travel or take part in projects abroad because that teaches them better how to respect other cultures. It also can teach young people about inclusion; by working and interacting with people from all over Europe they learn to be more accepting of people no matter their backgrounds. This is one of many things that travelling and volunteering projects in the EU can bring us, we should be promoting and celebrating their success so that they continue to benefit the generations to come.
Text written in May 2019.
Lorna Murphy is an Erasmus+ volunteer from Scotland, UK, graduated in tourism management and loves traveling.
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 to 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.