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Formentera introduces pair of parenting support groups

cartell grup de suportThe Formentera Council's social welfare office is unveiling two “family support groups”—one for parents of three to six year olds and another for children aged six to twelve. Both are free and open to the public, with no need to sign up.

Department head Vanessa Parellada said the initiative was about “teaching families, parents and children alike, to strengthen their parenting skills, part of preventing problematic behaviour like bullying and drugs, and pitching in with some extra help”.

The sessions will be held at Casal d'Entitats. Group one (for parents of children aged three to six) meets 6.00pm to 8.00pm the first Thursday of the month from January 10. Group two (for parents of six to twelve year olds) meets 6.00pm to 8.00pm the last Thursday of the month starting January 24.

The support group will have a two-part focus; According to Vanessa Parellada, "on the one hand, parents will be encouraged to raise their children to support them and guide them, and on the other, tools will be provided to prevent creeping problems from getting out hand". Conflict resolution will be explored in terms of democratic values and the strengthening of social skills with minors.

The family support group will be led by the social educator of the social welfare office and will include occasional collaboration of specialists from assorted fields.

Starting Saturday, Diverespai is back

diverespai-2017This Saturday the Formentera Council’s social welfare office welcomes Diverespai. A play space with activities and inflatable toys for children aged 3 to 12, Diverespai will be on the island December 15-19, Saturday to Wednesday, from 9.30am to 1.30pm and again from 4.00pm to 8.00pm. For three mornings starting December 17 the installation will be reserved for local schools.

Social welfare councillor Vanessa Parellada pointed out that every year “one of the best parts of the Christmas holiday comes right at the start”.

Inflatables and crafts
Diverespai is set up in IES Marc Ferrer secondary school’s sport module and is staffed by a team of 13 youth workers who supervise play. Giant blow-up castles, animals and shapes adorned with staircases, nets and obstacles are arrayed across the park while attendants propose guided play, face-painting and assorted arts and crafts.

Learn through play
“The idea is to fuse learning and fun—using play to fuel imaginations and creativity”, said Parellada. She noted “children are conscious that playing together makes us better at living together” and concluded, “It’s not a bad lesson for the start of the holiday season”.

Formentera talks tech with parents

xerrada noves tecn 2018-1--0011The Formentera Council's social welfare office reports that Thursday December 13 from 8.00pm the Casal d'Entitats will host a discussion on the place of emerging technologies in our homes.

The gathering, which organisers hope is of use for parents who are overwhelmed or perhaps just a bit disoriented, will concentrate on ways to use new tech to assist in children's learning process. Technology is here to stay, and it is an immensely powerful tool, too, not to mention an incredibly useful one in children’s education.

The talk will be moderated by Belén Alvite, educator and director of the Centre for the Study and Prevention of Addictive Behavior (CEPCA) and Pilar Daviu, police liaison officer.

Formentera plugs into Balearic 'children's pact'

foto-pacte-per-la-infancia-21As of today the Formentera Council is the newest signatory of the Pacte Balear per la Infància (“Balearic Pact for Children”). Council president Jaume Ferrer put together the document with the directors of UNICEF Balears and Oficina de Defensa dels Drets del Menor and party representatives of groups within the Formentera Council (Gent per Formentera, PP, PSOE and Compromís).

The Council's adhesion to the pact is one piece of the roadmap drafted by the related monitoring committee, signed into existence in November 2013 by the political groups with representation in Parlament.

Vanessa Parellada pointed out the administration already exercises control over issues concerning children and said the island's embrace of the pact meant “extending the Council's commitment to best conditions for the boys and girls of Formentera, giving them a political and social voice and taking responsibility for their well-being.

“It's crucial we get the buy-in of arms of government like the Council, whose work directly impacts child welfare”, affirmed UNICEF Balears president Mercedes del Pozo, “because with public policy we can effect real improvements in children's conditions”.

Formentera's adhesion to the pledge now sets in motion the creation of a monitoring committee whose job it will be to produce an annual review of the local programme's outcome and impact including proposals for new initiatives.

Council officials and del Pozo also put their signatures on an extension of the island's Child Friendly Cities recognition and gave an an accreditory diploma and compact to 2022.

Formentera celebrates International Volunteer Day

foto dia-internacional-del-voluntariatThe Formentera Council's social welfare department reminds islanders that local observance of International Volunteer Day is this Wednesday December 5.

The Formentera Council wishes to salute the tireless, perennial efforts of volunteer staff. Many wings of the Council rely on the help and participation of volunteers, who work to support the organisation and implementation of nearly every event the Council backs.

In their charitable efforts, volunteers are the anonymous and frequently all but invisible protagonists of the vast majority of local celebrations, events and projects. The island's corp of volunteers currently boasts a head count of roughly 200.

In observance of International Volunteer Day, visitors to Sant Francesc's plaça de la Constitució will find a booth stocked with information for volunteers and anyone keen to learn more. A dedicatory sign will also be hung from the Council balcony in recognition of volunteers' selfless work.

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