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Rights of the child, empowered families and diversity training star features of programming for Children's Day

foto dretsObservance, this November 20, of Universal Children's Day can be traced to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, two appeals for guaranteed access to sound living conditions and opportunities which promote the development and wellness of the whole child.

Formentera renews commitment as Child-Friendly City

A spearhead for related action came in the form of a recent announcement from the permanent secretary of the Child-Friendly Cities programme that Formentera's recognition in the programme, dated October 17, 2014, would be extended another four years.

A Child-Friendly municipality is one committed to application of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. This is part of the rationale driving the Council's year-round commitment to curating programming that is cultural, educational, active, earth-conscious and fun. To celebrate Universal Children's Day this November, the Council announces a month-long activities programme put together in coordination with distinct offices of the administration.

Activities programme

Educating and empowering families is a fundamental part of protecting the rights of children. That is the premise of FERYA's presentation of “Famílies en xarxa” (Networks of families) and a discussion hosted by the Balearic Islands youth institute on online gaming.

Another pillar is the task of normalising difference in all its forms, whether functional diversity or varying gender identities. One sport-related event in particular takes up the cause of inclusiveness, while another feature of programming involves workshops at local schools so pupils can discuss issues like sexual and gender diversity.

Schools and families play critical roles, too, on one thing in particular: protecting the environment. All November long, pupils from across the island will take part in a project called Plàstic Zero, in which sand samples are collected from different beaches and scanned for plastics, an invitation to discussion as for possible solutions.

Programming even covers leisure—a manga workshop, ImproXoc (a stage production) and “Escape Room” all take place at the Casal de Joves. There's also "Cada pollo con su rollo" and gymkhanas in the Sant Ferran school playground; fitness activities (a trek across La Mola with Walking Formentera, a family day at Antoni Blanc sports centre, and inclusive, accessible sport activities, also in the school courtyard); cultural fare like Improaventures and documentary Camino a la escuela in Biblioteca Marià Villangómez and, at the cinema, the most recent L'Illa a Escena production, Safari.

La Mola primary school becomes Formentera's first in network of socially-conscious schools in Pityuses

foto signatura-conveni-xarxaThe Formentera Council's social welfare office reports that La Mola's primary school, CEIP El Pilar de la Mola, has joined a network of area schools that promote engagement with social causes. The school is the first on Formentera to join Xarxa de Centres Educatius Solidaris—a network (xarxa) of "schools in solidarity" that is backed by an Eivissa-Formentera cooperation fund. The school's incorporation in the Xarxa was made official with the signing of a partnership agreement between the fund and the school.

Vanessa Parellada, who is the social welfare secretary and the cooperation fund's deputy chair, hailed CEIP El Pilar's inclusion on the network, saying it would “put pupils in contact with schoolchildren from other cultures and get them involved in work with a social impact”. Parellada characterised the initiative as “enlisting a range of educational development strategies to connect children who live and study thousands of miles apart”.

Xarxa de Centres Educatius Solidaris

The Xarxa was created in 2008 to consolidate efforts by the cooperation fund, the Fons Pitiús de Cooperació, to promote development education at local schools. It focuses on schools committed to creating a more just world, a world where people's fundamental rights are respected and where the environment is respected as well, preaching “inclusiveness and the transformative power of education to create global citizens through everyday educational action”.

Guiding the Xarxa's crusade are a series of commitments, adhered to by the Fons and member schools. CEIP El Pilar makes a number of promises, including to write transformational learning and creating global citizens into their school's overarching vision; to create a committee that will interface with the Fons and take up the task of making related activities more exciting and dynamic; participate in Xarxa meetings; stage workshops and teach workshop content to pupils.

CEIP El Pilar promises other action as well. For one, to donate money, though no minimums are dictated, to benefit infrastructure and quality learning in the Nicaraguan town of Palacagüina. Another part of the school's pledge involves engaging pupils in a yearly research project on a topic of their choosing, and an exchange project with the sister school in Nicaragua.

Today Xarxa de Centres Educatius Solidaris is home to nine primary schools on Eivissa—CEIP Sant Antoni, CC Santíssima Trinitat, CEIP Santa Gertrudis, CEIP S'Olivera, CEIP Puig d'en Valls, CEIP Sant Jordi, CEIP Torres de Balàfia, CEIP Labritja and CEIP Sa Joveria. CEIP El Pilar is the Xarxa's tenth member school, and the first on Formentera.

