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Formentera Summer School creates solution for working families

escolaestiu2013 web2For yet another year, the months of July and August ushered in the Formentera Summer School, a programme of recreational activities for boys and girls from ages 3 to 12 years old. Proof of the initiative's success – the summer school programme permits parents to negotiate professional obligations with family life during the two central summer months – this year's summer school counted a total of 182 participants.

The goal of the Formentera Summer School is serve as a socio-educational resource during the summer months, and one that promotes viable, productive alternatives for leisure activities. One of the programme's many smaller scale objectives is to foster the creative development of its participants, in this way giving children the possibility to acquire an important knowledge base through play. In this same way participating children also learn values like solidarity, friendship, responsibility, trust and respect.

Summer school activities were held at Col·legi Públic Mestre Lluís Andreu, Col·legi de Sant Ferran and also Col·legi Públic del Pilar de la Mola, serving all three of the island's public primary schools.

Programming was held Monday through Friday from 9 am to 2 pm, starting 1 July and extending through 30 August, and including the option of early morning start (8 am) at all three centres.

This year's programming carried the title, “SOM ARTISTES!!” (We're artists!!), and built a knowledge base around imagination and creativity, a starting-off point for various themes, which later included games, songs, arts and crafts activities, dance, gymkhanas and theatre.

Children had the opportunity to take part in outings to the municipal swimming pool, trips to different beaches, visits to different exhibitions, bike trips, a visit by island firefighters, and a get-together organised between all three centres and held at the Col·legi del Pilar de la Mola, where students took part in games, sports and other organised activities.

On 30 August the 2013 Formentera Summer School programme came to an official close with a gala held at the Cultural Hall (cinema), each group presenting a performance in which the dances, songs and other summertime activities could be put on display.

The summer school's directive team was made up of one recreational activity director, twenty counsellors, two counsellor assistants and one counsellor certified in special education.

Thanks to the day counsellor training courses offered over the course of the last several winters, the majority of counsellors this summer were also residents of Formentera. These training courses have been an important factor in maintaining high numbers of resident counsellors in past editions of the summer school. This is especially positive considering both stability it gives the project and the professional development opportunities it provides for Formentera youth in summer, affording an alternative to tourism sector-based employment.

Summer School 2013

escolaestiu2013 web

The councilor of Social Welfare, Youth and Equality of the Formentera Island Council, Dolores Fernández, presented today via press conference the opening of registration for the Formentera Summer School programme. The programme is a socioeducational resource that exists during summer months to provide children between 3 and 12 with a wide array of recreational activities.

A total of 200 spaces are available and activities will be held at the Mestre Lluís Andreu (Sant Francesc), Sant Ferran and El Pilar de la Mola public primary schools. During the months of July and August, alternatives for free-time activities will be offered to those children who participate, all with the goal of fostering creative development and imagination.

This time around the Summer School's guiding theme will be “Som artistes” (“We're artists”), the objective being to focus on arts and crafts, music, dance, etc. using the summer's activities as a starting-off point.

The different activities will include arts and crafts workshops (to stimulate imagination, creativity, psychomotricity, etc.); workshops – like gymkhanas – to promote physical fitness; game workshops (both traditional and from all over the world, outdoor, water games, etc.); music workshops (dances, songs, instrument building, etc.); theatre and physical expression workshops (in preparation for different end-of-the-month festivals); storytelling workshop; trips to the beach and other field trips.

These activities give children the possibility of an extremely diversified education through games and physical activity, not to mention imparting values like solidarity, friendship, responsibility, trust and mutual respect.

Like in years past, the school's objective is to offer an educational and recreational space for children during the summer months, to foment different educational leisure activities and assist in the solution of work-family conflicts (bearing in mind that the summer season is the period of time when employment is highest and children are not in school).

The Summer School activities programme will extend from 1 July to 30 August from 9 am to 2 pm Monday through Friday, with the option of 8 am start-time. Swimming will also be possible as a complementary activity.

The professional staff will include 22 day counsellors, 1 director and 1 certified Special Education staff member to tend to children with special learning needs.

It is important to remember that the Summer School, although a recreational activity, is still educational, and as such full importance is given to the use of games as learning tools. Games form an integral part of the culture in which children live, fundamental to the physical, intellectual and social growth of a child.

Finally, we remind readers that registration will be open starting today, 12 June, and will continue through 19 June, in the Citizen's Information Office (OAC) of the Formentera Island Council.

8 March: International Day of the Working Woman

igualtat7With time the month of March has come to be recognised for its celebration of the women of Formentera, dovetailing with the International Working Women's Day, 8 March. The women of Formentera come out strong in their celebration of this important day, the one moment dedicated every year to social mobilisation and ending the discrimination that continues to effect an unequal access to resources.

