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Formentera celebrates World Refugee Day

cartell 2021 refugiadesThe Formentera Department of Immigration has put together an extensive programme of cultural and social activities to commemorate World Refugee Day on 21 June. Standout features of the activities bill include the exhibition Los Refugiados Olvidados from Palestinian photographer Mustafa Abualthanin, a concert from composer-musician-activist Nabil El Mansour and a performance from Bloco Colubraria infused with African dance courtesy of Jara.

In 2001, on the anniversary of the 1951 Refugee Convention, the United Nations General Assembly designated 20 June World Refugee Day. Social welfare chief Rafael Ramírez will present an official proclamation for approval at local government’s June plenary. By Councillor Ramírez’s lights, “Refugees and displaced people endure incredible hardship, and World Refugee Day is an opportunity to foster empathy and show our solidarity; this day is also a chance to recognise their capacity for resilience in rebuilding their lives”.

The calendar is as follows:

Monday 21 June at 10.45am: Talk with Ràdio Illa’s Far a Far. Participants: Fina Darder (Fons Pitiús de Cooperació) and Margarita Isabel Asensio Pastor (PhD in Social and Human Sciences, graduate in Spanish and Arabic Philology, representative of Open Arms).

21 June–4 July in Sant Francesc’s Plaça de la Constitució: Mustafa Abualthanim (Amman, 1977) presents Los Refugiados Olvidados. Abualthanin’s 30-piece “photo essay” chronicles the lives of the forgotten Palestinian refugees in two camps in Jordan, offering an intimate and autobiographical vision of his own condition as a Palestinian refugee in that country. Show opens Monday 21 June at 6.00pm.

Wednesday 23 and 30 June at 6.00pm in the Casal de Joves: Screenings of films Monsieur Lazhar and Elysium.

Thursday 24 June at 5.00pm at CEIP Sant Ferran de Ses Roques (Bob Baldon Park): Field day—Put yourself in their shoes. Presented by Fons Pitiús de Cooperació and Formentera Marxa.

Friday 25 June from 8.30pm in the Sant Ferran church square: Hanging a banner made by local youth at the Casal de Joves; Bloco Colubraria perform and Jara offers a demonstration of African dance. Reading the poem “Home” by Somali writer Warsan Shire.

Saturday 26 June from 9.30pm at Casa del Poble de la Mola: singer-songwriter Navil performs to a limited-capacity crowd. A Barcelona native of Palestinian origin, Navil has made defending his rights his life’s mission, with a repertoire of songs that speak to everything from racial discrimination in Israel and illegal settlements to the separation wall between Arabs and Israelis.

Thursday 1 July in the Sant Ferran church square: in association with Cinema a la Fresca, screening of In This World (2002).

16 June 2021
Communications Department
Consell de Formentera

Island youth schooled in emotionally-aware approaches to sex ed

foto 2021 taller sex edThis Wednesday, the Formentera Department of Social Welfare invited year-six pupils at CEIP El Pilar to take part in a workshop on affective and sexual wellbeing that explored biological, psychological and social changes in puberty and adolescence. Next year FDSW will extend the training to other local schools.

Speakers set out to dispel myths, misconceptions and stereotypes surrounding affective and sexual diversity, and gave participants theory-based and practical methods to include such diversity in their worldview. The World Health Organisation defends children and adolescents’ right to build a world in which men and women live together in equality and free from discrimination.

Parent training
At a similar talk in the afternoon, parents got tips about preventing dangerous behaviour, plus strategies to communicate with and support children throughout adolescence.

11 June 2021
Communications Department
Consell de Formentera

Day of training to prevent, detect and stop underage drinking

foto 2021 no t ofeguisThe Formentera Department of Social Welfare held a day of programming to equip staffers from the departments of sport and social services, sports trainers, the school police liaison, monitors at the youth drop-in centre and Formentera Marxa and other municipal employees to prevent, spot and stop underage drinking.

All told, roughly twenty people took part in the talk, part of an awareness-building push dubbed ‘Don’t Drown in Alcohol’ that includes training activities like talks with stakeholders outside the educational sector who work with adolescents at Marc Ferrer secondary school.

7 June 2021
Communications Department
Consell de Formentera

Consell takes aim at LGTBI-phobia with SAI

foto cartell 2021 SAI BThe Formentera Department of Social Welfare is pleased to present SAI (Servei d’Atenció Integral), a comprehensive care service for lesbian, gay, trans, bisexual and intersex islanders and their families who face, have faced or are at risk of facing discrimination or violence based on sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.

Social welfare chief Rafael Ramírez described the aim of the new service as offering “a professional, appropriate, fast, local and coordinated response to discrimination”. “As politicians, it must be our unwavering commitment to guarantee equal access to opportunities”, Ramírez affirmed.

According to the councillor, the history of LGTBI persecution means “institutions must make support universal, particularly to people in situations of vulnerability”. He stressed the importance of “taking action to stop discrimination when it occurs, and preventing it from occurring in the first place”.

“We want SAI to be accessible to members of the LGTBI community who lack of knowledge or lack of personal empowerment might otherwise have meant avoided visibility or self-identification”, Ramírez insisted.

