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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.

Minute of silence to condemn gender violence

Minut silenci dona CalviàThe Formentera Council took heed of the Govern Balear's call for a minute of silence to condemn the death of a woman in Calvià. Evidence available at present indicates the woman was killed by her partner, making her death the first of 2016 in the Balearic Islands to be caused by domestic violence.

The Council had extended a call to the entire population of Formentera, urging anyone who could to convene at the Sant Francesc town square at 12 noon. In a show of solidarity before the apparent act of gender violence were President Jaume Ferrer as well as workers and the other councillors of the local administration.

La Mola seniors' club to oversee activities at Casa del Poble

Signatura conveni la MolaThe Formentera Council and the seniors' club of la Mola (Associació de Majors del Pilar de la Mola) will form a partnership to oversee programming at la Casa del Poble, the town's social centre. According to the terms of the agreement, signed earlier today by CiF president Jaume Ferrer and Associació president Jaume Escandell, the Council will grant the seniors' club use of the centre for the planning of cultural and social events. The club will also receive a yearly sum of €6,000 to cover a portion of the cultural centre's operating costs.

Until now the seniors' club has been in charge of a part of la Casa del Poble programming, but under the new partnership agreement, the Associació de Majors will oversee all of the activities at the centre except the computer lab and office space the Council uses to manage island initiatives. According to Ferrer, the new partnership is a direct response to requests made by residents of the area. Escandell expressed his gratitude for what he sees as a vote of confidence from the Council and promised the local social centre will soon see more programming, not just for la Mola residents, but for the island at large. Councillor of social services Vanessa Parellada was also present at the signing. She stressed that strong local associations like the Associació de Majors are an important to the island and crucial to ensuring a vibrant local community in la Mola.

Disability assessments now possible on Formentera

Foto valoracio grau discapacitat premsaYesterday, the Govern Balear staff specialists in charge of assessing degrees of discapacity visited the Formentera day centre. Vicent Verdera, an 84 year old Formentera-native, was the first patient the workers met with. According to Mr Verdera’s daughter, Pepita, though almost two years have gone by since doctors amputated her father’s leg, architectural barriers have meant Mr Verdera has been unable to make the trip to Eivissa to have his disability assessed. The Verderas were not alone. Two other patients at the day centre also benefitted from the visit by the employees of the Govern. Other specialists – a doctor, a psychologist and a social worker – are also available to come to Formentera upon request, thus sparing residents trips to Eivissa, explained Vanessa Parellada, head of Formentera’s office of social welfare.

Until now, Formentera residents who needed the degree of their disability assessed were required to schedule an appointment and travel to Eivissa, «with all the inconveniences that came along with it», added Councillor Parellada. «We proposed a possible solution to the regional minister of social services – Fina Santiago – and she accepted», said Parellada, pointing out that the Govern was itself eager to ensure social services were within the reach of Formentera residents.

The Council pays for the specialists’ travel costs to the Formentera day centre, where they have access to a work space. Interested individuals, Parellada concluded by saying, can contact the social services office of Formentera – or Eivissa – for more information or to request a local visit by one of the available specialists.

Fifteen students graduate from integration course

Foto curs integracio novembre 2015On Thursday, 26 November, a group of fifteen students and one professor held the final session of a course on social and cultural integration. The short course was organised by the immigration office of the CiF department of social welfare and held in Formentera's adult learning centre, l'Escola d'Adults. Department head Vanessa Parellada was on hand to personally hand out certificates attesting students had successfully completed the integration course, and, in some cases, a parallel language course as well. Both attestations are required to complete the application for a residency permit.

This particular course has been offered twice a year – in March and November – since 2013. This year's group comprised a broad range of nationalities: Argentinians, Colombians, Pakistanis and Moroccans. In class, the students learned overviews of the values embodied in the Spanish constitution, human rights and civil liberties, the Balearic statute of autonomy, the European Union and gender equality.

In November, the group met over 20 hours on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons. The classes, explained Councillor Parellada, are conceived for recent arrivals to Formentera who are interested in fully integrating into civil society here.

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