Once again, the Espai Dones Association, with the collaboration of Formentera's Office of Equality, has prepared activities for the entire month of March. These activities have taken a reflective turn. From a photo exhibition reinforcing feminine expression to traditional storytelling, which, this latter, for the second year running and due to the great success received by the first edition, will also be directed at younger residents. Additional activities will include the V homage to adult women – extremely important to the adult population – which celebrates the history of the woman in Formentera.

The remaining cultural acts, all of which place the woman at the forefront, vary from informational talks to a theatrical production and a make-up workshop, without forgetting the traditional sisterhood supper. New to the panorama this year is the 8 March events schedule, the product of a contest organised by Espai Dones aimed at increasing the participation of younger residents. The winner was Júlia Tur Mayans.

The events programme was made possible by the Espai Dones Association, which devotes efforts year after year to the celebration of the International Working Women's Day and the International Day against Domestic Violence. These days mark relevant moments in women's fight for effective equality and empowerment. Mainly, the celebration organised around this day represents an important thrust of momentum for the defence and awareness of women's rights.

Formentera's Espai Dones Association
Espai Dones Formentera is a not-for-profit women's association. It was founded 5 March 2007 by a group of women who for many years had organised events for 8 March, International Working Women's Day.

The association's purpose is to promote gender equality and provide women with counsel, as well as organise workshops and educational and recreational events. It is a space for encounters, dialogue, development of social well-being, fun and collaboration with local entities for the official commemoration of days significant to the struggle for equality.

The association works actively with the Spanish Association against Cancer in its numerous campaigns, takes part in Formentera's Intercultural Day, an event organised by the Office of Social Welfare, and also participates in the sale of second-hand books for the Day of Sant Jordi.

Espai Dones encourages all the women of Formentera to join in the use of this space. The contact number is 697.941.016, or they can also be reached by email at: espaidonesformentera@hotmail.com.

Accord for the promotion of equality and prevention of domestic violence

espaidones webToday, the president of the Formentera Island Council, Jaume Ferrer, together with Maria Antònia Ferragut, the president of the association Espai Dones, signed a collaborative accord between the two entities. The accord will serve to strengthen and formalise the close collaboration that has come to exist between the two entities on the issue of equality.

As part of the accord the Council will grant 2,500€ for actions promoting equality and working toward domestic violence prevention. Likewise, Espai Dones commits to programming awareness-raising activities and actions around women's rights and domestic abuse issues. To reach this objective, educational activities and talks are held on subjects of equality and increasing sensibility toward the rights of the woman.

The association was created in 2007 to implicate native Formentera women in the struggle for equality. The Formentera Council's Office of Equality works in close concert with the feminist association, mainly for the events related to the Day of the Woman Worker (8 March) and the International Day against Domestic Violence (25 November), both relevant milestones in the path toward effective equality, but also on women's empowerment issues and violence prevention/rejection. Acts of violence are too present in our societies, and although anyone can be affected, there is nevertheless a greater incidence among women and children.

The Council as a collective is of the opinion that training on equality issues is fundamental to reducing domestic abuse. It is on these issues that the Office of Equality works in conjunction with the Office of Culture, programming events that generate change and promote the advancement of gender equality, fomenting a culture of female empowerment. We consider that every woman must attain a certain empowerment in order to defend herself and prevent domestic violence, especially on an island as pluralistic and diverse as ours.

The Office of Social Welfare carries out two fundamental services for the women of Formentera, the first being immediate support for victims of domestic violence and the second – complementary and of unqualified importance – equal rights training and domestic violence prevention.

The support service for domestic abuse victims comprises immediate attention, mentoring and on-going support for the victims during periods of vulnerability. This service uses tools like the emergency social telephone line (24 hours/day), which relies on a close coordination with the Guardia Civil. The service is also complemented with home-visits when an immediate separation of the victim and her aggressor is necessary. This is realized in collaboration with the Eivissa Women's Office.

It is the duty of the Formentera Island Council – as established by article 31 of the regulatory Organic Law 1/2002 (22 March) on the right of association – to promote and facilitate the development of associations that work in the general public interest while still respecting a fundamental liberty and autonomy with respect to public authority. The law also states that these associations be accorded economic aid and assistance in the undertaking of their activity. To this effect, articles 70.20 of Organic Law 2/1983 (25 February) of the Balearic Islands' Statue of Autonomy, later modified by Organic Law 1/2007 (28 February), state that polices that deal with gender and work-family life balance are to be the remit of the different island councils.

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Gabinet de Premsa


971 32 10 87 - Ext: 3181
premsa@conselldeformentera.cat