Day of special programming for International Day of Action for Trans* Depathologisation

img 2362-1-The equality division of the Formentera Council’s social welfare department has joined with another arm of the administration, the department of culture, in organizing a series of activities to take place next week and the second week in November to mark October 21 as International Day of Action for the Depathologisation of Trans* Identities (the asterisk denotes the inclusion of a diverse range of gender identities, ie. trans, transsexual, transgender).


At 8.00pm on Tuesday October 23, Mar C Llop will unveil a photo exhibit entitled Construccions Identitàries. The artist says “the project captures the bodily processes already , familiar to transgender people, it shows the human face, trans people and their families, and it captures the secrecy that so frequently accompanies crossdressing’. Mar C Llop will be present for the evening event.

At 8.00pm on Thursday October 25, the cinema (Sala de Cultura) will host a screening of En Femme, a documentary by filmmaker Alba Barbé that deals with transvestism, the practice of dressing in clothes normally associated with the opposite gender to the one a person was assigned at birth. Formentera is the first island in the Balearics to host a screening.

Associated workshops have been scheduled for Thursday October 25 and Friday October 26 at Marc Ferrer secondary school. Més enllà del bullying deals with sexual and gender diversity as well as ending myriad forms of discrimination. The workshops are designed to lend a global counterpoint to a week of LGTBI visibility and trans depathologisation.

Social welfare secretary Vanessa Parellada says “our goal was to reach out to the schoolchildren of Formentera about issues of sexual and gender diversity, and educate people in not discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation, identity or gender expression’. The secretary also pointed to group La lio Parda’s November run of theatre workshops to address the same issues with year three pupils at IES Marc Ferrer and year five and six pupils in primary.

Last up is Balearic company Baal’s production of the Catalina Carrasco-directed Crotch, a show that is by turns fragile, provocative, aggressive, funny and responsible as it offers a panoramic view of gender from (in)equality to sexual identity.

The central goal is to bring light and visibility to bodies, tolerance and sexuality, suggesting gender’s disappearance as the solution to gender inequality. This innovative experiment is artistically, socially and politically engaged.

Recommended for viewers 18 and up, Crotch comes to Formentera’s Sala de Cultura (cinema) 8.30pm on Saturday November 10.

Formentera unveils Catalan guide for Arabic speakers

foto salam al catala 2The Formentera Council's social welfare bureau reports that from 7.00pm this Tuesday, October 23, the Marià Villangómez library will host an initiation into Salam al català, a language-learner's guide made to introduce Catalan to the Balearic Islands' Arabic-speaking communities.

The guide is produced by Plataforma per la Llengua, an initiative offering Muslim newcomers to the region language instruction.

Plataforma per la Llengua is an NGO that strives to promote Catalan as a driver of social cohesion. The group works in different places the language is spoken, with cross-cutting socioeconomic and audiovisual approaches to welcoming immigrants and initiating them into the Catalan language on university campuses, in schools and in the public sector, among other areas.

Following the presentation there will be a discussion with Bernat Joan (sociolinguist), Iris Palomo (immigration department specialist), Wassima Bouhia (a recent arrival and Arabic speaker on the island) and Maria Teresa Ferrer (head of the Formentera chapter of the OCB). Moderation duties will be handled by Vicent Ferrer (linguist and teacher).

New round of integration classes on Formentera

xi-edici-curs-integraci-social1The Formentera Council's social welfare department announces that from Monday October 22 to Friday November 2, islanders can sign up to take part in the eleventh round of social and cultural integration classes. Space is available for 15, and the twice-weekly lessons —a total of 20 hours of instruction from March 6-28— will take place in the large classroom of the Formentera adult learning centre.

Course content
The classes are mainly geared towards immigrants, particularly those wishing to renew their residence permit, prepare for the CCSE citizenship test or demonstrate integration during the early phases of their stay in Spain.

Topics covered will include Spain's constitutional values, human rights and civil liberties, the Balearic Statute of Autonomy, the European Union and gender equality, among others. The courses are aimed at familiarising students with the various subjects and helping them obtain the associated accreditation from the Balearic regional government.

Signups are open to all. Visit the social welfare department (àrea de Benestar Social) during normal office hours or phone them at 971 321 271.

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