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Formentera cheers Xicu des Capri on Ramón Llull award

Xicu des CapriThe Formentera Council, by way of the administration's office of the presidency, extends its congratulations to Formentera-native Francesc Marí Mayans—Xicu des Capri—who is slated to receive the Govern Balear's Ramón Llull award on Monday 29 February. CiF president Jaume Ferrer expressed his delight seeing the formenterer snare such an important distinction.

According to the Balearic Islands government's website: «The award is conceived as a way to recognise and honour persons — both legal and physical — who have made a notable contribution to the region in terms of culture, sports, law, trade, civics, humanitarian work, research, education or linguistics».

Tourism and tradition

Organisers chose to grant this year's honours to Xicu—a pioneering entrepreneur in Formentera's tourism sector—for fomenting the role of community associations and defending traditional art forms like llaüt (dinghy) based fishing. Xicu was born in 1938, and has come to be held as the paradigm for promotors and tradesmen in tourism. Not only did he disseminate the values of an older, more traditional Formentera through an unbroken commitment to professional fishing, but he would also remain an active figure in the local tourism business throughout his life.

Xicu promoted and ran numerous es Pujols businesses but, as the CiF president pointed out today, was always mindful of keeping the traditional family spirit of the island intact. He served his own catches to the patrons of his restaurants – a clever way to promote traditional fishing – and was the face of Formentera for countless tourists.

Party reps want to meet with port authority, Eivissa administration to discuss new port

RP Junta de Portaveus Estació MarítimaThis morning, the grouping of local political party representatives known as the Junta de Portaveus gathered with Formentera Council president Jaume Ferrer to discuss last week's meeting of the Formentera Council of Entities. Wednesday, 17 February, members of the local business community and different island organisations convened an evening gathering to discuss the location of the new Formentera landing in the port of Eivissa. That evening, meeting attendees unanimously rejected the Balearic port authority's proposed relocation of the landing to Eivissa's commercial dock.

In a joint press conference, Ferrer announced the Junta's decision to request a meeting attended by Juan Gual de Torrella, president of the Balearic port authority, CiF president Ferrer, Formentera's party spokespeople and representatives of the two Eivissa administrations (the Council and the Ajuntament), «to open up new dialogue – with all the involved parties – on the relocation of the Formentera landing». In so doing, the Formentera representatives have taken up Gual de Torrella on an offer he extended at the Wednesday gathering to «meet with all the sectors affected by the relocation plans». After the meeting, Ferrer explained, «another gathering of the Council of Entities will be convened to report back».

All those present at the Junta gathering indicated their support for the decision, and reiterated their insistence on keeping the Formentera landing in its current home. If a move is ultimately unavoidable, party reps said they want their suggestions – which include calling for a maximum number of services and accommodation for Formentera residents – to be heard before the port authority.

Council to offer employment and best practises workshops

Foto visita Participació i TransparènciaFormentera Council president Jaume Ferrer and councillor of community involvement Sònia Cardona met this morning in the CiF plenary hall with the Balearic minister of community involvement, transparency and culture, Esperança Camps, and the director general of community involvement and transparency, Miquel Gallardo. Camps has said the encounter gave the officials an opportunity to share information and thanked the Formentera representatives for their welcome.

For her part, Cardona announced the Council’s plans to host a series of day-long training courses after the summer season that focus on employment and best practises. The administration will ask local associations for input to determine the scope of the different courses. According to Gallardo, the Govern will also be playing a part in the programming as well.

The idea of the day-long courses is to create more professional development and experience-sharing opportunities for members of Formentera’s different associations. A handful of non-local groups with strong records will be invited as well, and organisers will endeavour to ensure high participation by making classes dynamic. Cardona indicated that at the end of the courses, a best practises manual will be published to serve as a guide for the on-going work of associations and the Council’s own departments.

The officials also used the morning gathering to discuss the Council’s plans for a portal to ensure transparency in local governance and the Govern’s draft laws on elections and anti-corruption.

«School for parents: a common ground for education»

Escola de pares premsaEarlier today the Formentera Council's office of education unveiled its programme Escola de pares i mares (School for parents: a common ground for education). In a presentation before members of the press, department head Susana Labrador explained the details of the programme, to be based around five informational talks offered to parents and teachers from Wednesday 24 February to Monday 18 April.

