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Formentera salutes its volunteers

foto dia voluntariThe Formentera Council's Office of Social Welfare held its observance of International Volunteer Day today, December 5, with a special show of appreciation for volunteers on the island.

In the morning from 11.00am to 1.00pm and again in the evening from 5.00pm to 7.00pm, visitors to Sant Francesc's plaça de la Constitució found a booth stocked with information and signup forms for potential volunteers.

At 7.00pm, Formentera Council president Jaume Ferrer offered local volunteers thanks and saluted them with a toast. 

Formentera observes International Day of People with Disabilities

Foto presentacio cartell discapacitatDetails of the plan to observe International Day of People with Disabilities this Sunday, December 3, were unveiled today. Vanessa Parellada, the island's social welfare secretary; Marta Uriarte, the director of the Formentera Day Centre; Camila Tessio, a psychologist at APNEEF, a special needs group for residents of Eivissa and Formentera; and Núria Alandes, head of a group called APMIPTEA that promotes the inclusion of people living with Autism spectrum disorders, seized on a crafts display as the perfect opportunity to present the poster for International Day of People with Disabilities.

From 11.00am to 1.00pm today in Sant Francesc's plaça de la Constitució, a group of adults enrolled at Formentera's day centre for persons with disabilities and the elderly will exhibit ashtrays made of repurposed bottles, aromatic soaps, sponges and massage oils with rosemary, all fruits of workshops held at the centre.

Charity walk
Tomorrow, December 2, the island will host the first-ever Caminada Solidària, “to bring visibility,” explained Parellada, “to the island's community of people with disabilities”. At 11.00am participants of the “Charity Walk” will set out from jardí de ses Eres on a two-kilometre circuit, which according to the secretary has been specially tuned for walkers of all abilities “in an effort to make the event inclusive”. “One of the top priorities at Formentera's day centre is the integration of those who use its services,” said Parellada. The last to make it to the finish line are expected to arrive by 1.00pm, where they will be greeted with an array of snacks at jardí de ses Eres. Advance registration for the walk is not required.

Then, on December 3, the two associations, APNEEF and APMIPTEA, will man information booths between 11.00am and 1.00pm in plaça de la Constitució, offering information about their activities and programmes on the island.

Formentera backs job seekers programme for university-educated youth

comercos formenteraThe employment and training sections of Formentera's Office of Social Welfare are driving a tally of local businesses, and are searching for young, qualified and university-educated candidates to fill three posts from December to July.

Applications, open to anyone who is under 30 and registered in the youth covenant of the regional job seekers' service (SOIB), must be received by November 24.

According to department head Vanessa Parellada, the programme seeks to bestow recent graduates of university and technical programmes with professional experience and good work habits.

“Today a university degree is no longer enough to guarantee work for its holder. We're glad to be offering local professionals the chance to work in winter,” —the position, she noted, begins in December— “particularly because the project will culminate in something so valuable as a register of local businesses”.

The Council has charged Santiago Juan, an employment and local development specialist, with overseeing the project, during which Juan will also act as the youths' mentor. The Council will receive €63,000 from SOIB to carry out the project.

Activities to end violence against women

Foto presentacio violencia de genereSocial welfare councillor Vanessa Parellada, Espai Dones chair Dolors Fernández Tamargo and staffer Azuzena Carrasco unveiled the programme of activities that the Council has put together in recognition of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women on November 25. The presentation took place in the administration's hall of ceremonies today at 10.30am.

Councillor Parellada pointed out that this year's programming kicks off Saturday, November 11, with a stage production and runs through November 29. All part of the effort to commemorate November 25 as International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. The administration has teamed up with Espai Dones in presenting the activities, which, in the councillor's words, “are diverse in nature despite one common goal: ending gender violence”.

Activities programme
For her part, Ms Fernández focused on the day's associated activities. At 8.00pm on Saturday, November 11, actress Rosa Díaz will present Hilos, winner of 2011's national award for the performing arts, at the municipal cinema.

