Bom dia, welcome to my blog!

This blog is a running diary of my thoughts, designs and generally things I learnt and I like to capture. I am one of the lucky 14 who went to Monchique, a town close to the highest point in the Algarve, to learn about sustainable tourism and help local companies develop. Being a curious being and designer there is lots and lots to get involved in as you can see from the many categories of this blog. What I am enjoying most here is the diversity of projects and people I am working with, people living in Monchique and my ‘group collegues’.

The blog entries are predominantly a record for me, but I am taking this open approach to invite the companies and individuals I am working with and everyone else who sets an eye on my words to comment and make suggestions. Constructive criticism is always great! Afterall it’s a life of life long learning.

So how did I get to go to Portugal for three months and work on a semi-volunteering* basis for local companies?

This fantastic opportunity was made possible through the Leonardo Da Vinci Program, a European Union funded project to support professional mobility within Europe. The project has been initiated by a collaboration between CreativedevelopmentukDSC Regen from the UK and  Torifoa and Alternativtour from Monchique.

For me the main objectives of the project are to contribute to the local community and economy by getting involved in lots of different needs for design and ultimately become more relaxed and quicker about sharing and discussing my thoughts for improvements.

What’s the Leonardo da Vinci programme?

The Leonardo da Vinci Programme funds practical projects in the field of vocational education and training. Initiatives range from those giving individuals work-related training abroad to large-scale co-operation efforts.

Part of the European Commission’s Lifelong Learning Programme, this programme funds many different types of activities of varying scales. These include ‘mobility’ initiatives enabling people to train in another country, co-operation projects to transfer or develop innovative practices, and networks focusing on topical themes in the sector.

Leonardo da Vinci enables organisations in the vocational education sector to work with partners from across Europe, exchange best practices, and increase their staff’s expertise. It should make vocational education more attractive to young people and, by helping people to gain new skills, knowledge and qualifications, the programme also boosts the overall competitiveness of the European labour market.

Innovation projects are key to the programme. They aim to improve the quality of training systems by developing and transferring innovative policies, courses, teaching methods, materials and procedures.

Our project fits under the following category:

  • “People in the labour market” (‘PLM’) actions enable people after graduation in vocational training or higher education to have a work-related training abroad in order to improve their employment potential.

The projects have to have lead partners based in the host country. Our partners are Alternativ Tours (Lucio) Quinta Algarve (Quinta das Relvinhas) and Turifoia.

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* I am calling it ‘semi-volunteering’ as we live for free at the Quinta and receive weekly ‘pocket money’ of EUR 85 which pays for food and other expenses. Of course the owner of the Quinta and some of the companies we work with receive money to have us working for them (which is kind of a weird logic if you ask me) but hey, I will elaborate on this with a more critical view in due time, closer to the end of the project. In the meanwhile enjoy browsing the blog.

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The content of this blog can be used for inspiration and in Monchique. All I’d like to ask for is acknowledgement to my work and photos.

Creative Commons Licence
by Fee Schmidt-Soltau is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.

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