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International Women's Day

Foto rp dia de la donaThe events programme of International Women's Day (8 March) was announced today before a crowd at the Formentera Council. Councillor of social welfare, Vanessa Parellada, was joined by Dolores Fernández Tamargo, president of local association Espai Dones, for a presentation of a host of commemorative activities that will start next Monday February 29th with the launch of an exposition Dona i Microcrèdit (Women and microcredit: a world of employment and hope), 8 p.m. in the municipal gallery of the old town hall, and conclude on Sunday April 17th at 12 noon by rendering homage to the figure of the elderly Formentera matriarch—“la dona major de Formentera”—an act that is set for the Magic Box hall of the Formentera day centre.

Like every year, celebrations will be centred around March 8th. From five in the afternoon, volunteers will staff an informational stand at the Sant Francesc square, plaça de la Constitució. A flash mob is planned at six o' clock and then, at half past six, the Espai Dones manifesto will be read before all gathered on the plaza. As the final act of the evening, Antoni Serra, head of NGO Treball Solidari, will lead another instalment in the Dona i Microcrèdit conference series, this one on the global south-north flow of people and resources. For all those women interested in taking part in the flash mob, Fernández Tamargo pointed out practices being held Sundays at eleven a.m. in the Casal d'Entitats with the help of Formentera's dance teacher.


     Tuesday 1 March 
     11.00 h          II Cursa solidària per a la Dona 2016 (see poster)

     14.30 h          Paella and concert, La 22
                           (to benefit AECC. Tent in sa Senieta parking lot)

     from 4 to 31 March
                            Book exhibition space of Biblioteca Marià Villagómez:
                            Literature on the subject of women.

     Saturday 5 March
     21.00 h          All women's sisterhood supper
                           (for reservations telephone Espai Dones: 697 941 016)

     Friday 11 March 
     de 17.00 a 21.00h   Workshop “Dona i sexologia” (Women and Sexology)
                                      with sexologist Teresa Ramos
                                      Sala d'Actes Màgic Box in Formentera day centre

     Friday 18 March  
     19.00 h          An evening of music, poetry and solidarity with local artists
                           Sa Panxa restaurant, Sant Ferran de ses Roques

     Sunday 20 March
     20.00 h          Film premier Las sufragistas
                           Wrap-up discussion with Espai Dones
                           Sant Francesc cinema

Free tutoring is back for struggling students

Foto RP taller de reforçIn a press conference this morning, the Formentera Council's office of social welfare unveiled its programme of free academic tutoring. The extra classes, explained department head Vanessa Parellada, are “for all five and six year students with learning difficulties or trouble following the normal rhythm of classes” and particularly “those students who require extra help transitioning to the school setting, or who've got difficulties in languages or maths”.

The 3.5-month tutoring course will start 7 March and continue through year end, picking up again in September for the first semester of the 2016-17 school year. Over the last four years 91 students have benefitted from the free classes. Says Parellada, the decision to extend the programme—which costs the Council €11,000—is due to its success.

This time around, some 20 students are expected to take part in the classes, which have been scheduled for 4 to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday. Both Maribel Jiménez, the coordinating teacher, and staff at Formentera schools, will decide which students are in need of the added help. Parents of interested students must complete an application at the office of social welfare by 3 March.

According to Jiménez, the tutoring sessions will be aimed at fostering success through motivation-minded, daily work. “Our starting point”, Jiménez explained, “will be the class work students are expected to complete—in English, Spanish, Catalan and maths. We'll work up from there”. The students' work will have the added benefit of promoting team work and social integration, since classes will be held in groups.

Formentera keeps investing in countryside

Cooperativa camp foto conveniAt a meeting today between Formentera Council president Jaume Ferrer and Jaume Escandell, president of the Formentera farmers' cooperative (la Cooperativa del Camp), the two officials put their signatures on a joint action accord that Ferrer said is designed to «continue the rollout of the farmland reserve (Cens de Terres) and other projects to redevelop local farming and improve the Formentera countryside».

