Chove ferro num planeta longínquo
11 de Março de 2020.
Volunteering in Madeira
13 de Março de 2020.
I wanted to introduce to you a special monument from France, not a very well-known one.

The Ferdinand Cheval’s Ideal Palace is a National Monument since 1969. It is the work of one man: Ferdinand Cheval, a simple postman of the countryside. The Palace is in the middle of a garden in the city of Hauterives (Drôme department).

During one of his daily country rounds, he found a strange stone and started to dream. His thoughts brought him to imagine an odd Palace. If nature can sculpt stones, why can’t a postman become an architect? It took him 33 years to finish it (1879-1912).

There is no particular logic behind the aspect of the architecture, it is only the reflection of Ferdinand Cheval’s spirit during all these years to build it alone. He was inspired by nature, the Bible and mythological stories.

Unhabitable, its charms come from all the details you can discover: shells, stones, animals, fairy creatures…

Ferdinand Cheval was not considered as an artist but he inspired a lot of other artists such as the Surrealists.

As a conclusion, we should all remember that everyone is able to produce art. It may not be as recognized but let’s trust our own creativity!

The text was written in December 2019.

Short bio of the volunteer:

Paprika Lubert, a volunteer from France.

 

Erasmus+

Erasmus+ is a program 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 program 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.