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On World Refugee Day, Formentera reaches out to children and teens

The Formentera Council's Office of Social Welfare has put together a set of activities to break through to the island's young children and teenagers about the realities of life for refugees.

From 5.00 to 7.00pm today, the Sant Ferran de Ses Roques primary school will play host to an afternoon of games and activities exploring some of the issues facing individuals who have been forced to flee their homes. On Tuesday, June 20, for World Refugee Day, the island's youth centre will stage a screening of “My Friend,” a documentary that recounts the unrelenting travails of Afghani women struggling for a voice and a say in their fates.

Meet Formentera's summer lifeguard crew

Foto grup socorristesThe Formentera Council presented today the names of the 24 individuals that make up the island's lifeguard service. At 9.00am this morning, CiF president Jaume Ferrer and Bartomeu Escandell, chief of the president's office, gathered for a photo-op with the full crew in Sant Francesc's central plaza, plaça de la Constitució.

During high-season, which starts today and continues to September 15, twenty-four people will be in charge of assuring Formentera swimmers' well-being. Safety and rescue services are maintained May 1 to October 31—in the second half of September the crew's ranks slim to 15, then drop again to ten for the period from September 30 to October 31. The pre-summer brigade also numbers ten lifeguards.

This year for the first time, patrol of the Es Caló beach Ses Platgetes will also be maintained. Likewise, June 1 marked the return of supervision at Cala Saona, which began last year.

Patrol at Es Trucadors
Another change involves the purchase of a five-metre boat, with which the crew will keep watch over Es Pas des Trucadors. Just yesterday, lifeguards attended a refresher course on day-to-day functions like prevention and minor care for incidents like jellyfish stings and heat stroke.

Likewise, the Formentera Council has added to its arsenal items such as first-aid rucksacks, oxygen-therapy devices and two defibrillators for use in Es Caló and Cala Saona.

Accessible beaches
Beachgoers should bear in mind that Arenals and Es Pujols beaches are equipped to allow swimming for people with reduced mobility. The service can be requested by phoning 609.76.85.06 and is available between 12 noon and 5.00pm whenever the green flag flies.

Balearic symphonic orchestra, Maria del Mar Bonet put in at Formentera

Maria del mar bonetThe Formentera Council's Office of Culture has reported that at 9.30pm on June 16, the Orquestra Simfònica de les Illes Balears will stage a special concert in Es Pujols' plaça d'Europa. Not only is the Orquestra expected to interpret a diverse repertoire, but also, during their performance they will be joined by singer Maria del Mar Bonet. The Council has made every effort to insure the evening's success, said culture councillor Susana Labrador, quipping that the administration's backing, both material or personal, was “all part of making sure the concert is a smash”. She also tipped her hat to the Govern balear's ministry of culture for bringing the orchestra to each of the Balearic Islands, in general, and to Formentera, in particular.

Devoted to reaching every strata of society in the region they represent, the Orquestra Simfònica de les Illes Balears are conscious of the role music plays in shaping—and linking—communities. The day before, the Orquestra will hold a concert in Eivissa's Reina Sofia park.

The concert bill includes three overtures—to Mozart's Les Noces de Fígaro, Verdi's la Força del Destí and Bizet's Carmen—and the intermezzo to Luis Alonso's Les Noces. A distinguished artist and composer in the region, del Mar Bonet will punctuate the Orquestra's performances with her own interventions. The concert marks the artist's fiftieth year as a singer.

Partnership with OCB aims to build on Formentera's cultural capital

Foto conveni ocbToday, Formentera Council president Jaume Ferrer met with the deputy chair of the local chapter of regional cultural association Obra Cultural Balear (OCB) to sign into effect a deal aimed at “expanding cultural programming on Formentera in 2017”.

Under the deal, OCB Formentera promises to head up organising for “Primavera de cultura”. “Cultural spring” in English, the yearly gathering and its array of presentations on new publications, panel discussions, roundtables and poetry readings coincides with celebrations surrounding Sant Jordi day on April 23. OCB will also be on the hook for cultural publications and material on Formentera's historical and natural heritage, not to mention, as a prime mover of local culture, advisory work and research.

The Council has pledged to provide up to €7,000 to support OCB Formentera's efforts.

Formentera's farmers' market gets new look, more sales outlets

The Formentera Council's Office of Rural Affairs has announced a remodel of the island's farmers' market, the so-called Mercat Pagès. Changes will include wood furniture crafted by the growers themselves, new display cases and boxes to transport and store merchandise.

The number of vendors has also gone up—from two to three locally-based fruit and vegetable farmers. Plus, now for the first time, one grower offers organically-grown local fruit and vegetables. Additionally, signage in the building has been harmonised and prices are advertised prominently in an attempt to improve the experience of shoppers.

On a visit to the market, rural affairs councillor Bartomeu Escandell cheered what he called “high-quality fruit and vegetables” and the market's “increasingly important role on Formentera”. He also held it up as “a founding pillar” of the Council's bid to reactivate the Formentera countryside. The Mercat Pagès is located at Centre Antoni Tur “Gabrielet” in Sant Francesc and opens Monday to Saturday from 9.00am to 1.30pm.

Farmers' Co-operative retail outlet
The Farmers' Co-operative (Cooperativa del Camp) opened its members' sales location today with an inventory including fertilisers, grains, plant-protection products, animal feed, field tools and farming equipment. That location, at the Co-op's warehouse space in the Sant Francesc industrial park, opens Monday to Friday from 8.30am to 1.00am and 5.00 to 7.30pm.

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