I had the opportunity, by hitchhiking, to meet a lot of people from the island. At the moment, most of the people that gave me a lift were Venezuelans, the second community of the island. Thanks to that I realized we mustn’t trust always in the media and there are people that agree and people that don’t agree at all with the socialism, most of them disagree just with the application of this ideology by the Venezuelan government and the current economic situation of their country. Anyway, they came looking for a better life and I think here they can. If some of them stop to pick up hitchhikers it can mean that they feel safer in this island.
Also, we had a nice experience the past week with a Madeiran man who explained us a lot of things about the lifestyle of the people in the island and of whom I think I learnt a lot. The man picked up us in Santa Cruz. After offering us a strawberry ice cream told as that his intention was to go home, in Machico, to sleep. Finally he took as to Porto da Cruz to taste the regional wine and to show us the very beautiful landscapes of that part of the island and then to Santana when we finished our travel and when we tasted the ‘espetada’ and the typical drink of the ‘arraiais’ (parties and celebrations in different parts of the island), which is a mix of wine and orange juice.
I only can be very grateful with such generous people and apply their philosophy trying to help the others as much as possible.
David Salgado Funes, a volunteer from Barcelona. Amateur flamenco guitar player and audiovisual systems engineer, really interested in contemporary history, music and other artistic expressions, learning other languages and other cultures. Every day in Madeira I am learning a little bit more about its history and its people.
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.
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.