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Formentera pupils join seventh 'children's' parliament'

foto parlament infantil 2The youth office of the Formentera Council reports three local pupils took part this Monday in the seventh session of the Balearic Islands' Parlament Infantil, or Parliament for Kids.

Kiara Berazategui (Mestre Lluís Andreu), Mario Romero (El Pilar de la Mola) and Adora Tur (Sant Ferran) from Formentera's own youth participatory council travelled to Mallorca, not only to talk about the proposals they brought on behalf of their peers back home, but to work with other young people from the region to prepare a document called a “peace vaccine”.

“Vacuna de pau i bon tracte”

The document, whose full title is “Peace vaccine and pledge of good deeds against violence of all kinds”, includes a dozen suggestions about how to combat the virus of violence—everything from ending wars and regulating the sale and manufacture of weapons to introducing peace education and conflict resolution in school and the importance of levelling societal differences by eliminating hierarchy.

Parlament Infantil takes place once a year in observance of Universal Children's Day and is organised by the Balearic Parlament, the Office of the Defence of the Rights of Minors (ODDM) and the UNICEF committee for the Balearics.

Parlament reaffirms its commitment to supporting organisations and actions which promote awareness about the problems facing children around the world. In so doing, the legislative body seeks to enliven the ongoing debate and create a space where the issues that affect children can be addressed, and this in such a way as to foster aptitudes and attitudes essential to citizen participation and help children interiorise messages of sustainability, ecology and appreciation for their surroundings.

Session video:  https://youtu.be/XmxMSGupTlo

More than 400 turn out for Formentera's summer offer of sports camps and day programmes

foto escola estiu 2018 4The Formentera Council's youth services department announces the start of the island's 2018 summer school today, a programme scheduled to continue through the month of August at three local schools—Mestre Lluís Andreu, and in Sant Ferran and la Mola. One hundred forty children are signed up to take part in this year's programme, which is overseen by a 21-member team of professional youth workers and a programme director.

Activities are geared towards children aged three to twelve born between 2006 and 2014, and run weekdays from 9.00am to 2.00pm (8.00am early start is available). Kids can choose from a range of activities during the two-month programme, including arts and crafts, fitness, games, music, dance, theatre and cooking. Outings to the beach are also organised, as well as an additional swimming unit.

In the words of social welfare chief Vanessa Parellada, the programme is about “offering a fun, educational space for young children in summer where they can learn to use their free time wisely and engage in 'smart play'”. She said the schools were conceived as a leg-up for islanders juggling both work and a family, and daycare needs as one factor of the island's high rate of employment.

Sports camps
The Council's sports office has taken the lead in coordinating two sports camps as well, part of a bid to offer families a diverse array of summertime options. The synchronised swimming camp is aimed at children aged five to fifteen. This year 87 local kids have signed up to join in an assortment of activities ranging from acrosport and motor skills-boosting play to dance, theatre and swimming (both traditional and synchronised). The programme, which ends just before the normal academic year starts, is staffed by eight youth workers and a volunteer aide.

The Council also organises an athletics camp, and fifty children between the ages of three and six are set to get in on the fun. They will take part in a multitude of activities, including arts and crafts, recreational swim, healthy lifestyles, plastic arts and play that is specially-tuned to foment motor skills. Winding down in late August, the programme is managed by four youth workers and one lifeguard.

A number of the island's sports clubs will put on summer programmes, too, with additional support provided by the Council. The team at this summer's basketball camp propose activities to 54 kids aged four to twelve, and tennis and padel camps (with enrolment at 35 and 12, respectively) exist for kids from five to 16.

New this year is a football camp, in which forty youngsters (ages six to 16) have signed up to take part.

Formentera's youth council

foto consell-infanciaThis week members of the island's youth participatory council, the Consell de Participació de la Infància i la Joventut, congregated for the group's second plenary session of the 2017-2018 school year. Social welfare secretary Vanessa Parellada was there to welcome attendees, who represented primary and secondary schools of the island, and give a sneak peek at the proposals, still in the draft phase, that arose from the participation-driven process of Formentera's strategy on young people, and which will face scrutiny by the island's coalition of community leaders, the Consell d'Entitats.

From tackling wasteful water use and advocating renewable energies, through safeguarding posidonia meadows and preserving s'Estany des Peix, to regulating boats that anchor on the local seaboard and promoting recycling, measures tabled by the youngsters had one thing in common: the environment.

Saluting the youngsters on the measures they had floated, the secretary affirmed they slotted neatly in the Council's own sustainability model, calling it “a shame some of these didn't make it on the agenda at the recent “state of Formentera” debates.

Evening of rap and traditional song at Casal de Joves

Foto cartel tarda rap glosadorsThis Friday, one of Formentera's most entrenched musical traditions will go toe to toe with hip-hop at the inaugural edition of an evening that pairing local glosadors with rappers.

Put together between the Marià Villangómez library, the Casal de Joves and the Formentera chapter of Obra Cultural Balear, the event was concocted as a way to bridge generational divides by using the power of the word. Though outwardly dissimilar, the two forms of art have a great deal in common.

Organisers say they hope the intergenerational event highlights possible parallels between rap, a staple of younger generations, and a form known as glosa, which has been passed down and kept alive over the aeons.

Scheduled to take part are glosadors Pep of ca n'Andreu, Vicent Jeroni, Francisca Torres of can Pep Simon and rappers Kelevra, El Puerta, Elian C. and, on guitar, Mus.

The event will take place Friday, March 23 at 6.30pm in the Casal de Joves.

This Saturday, Formentera welcomes Diverespai back to the island

Diverespai formentera 2016The social welfare and youth services department of the Formentera Council reports that starting this Saturday, December 16, Diverespai is back on the island. The 2017 edition of Diverespai will run December 16-20, from 9.30am to 1.30pm and 4.00pm to 8.00pm. For three mornings starting December 18 the park will be reserved for local schools.

As social welfare councillor Vanessa Parellada put it, “if you are a child aged three to twelve, Diverespai is one of the best parts of Christmas”. Visitors to the installation, which is located in the courtyard of Marc Ferrer high, will not only find an assortment of activities and inflatable toys, they will also find a team of supervising adults.

Giant blow-up castles, animals and shapes adorned with staircases, nets and obstacles are arrayed across the park while attendants propose guided play, face-painting and arts and crafts.

Highlighting the role of those same on-site helpers, Parellada described Diverespai as somewhere “children can learn to play for the fun of it—where they can flex their imaginations and creativity through play.”

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