Appointments at no charge
The free service is supported by staff with specific training in diversity and gender, non-discrimination and civil rights. Individuals who connect with SAI Formentera can expect confidentiality, active listening, respect and empathy, not to mention specialised social, psychological and legal guidance, with professionals crafting plans to fit each beneficiary’s individual needs.

Islanders interested in scheduling an appointment should call 971 321 271 from 9am to 2pm. The first visit will serve to evaluate the situation and put together the appropriate response. Queries can be sent to sailgtbi@conselldeformentera.cat.

On 17 May, the Consell de Formentera took part in an array of initiatives, adorning a bench and pedestrian crossings with the colours of the LGTBI flag and releasing a video featuring members of the LGTBI community. The island’s government will also issue a proclamation to mark International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia during the May plenary assembly.

25 May 2021
Communications Department
Consell de Formentera

‘Don’t drown in alcohol’ takes on underage drinking and unlawful sales

foto 2021 alcohol AThe Formentera Department of Social Welfare has unveiled a two-part push to encourage islanders to start drinking alcohol later in life, if at all, and to curb the unlawful sale of alcohol to minors. In press conference today, Consell de Formentera premiere Alejandra Ferrer, social welfare chief Rafael Ramírez and department staffers Sonia Mayans and Michael Romero turned the spotlight on ‘No t’ofeguis en l’alcohol’ (Don’t Drown in Alcohol) and a number of other bids to prevent underage drinking and promote leisure alternatives for island youth.

“The message is particularly important for young people and their parents”, asserted President Ferrer, pointing out that “we’re doing more than explaining why underage drinking is dangerous, we’re offering resources and alternative leisure activities.” The success of the push will take the participation of the entire island, said Ferrer, who pointed to key stakeholders like “schools, business, family members, associations and each and every one of us”. She also thanked the public faces of Don’t Drown in Alcohol: young people who also actively participated in the campaign’s creation.

Drinking on Formentera: figures
Councillor Ramírez called Don’t Drown in Alcohol “a necessary response to widespread underage drinking”, holding up a 2018 study by the Centre for the Study of Addictive Behaviour (Cepca) which found that not only had 85% of young Formentera residents drunk to the point of inebriation the first time between ages 13 and 15, but a higher proportion of Formentera youth had drunk heavily in the previous 30 days than their counterparts across the Spanish territory. Ramírez said Cepca had been asked to lead a new study with more up-to-date data in 2021.

Even still, Ramírez asserts Don’t Drown in Alcohol is about more than just “prohibition and regulation”: “We want to build awareness about the health impacts of drinking and other drug abuse, because as adults, it’s our responsibility to show young people ways to have quality fun without using drugs”.

Fundamental to the success of FDSW’s Don’t Drown in Alcohol and the effort to stop underage sales is collaboration from other branches of local government, law enforcement, shops, SMEs, schools, families and sports clubs. Councillor Ramírez, for his part, praised business owners for their involvement and called the efforts of FDSW staff “all-important”.

New rules on advertising and sales
Ramírez called attention to the island government’s adoption last year in plenary of an ordinance dictating how alcohol can be advertised and sold. “Alcohol is one of the three most widely consumed and prevalent drugs on the island”, offered Ramírez, describing the ordinance as a “regulatory tool to stop underage drinking”.

Business collaborates
Members of the Formentera Chamber of Commerce small- and medium-sized business group (Pimef) and Federation of Hotels have joined in Formentera’s effort to tackle the sale of alcohol to minors. Ramírez asserted the collaboration was based on “a shared sense of the importance of putting a stop to underage drinking” and said businesses’ role was “paramount”. The Consell de Formentera presented the campaign to business owners, who will be supplied informational material in the days ahead to make available in their establishments.

Contest and outreach
Michael Romero described the Consell’s dedication early on in the process to engage local youth in Don’t Drown in Alcohol’s design. Graphics and a slogan were determined in a drawing contest among students at IES Marc Ferrer, with a panel of FDSW and Consell de Formentera design and communication staffers picking a drawing by Daniela Manrique and a slogan by Juan Camilo Gil. Other submissions will be on display at the Casal de Joves until 30 May.

Island youth will even distribute posters and staff prevention tables at popular festivals and other events. Stickers and badges will be made as well; a banner has been commissioned and will be displayed at social and sporting events, and T-shirts, bottles and backpacks will be handed out to summer-schoolers.

Training for young people, parents and professionals
FDSW staffer Sonia Mayans emphasised the importance of training for young people, parents and other islanders with jobs in restaurants and schools. An informational leaflet for parents and round-table discussions are in the works too. The first round-table will be held at Centre d’Esports Nàutics from 5.00pm on Thursday 20 May as part of the Talks for Families lecture series. Psychologist and drug abuse prevention and treatment specialist Otger Amatller will be on hand to offer “Adolescents and Alcohol: Starting from the Home”.

Numerous graphics geared toward prevention and awareness will be shared on social media, and an advertising push is coming down the pike as well.

An immensely important tool for individuals who work with adolescents is training. Hence, capacity building sessions on prevention, information and best practices have been organised for wide-ranging professionals, including the escola d’estiu administrative team, monitors at the youth drop-in centre, sports trainers and members of Formentera parents’ groups. The first session will take place 21 Friday. The IES Marc Ferrer police liaison and social educator have also held talks about the underage alcohol ordinance.

18 May 2021
Communications Department
Consell de Formentera

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