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Me, Myself and I

Generally, I’d rather to gorge on countless portions of sweet bread and pastries from popular bakery for all of residents of the student’s house at Rua Santa Maria, but I have to write an article, which traditionaly is prepared by the greatest voulunteers in the whole globe (including me). It’s not the first time, when one of my coordinators Marcos is asking me for my text and then, every single time I get heart pulpitation. Most of my colleagues used to describe, what is intresting in the local cusine, for what they like Portuguese people, what inspires them in Funchal etc. For me it seems to be so pretentious, so now I will use an opportunity to write something about… me.

My name is Kamil, I am 21 years old, I am brother of two beautiul sisters, rebel son of my parents, dreamer and finally I am person, who want to rediscover himself. Since I am working for the Studen’s Union as volunteer as part of EVS. The fact, that I live in Funchal, makes me really lucky. I love energy of that city, people I meet every day. By the way, you can meet me in the Jesuit College, where with my friends organise a guided tour around unique complex at Rua Dos Ferreiros Street. If you come inside, propablly you can see me standing next to welcome desk, waitnig for a guests, giving audioguides or cleaning interior. The fact, that I was chosen for EVS among hundreds of others makes me satisfied.

Now I share my time with a lot of friends from many parts of the world. I’ve never expected, how one quick decision to apply for being volunteer can change a lot. Indeed EVS is not only a job, but also possibility to know something new about ourselfs and fantastic people from other countries.

I like to dance, sometimes in an energetic way, cause dance give me indescribable pleasure, particulary in nice company. Fortunately, my friends-volunteers like dancing too. I like classical dance, they rather techno. If you can watch me in the Barreirinha dancing botafogo (samba step) to the rythm of Martin Garrix music you don’t have to ask me :’ Are you fine?!’ , now you know, that everything is normal.

I would like to confess something. I love to eat! Portuguese people do the best pastry in Europe – I had no idea, before I came to Madeira. The streets are full of bakeries, Bolo do Caco kiosks, ice cream parlors, bars and caffeehouses and how to not come in and not try it? I can’t live without pistachio ice creams from Ottavia plus small cup of dark bica. Unfortunately for me, I didn’t know, that Portugal offer remarkably delicious wines: white, pink, red, Madeira Wine, Porto – definitely try it and tell me which one you like best. You know, just for discern…

Next thing is sport. I hate sport. My friend Katarzyna is trying to work out regulary, becasuse she want to at the age of 80 get on the top of the Monte without problems. For me it’s hassle! During the exercices man is sweating and after everything hurts him. I will summarize it in one sentence, the author of which is well-known Vania, who is the resident of the dormitory where I live : ‘If you can see me running, it means something terrible is coming and you have to RUN! Run away!’ This is all explained by the fact that I have a nasty personality. Fortunately, only 4% of the population is an Introvert type of Intuitive Thinker Observator. I have such days when I want to be completely alone, then I do not bother with the people, I close myself in my world engulfed by a book. Several time I was able to hide somewhere during family celebrations and other events, so nobody could talk with me. I do not know how I managed to establish relationships with my friends in Poland. It certainly took me a long time, but over the years I can say that these friendships are strong and true.

One of the things I like to do is to follow web sites dedicated to modern architechture. My favorite architects are Zaha Hadid and Norman Foster. The works of Zaha Hadid were ahead of the epoch, very dynamic and futuristic. I really admire Norman Foster for creating a new trends and hark back to classic. As a graduate of the high school for future hoteliers I dream of my own small hotel with a cozy bistro. Thanks to EVS I can get to know the Portuguese hospitality which is very inspirational. Poland and Portugal are similar, except that my homeland has a short tradition of ownership and being. While visiting Madeira, Porto or Guimarães I discovered what I would like to move to my country, because it is worth to get good standards.

Finally, I already spent here two months, two intensive months, while me and my friends have explored Madeira. I saw Levadas, fantastic local museums, I have tried exellent Blandy’s, I swamed the island on the bord of catamaran, I took part in many cultural events, The Jesuit’s College become my second home, but the most important for me is the fact I learnt to appreciate diversity of european culture. Thank you EVS, thank you guys.

Short bio of the volunteer:

Kamil Swiderski, 21 years old, volunteer from Poland. Great fan of modern architecture, dance and travel.


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, 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