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At summer schools and sports camps, 315 Formentera children in Council programmes this summer

Foto escola estiuThe Formentera Council's Office of Youth Services has reported on the start of the 2017 Escola d'Estiu, the summer learning programme held at the island's three public primary schools (Mestre Lluís Andreu, Sant Ferran and la Mola). One-hundred seventy children are enrolled in the programme, which is run by a staff of 21 youth workers and one head director.

Activities are devised for children aged 3 to 14 (born between 2003 and 2013). The programme unfolds weekdays in July and August from 9.00am to 2.00pm with early start available from 8.00am. The assorted activities programme will focus alternately on arts and crafts, fitness, games, music, dance, theatre and cooking. There will also be field trips to the beach and other outings like swimming.

The goal, says social welfare and youth services councillor Vanessa Parellada, is to create “a fun and educational space where children can spend summer and learn how to make productive use of their free time”. She also pointed to the importance, particularly on Formentera, “of being able to offer a resource for parents juggling work and family”.

Sports camps
The Council's Office of Sport is piloting two sports camps as a summertime option for young people. One of the two, synchronised swimming, is geared toward children born between 2003 and 2012. The 103 registered youth will get a taste of acrobatic gymnastics, cognitive and physical development, dance, theatre and synchronised swimming. The programme, which runs through summer's end, is managed by eight staffers and one volunteer.

The second of the two Council-backed summer programmes is an athletics camp. Forty-two children aged three to six will explore a host of topics, including cognitive and physical development, crafts, swimming for leisure, healthy habits and art. Classes, which began earlier this week, end on August 31 and are overseen by four staffers and one health and safety assistant.

Creative youth behind clips for Formentera Film

Foto grup taller for filmThis week, Formentera Art's Arturo Bandinelli is heading up a film production workshop for 12 youth aged 13 to 18. Signups were held through the Formentera Council's social centre for young people, the Casal de Joves.

Participants have set out to produce a music video for an original song by Juan Camilo Puerta, an 18-year-old resident of Formentera and rapper. The song's lyrics—a meditation on life on an island like Formentera—are set to an instrumental track by Eivissa-native Pedro Peter. The recording was made by MP MUSIC EIVISSA's Can Sabina Estudi.

The clip will be screened at Formentera Film, a festival of shorts, documentaries and video art from around the world that kicks off May 18 at 8.30pm in la Mola's main square. The remainder of the affair will take place in Sant Francesc's plaça de la Constitució May 19–21.

Youth centre celebrates tenth year

Casal 9The Formentera Council's Office of Social Welfare and Youth Services announced today its programme for the Casal de Jove's tenth anniversary celebration. Friday March 31 marks ten years since Es Molí social centre opened its doors and, with it, the island's gathering space for children and teens.

Department chair Vanessa Parellada described the Casal de Joves (Catalan for “youth house”) as young people's source for both recreation and education over the last ten years. According to Parellada, the goal, helped along rules and qualified staff, was to create a leisure space where youngsters could learn to socialise and coexist with their peers. It has since become a yardstick for youth services, she says. The councillor pointed to a document billed as the island's “youth plan” that is currently being prepared in concert with Formentera youth to ensure the centre's continued ability to adapt to the needs of its users.

Activities
The party starts Thursday March 30 at the Casal with a foosball session, 4.30 to 6.30pm, to be followed by a slideshow with photos and video footage of the Casal's alumni since 2007. At 8.30pm free snacks and birthday cake will be offered in the spirit of celebration and from 9.00 to 10.00pm there will be music and karaoke.

For the big day, March 31, an array of all-ages activities will kick off at 5.00pm in Jardí de ses Eres, with storytelling from Xènia and Siri (“Les mil aventures del Pirata pedorreta i Carlota l'aventurera”) to get the ball rolling. Next up, Casal staff will lead two workshops—urban dance at 6.00pm and voice at 7.00—before Edgar Vilamajo guides attendees through an initiation to graffiti at 8.30. Finally, from 10.00pm till 2.00am, local performers El puerta, Elian.C, Reiminem and Juan Vidal will provide musical entertainment.

The Casal's birthday festivities are part of the Formentera Council's ten year anniversary celebration.

In response to Formentera youth, Council to build skateboard park in early 2017

foto ple de la infancia i joventutFormentera's youth participation council met today and celebrated their plenary session in the administration's plenary hall. Formentera Council (CiF) president Jaume Ferrer was there to welcome the 28 pupils from the island's three primary schools and secondary school that the youth council comprises. An intervention followed from the youth participation council's vice president, Vanessa Parellada, in which she spoke about the activities organised in support of World Children's Day.

Parellada, who in addition to her other functions is Formentera's councillor of social welfare and youth services, gave her take on improvements that followed proposals in past plenaries. Namely, she highlighted efforts by the CiF Office of Festivities to incorporate activities geared toward young people in events the administration hosts. Parellada spoke about a project now in development to build a skate park, as per requests from local youth. She told meeting participants that the new park could be expected as soon as early 2017. Parellada also reported on the opening of a children's park at the Sant Ferran school, something that until now had not existed. The park is staffed by CiF employees Monday through Saturday from 4.30 to 7.00pm and the site is used to stage youth activities, a push intended to revitalise the area.

Other members of the meeting, several of whom recently participated in the Balearic Islands' youth parliament, reported on their experience and the travails of refugees, especially children. Among other things, the Formentera youth were keen to learn of the grants offered by the Council as well as developments regarding the creation of the island's future nautical sports centre.

The youth council began to convene its plenary sessions three years ago and since then the gatherings have taken place twice annually. Formentera, classed as a Child-friendly City under UNICEF, was visited today by one of the organisation's reps, whose tasks consist in ensuring full protection of children's rights.

Formentera rolls out diverse bill to mark Universal Children's Day

foto dia de la infancia 2016Formentera's councillors of social welfare, environment and sports, Vanessa Parellada, Daisee Aguilera and Jordi Vidal, respectively, shared news today of the activities organised by the Council to commemorate Children's Day on the island. Universal Children's Day occurs on November 20 and, as last year, a programme of events has been tailor-made for local children and teens. Formentera is also recognised as a Child-friendly City, an honour bestowed on the Council October 17, 2014.

Conferences
The programme gets under way tomorrow with two open conferences. Paco Pérez will give a talk entitled "El rosa y el blau ja no molen" (Why pink and blue just don't cut it anymore) and Virginia Vallejo will present another on sexual diversity and gender identity. For parents, guardians or anyone else interested, the two events will take place from 7.00pm in the conference hall of the Office of Culture.

Activities continue until November 30 with everything from storytelling for kids, theatre, film screenings and an open-house at the sports centre to reach out to Formentera young people and families.

This year also sees the return of two other initiatives: the community beach cleanups organised jointly with Formentera schools and an intergenerational space to facilitate exchanges between youth and the elderly. On Saturday, November 25, residents are invited to take part in a community bike ride, a first this year and just one of the many activities marking Universal Children's Day. See posters for more information.

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