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Council signs agreement protecting low-income households from electricity cuts

signatura conveni endesaEarlier today, the CiF office of the presidential cabinet signed an agreement with the Endesa company to facilitate utility payments for low-income individuals at risk of power cuts. The agreement was signed by CiF president Jaume Ferrer and Endesa’s director general in the Balearics, Ernesto Bonnín.

Under the terms of the agreement, Endesa will facilitate payment in cases where Formentera residents run the risk of losing electricity service. According to social welfare councillor Vanessa Parellada, the new process will involve the Formentera Council contacting Endesa to let them know if a financially-struggling customer is registered with CiF social services and if that customer has recently received a favourable report from the department.

As per agreement terms, Endesa and the CiF will base repayment requirements for the unpaid bills on assessments concerning the struggling individual that have been overseen by the Council.

The Council, said Parellada, will intercede in those cases that non-payment of a utility bill threatens to translate into a service interruption for resource-strapped families. “We will assess households on a case-by-case basis to determine how to proceed, whether that means reducing or forgiving the sum owed. In the absence of other options the administration will consider paying the bill itself,” she said.

The new deal comes under a framework agreement signed 11 July last between the utilities provider and the FELIB, the organisation that represents municipalities in their dealings with Endesa.

The Endesa-FELIB framework agreement is part of Directive 2009/72/CE (13 July 2009), which establishes common rules for the internal market in electricity. The directive requires Member States of the European Community to adopt measures to guarantee electricity service to financially-struggling individuals.

Social welfare gets new van for at-home service

Vehicle Formentera 04.03.16From today, the Formentera Council department of social services, la Conselleria de Benestar Social, will add a new vehicle to its arsenal of service equipment. The van will be used by the Conselleria's home-visit service (SAD, for Servei d'Atenció a Domicili), a programme to boost individuals' personal autonomy. SAD is aimed at averting deteriorating health conditions and social alienation among  the programme's participants as well as promoting sound relationships  between them and their families and housemates.

L'Obra Social la Caixa, the social arm of CaixaBank, donated €12,400 to help with the purchase of the van, which SAD staff calls its most crucial tool.

Vanessa Parellada, Formentera's councillor of social welfare, met earlier today with Maria Belén Villalong, the director of CaixaBank's Eivissa-Formentera business unit, and Pep Marí Mayans, office manager at CaixaBank Sant Francesc Xavier, to make the donation official.  

International Women's Day

Foto rp dia de la donaThe events programme of International Women's Day (8 March) was announced today before a crowd at the Formentera Council. Councillor of social welfare, Vanessa Parellada, was joined by Dolores Fernández Tamargo, president of local association Espai Dones, for a presentation of a host of commemorative activities that will start next Monday February 29th with the launch of an exposition Dona i Microcrèdit (Women and microcredit: a world of employment and hope), 8 p.m. in the municipal gallery of the old town hall, and conclude on Sunday April 17th at 12 noon by rendering homage to the figure of the elderly Formentera matriarch—“la dona major de Formentera”—an act that is set for the Magic Box hall of the Formentera day centre.

Like every year, celebrations will be centred around March 8th. From five in the afternoon, volunteers will staff an informational stand at the Sant Francesc square, plaça de la Constitució. A flash mob is planned at six o' clock and then, at half past six, the Espai Dones manifesto will be read before all gathered on the plaza. As the final act of the evening, Antoni Serra, head of NGO Treball Solidari, will lead another instalment in the Dona i Microcrèdit conference series, this one on the global south-north flow of people and resources. For all those women interested in taking part in the flash mob, Fernández Tamargo pointed out practices being held Sundays at eleven a.m. in the Casal d'Entitats with the help of Formentera's dance teacher.

                             

     Tuesday 1 March 
     11.00 h          II Cursa solidària per a la Dona 2016 (see poster)

     14.30 h          Paella and concert, La 22
                           (to benefit AECC. Tent in sa Senieta parking lot)

     from 4 to 31 March
                            Book exhibition space of Biblioteca Marià Villagómez:
                            Literature on the subject of women.

     Saturday 5 March
     21.00 h          All women's sisterhood supper
                           (for reservations telephone Espai Dones: 697 941 016)

     Friday 11 March 
     de 17.00 a 21.00h   Workshop “Dona i sexologia” (Women and Sexology)
                                      with sexologist Teresa Ramos
                                      Sala d'Actes Màgic Box in Formentera day centre

     Friday 18 March  
     19.00 h          An evening of music, poetry and solidarity with local artists
                           Sa Panxa restaurant, Sant Ferran de ses Roques

     Sunday 20 March
     20.00 h          Film premier Las sufragistas
                           Wrap-up discussion with Espai Dones
                           Sant Francesc cinema

Free tutoring is back for struggling students

Foto RP taller de reforçIn a press conference this morning, the Formentera Council's office of social welfare unveiled its programme of free academic tutoring. The extra classes, explained department head Vanessa Parellada, are “for all five and six year students with learning difficulties or trouble following the normal rhythm of classes” and particularly “those students who require extra help transitioning to the school setting, or who've got difficulties in languages or maths”.

The 3.5-month tutoring course will start 7 March and continue through year end, picking up again in September for the first semester of the 2016-17 school year. Over the last four years 91 students have benefitted from the free classes. Says Parellada, the decision to extend the programme—which costs the Council €11,000—is due to its success.

This time around, some 20 students are expected to take part in the classes, which have been scheduled for 4 to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday. Both Maribel Jiménez, the coordinating teacher, and staff at Formentera schools, will decide which students are in need of the added help. Parents of interested students must complete an application at the office of social welfare by 3 March.

According to Jiménez, the tutoring sessions will be aimed at fostering success through motivation-minded, daily work. “Our starting point”, Jiménez explained, “will be the class work students are expected to complete—in English, Spanish, Catalan and maths. We'll work up from there”. The students' work will have the added benefit of promoting team work and social integration, since classes will be held in groups.

Council teams up with Espai Dones to tackle gender violence, promote equality

Conveni Espai Dones 2016 premsaEarlier today the Formentera Council and the Espai Dones association signed a deal laying the foundation of a partnership, valued at €3,000, «to promote equality and prevent gender violence», said Vanessa Parellada, councillor of social welfare.

According to the association's recently-appointed president, Dolores Tamargo, the accord will be crucial if Espai Dones is to continue to grow and achieve their antiviolence targets. The group expects to announce its activities programme for International Women's Day (8 March) next week. The programme, she said, will extend into April and be both educational and fun. She described it as «an array of actions that put the spotlight on gender equality and women's rights».

Since its creation, Espai Dones Formentera has used events like International Working Women's Day (March) and International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women (November) to promote its message of equality. This is the fourth year of the partnership between the Council and Espai Dones.

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