«This school for parents picks up where the ones in 2012 and 2014 left off», pointed out Councillor Labrador, «and adds something new entirely: the creation of a learning space shared by families and teachers». The goal is to create an «educational common ground», which explains the partnership between the CiF office of education, the Formentera parents association (FAPA) and the island's resource centre for teachers, the CEP. Organisers see the school as a forum for families, teachers and student representatives to talk about their concerns. Says Labrador, the inclusion of teachers in the talks was important for everyone.

Also at the presentation were Rosa Martí, director of the CEP in Formentera, and Francesca Faccioli and Sonia Ramos, two representatives of FAPA. Faccioli hopes the school becomes «a tool to improve teacher-parent communication» and Martí described it as «a way to combine our efforts», assuring, «all of us here have the same goals».

The two FAPA representatives are eager to see parents taking an active role and enthusiastic about the prospects for experience sharing the school promises.

For her part, Labrador explained that the school for parents «was conceived as a place for continued education, shared experiences and group reflection» for the two key players in the educational community: families and teachers. She stressed, however, that the undisputed stars of the show are «the pupils themselves». As Labrador is quick to point out, «the goal of the conferences is to improve learning and find strategies to communicate with our students. To get to know them better, ensure our relationships with them are healthy. What this is really about is promoting healthy all-around development». The CEP will also coordinate a seminar with the same speakers for local teachers.

The school for parents includes following five talks:
- 24 February, 10 a.m. "Alta Capacitat Intel·lectual (High Intellectual Ability)" by ACTEF Eivissa-Formentera.
Place: CEP classroom – the old Sant Francesc schoolhouse

- 4 March, 7 p.m. "Sexe, drogues i...Bon Rotllo!! (Sex, drugs and...good vibes!! How to talk with your children)" by Paco Pérez, psychologist at CREIX and educator for teachers and families.
Place: Conference hall of the office of culture

- 10 March, 11 a.m. "Pedagogia sistèmica (Systemic pedagogy, new perspectives in education)” by Carles Parellada, teacher, specialist in psychomotricity and systemic therapy.
Place: CEP classroom – the old Sant Francesc schoolhouse

- 14 March, 7 p.m. "Intel·ligència emocional (Emotional intelligence: the emotional bond between you and your children)” by Julián Jorge, child and adult psychologist, educator and counsellor for families and schools.
Place: Conference hall of the office of culture

- 18 April, 7 p.m. "Comunitats d'aprenentatge (Learning communities: Meeting points for families and schools)” by Montserrat Íñiguez, founder of Joan Coromines school and educator in learning communities.
Place: Conference hall of the office of culture

More grant money for sportsmanship and improved training

Signatura convenis esportsFormentera Council president Jaume Ferrer and Esperança Camps, minister of community involvement, transparency and culture of the Govern Balear, met today to sign an accord promoting sportsmanship among school children with a programme called Posam Valors a l’Esport (Putting the Sportsmanship in Sport). By signing the deal, the Govern and the Formentera Council (CiF) commit to provisioning the programme with €10,000 and €5,000 in funding, respectively. According to Ferrer, the Council will oversee the initiative, which will cover anything – from outreach and awareness campaigns to training courses – that emphasises good sportsmanship and the other traditional values inherent in sport.

The two officials signed an additional accord laying out the terms of a partnership between the Formentera Council and the Fundació per a l’Esport Balear. The goal of the partnership is to ensure the quality of local sports training. The programme will cover the year 2016, explained Ferrer, and «set in place high standards not only for our trainers but also for our local athletes».

To receive grant money, programme activities must take place between 1 January and 30 November 2016 and can include specific training sessions, travel to specific training sessions, nutrition, sports psychology, physiotherapy and training for sports specialists.

In order to achieve the targets of the partnership, the Council has committed to coming up with a procedure to determine the eligibility of specific programmes and allocate funding; draft a set of criteria for eligible sportsmen and women and trainers; setting up a committee to review applications. The committee will have an oversight role for the different programmes and will ensure proper documentation proving eligibility is provided.

In another move to assure the goals of the partnership are met, the Fundació has committed to contributing technical advice, €10,000 in funding and a staff specialist from the Fundació to serve on the oversight committee.

Councillor of sport Jordi Vidal was also present at the signing of the accord. He explained the subsidies will apply to tennis players as well as participants in athletics and judo. Camps declared her satisfaction at being able to take part in the partnership, a way of chipping away at Formentera’s de facto geographic isolation and promoting sports and sportsmanship

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