The accord amounts to an extension of a 2015 agreement of the same value, €95,000. In Ferrer's words, the deal demonstrates «the Council's ongoing commitment to redeveloping the agricultural sector and protecting the natural beauty of Formentera». Ferrer congratulated the collective's management on achieving their 2015 targets and encouraged them to keep up the good work in 2016.

In addition, the CiF president signalled good news in the form of more rollouts: the start of operations at the cooperative's industrial space and delivery of newly-acquired field equipment including a tractor, an excavator and a seed drill.

For his part, the farmers' cooperative president thanked the administration for its support while bemoaning predictions the season's entire forage crop would be lost to a particularly unsparing dry season. In that respect, the CiF president pledged to unlock funding «to help livestock farmers meet animal feed costs».

Slate of activities to help fete Balearic day

Ball pages 5 vertical moonkoala Dia IllesThe Formentera Council's department of local holidays has announced its plans for observing the Dia de les Illes Balears—the Balearic autonomous community's holiday for itself—here on Formentera. Department head Susana Labrador declared next Tuesday, March 1st, would be a day replete with activities (think Council ceremony at one p.m. on the Sant Francesc square) and festivities, including traditional colla dance groups Es Xacoters and Es Pastorells.

Before the midday ceremony and dance display get under way, participants in the Cursa Solidària per a la Dona—a footrace for female solidarity—will take to the blocks for an 11-a.m. start time. Runners will take one of two routes—one 5-km and one 10-km—both of which begin and end at the plaça de la Constitució in Sant Francesc. Each runner's 10-euro registration fee will go to support the Spanish Association against Cancer (AECC) and entitles participants to a commemorative T-shirt. Signups are being held at the Antoni Blanc fitness centre, the Citizen Information Office (OAC) and on the www.formenteraesport365.com website.

At two o' clock, local groups Disfruta Formentera and Grup Esportiu Espalmador have scheduled a community paella. Prices are set at €15 for adults and €10 for children and proceeds will once again go to benefit the AECC. Island band La 22 will cover the first round of musical duties, a job Councillor Labrador assured the group «has got under control».

Later on, residents will be treated to a concert called «Sons de les Illes». At eight o' clock, a group formed by a string-trio (Kepa Artetxe, Miquel Àngel Aguiló and Xisco Aguiló) and soprano Abigail Sardón will perform arrangements of homegrown popular songs in the Sant Francesc church.

Concurrent concerts across the islands

The councillor of local holidays was especially pleased to announce the simultaneous performances planned for 7:30 p.m., Saturday February 27th, on each of the four islands. In Formentera, Arrels will open the show for Mallorca-native Tomeu Penya and the rest of the islands will follow suit, each hosting an act from a different island, all at the same time. The idea, explained Labrador, is to promote cultural exchanges across the region. Eivissa crowds that evening will be regaled with the show Nits de Formentera.

More activities

Balearic Islands day doesn't end there. Saturday marks the fifth year of the Formentera All Round Trail (abbreviated as FART). The same day will include an open-house at the Formentera hospital and a presentation of the health services helicopter. Sunday the 28th, children aged 6 to 12 are invited to take part in an IBEAM-led discovery workshop of undersea architecture. Monday the 29th basketball teams from the four corners of the region will come together for the fourth Balearic Islands basketball tournament.

Balearic Islands Day celebrations will officially come to a close the weekend of 5-6 March, with two theatre productions to mark the occasion. As Councillor Labrador announced, Saturday the 5th at nine p.m. in the cinema, Eivissa theatre group Es Cubells will treat audiences to Peluts i Pelats (roughly translated as 'The Scruffy and the Shaven'). Then, Sunday the 6th at 5:30 p.m., Clownoscopio will take to the same stage for their performance of the slapstick clown show «Fràgil» for viewers five and under. We remind readers that, as per a joint accord valued at €8,000 and signed by the Palma administration and the Formentera Council, costs of the Balearic Islands Day celebrations will be covered by the Govern Balear.

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