The programme continues Tuesday, November 14, with a screening of “Los niños del Barrio Rojo,” winner of the 2015 Oscar for best documentary. The show starts at 8.00pm in the Marià Villangómez municipal library. More theatre is in store on Saturday, November 18, when Menorca's Xoc theatre troupe takes the reins of a theatrical forum on gender violence in Sa Panxa restaurant. The event gets under way at 10.00pm. On Monday, November 20, Isa Sanz presents «Koinonía,» a photo show, at the municipal gallery of the Ajuntament Vell.

'La maleta de Marta'
Wednesday, November 22, Formentera audiences are invited out for Günter Schwaiger's La maleta de Marta. After the screening, the film's leading actress will stick around for a chat with the audience. This showing of La maleta de Marta, scheduled for 7.30pm in the Office of Culture conference hall, is sponsored by the Balearic Islands and Eivissa chapters of Amnesty International.

Saturday, November 25
November 25, International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, will be abuzz with activities. IBDona, a women's group in the region, will set up an informational stand from 11.00am in Sant Francesc's plaça de la Constitució under the banner “Take a stand against domestic violence”. At 1.00pm, the reading of the day's guiding manifesto will take place.

In the evening, an emotional, gender-conscious and experience-based workshop titled «Ni princeses ni prínceps» (Neither princesses nor princes) will be given at 7.00pm by social psychotherapist Isabel Serrato in the conference hall of the Office of Culture. Part of a yearly tradition, at 9.30pm in Rosales bed and breakfast of Es Pujols, Espai Dones will celebrate ten years of solidarity on women's issues. To reserve a spot, phone 697 941 016.

Finally, at 7.00pm on Wednesday, November 29, families are encouraged to come to Sant Francesc's Sa Miranda nursery for a discussion entitled “The long, exciting road ahead”. At 7.30pm, psychologist Ana Costa García will speak to the crowd in the Office of Culture conference hall about managing difficult emotions.

Gender violence
Staff specialist Azuzena Carrasco, for her part, reported on the 14 calls received by her office's gender violence hotline through October, a drop on last year's total of 18.

Looking ahead, November 28 and 29, Councillor Parellada and a pair of staffers will take part in working days organised by IBDona to forge strategies on intra-agency coordination and response for victims of gender violence.

First stone laid in build of Formentera's funeral parlour, the 'tanatori'

Foto primera pedra tanatoriCiF president Jaume Ferrer and Vanessa Parellada, the island's chief of social welfare, kicked off construction of Formentera's tanatori. The project will get under way next week and is on track to be completed within eight months.

President Ferrer said he was pleased to take part, symbolically, as the build of the “essential local resource” gets under way. He called Formentera's actual funeral parlour obsolete, and incapable of meeting even the minimum standards to comfortably administer the "critical service”.

Meanwhile, Secretary Parellada pledged the upgrade would mean being able to bid farewell to loved ones with dignity. The tanatori, she said, will also be a place for civil memorial services.

Location and characteristics
The future funeral home will be located beside Sant Francesc's municipal cemetery, and within an area that comprises the island's hospital, elderly care centre and future assisted-living residence. The 460-square-metre (m2) installation will include:

Receiving lounge (90m2) serving as an entry hall, waiting area and ceremony space.
Two 40m2 halls for viewing ceremonies.
Autopsy gallery (52m2).
Store shed and parking area (80m2).
Office space (24m2)
Public washrooms (15m2)

Hermanos Parrot and Tecopsa will take on the project, for which they will be paid €660,690.30, as UTE 7 Tanatorio. Xavier Pallejà is the project's architect.

Also at the ceremony were Formentera's representative in Palma, Sílvia Tur, CiF vice-president Susana Labrador, infrastructure secretary Rafael González, sports secretary Jordi Vidal, local PSOE reps Ana Juan and Rafael Ramírez and Compromís spokeswoman Cristina Costa.

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