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Youth council holds plenary meeting

Ple infancia i joventut premsaEarlier today in the administration’s plenary hall, members of the participatory youth council (Consell de Participació de la Infància I la Joventut) came together to celebrate the group’s plenary session. CiF president Jaume Ferrer was on hand to introduce the participants: 24 pupils from the island’s three primary schools and IES Marc Ferrer secondary school. Vanessa Parellada, councillor of social welfare, started off the meeting by enumerating the activities the Council has coordinated this month in celebration of the International Day of the Child.

Parellada went on to speak about the different Council-backed improvement projects that took place this summer at Formentera schools. She also alluded to the possibility of creating a youth volunteer corps and talked about a new project in la Mola aimed at creating a safe trail for the children who walk to and from school there. Likewise, she proposed opening discussion on a new location for the island’s skate park.

The children shared stories from last week’s youth plenary at the Balearic parliament in Palma and took the opportunity to urge their CiF representatives to take action on different issues like creating more bike paths and zebra crossings in towns and increasing the number of children’s parks. The pupils put questions to the president and councillors in an attempt to better understand the work of public officials and urge further improvements. President Ferrer promised to follow up on the issues at the group’s next meeting in six months.  

Local kids set out to «reinvent the future» through art

dibuixos tots dia infancia premsaThe Formentera Council's department of youth services, under the aegis of a contest commemorating the recent International Day of the Child, has handed out eight awards to different island school children for their contributions. Dubbed Reinventem el futur ('we're reinventing the future'), the contest was a chance for kids to participate by drawing, and that's what happened. «Prizes — in the form of 50€-vouchers for school supplies or sports gear — were awarded to two pupils of early-learning programmes and four pupils of primary schools», explained local councillor of social welfare Vanessa Parellada.

Setting the bar high

Contest judges pointed to difficulty picking winners as the motive behind the last-minute decision to give out two runner-up prizes — one for early-learning one for primary, vouchers of 25€. The Council organised the contest for the first time this year and according to Councillor Parellada: «Participants really set the bar high». «Besides promoting drawing among school children», said Parellada, «the goal here was to raise children's awareness about their rights».

Prizes

Prizes will be handed out this Saturday 21 November at 1:30 in the Antoni Blanc sports centre, dovetailing with an open-house and activities day also scheduled to celebrate the Day of the Child. The winners in the early-learning category are Razvan Borlescu and Lucia Alberto Benítez and, in primary, Marwa Halhoul, David Ferrer Yern, Nestor Martin Roig and Juan Carlos Cruz Tur. The second place winner in early-learning is Leonardo Metastasio Escandell. All the drawings will be on display at the sports centre. Councillor Parellada urged everyone on the island to stop by and have a look.

Youth of the island put forward their own electoral programme

consell infancia 200515 2Today at midday, under the banner of a UNICEF initiative entitled “Vota por mi” ('Vote for me') and pushed across municipalities that have received the global organisation's Child Friendly City distinction, a special plenary session was held by Formentera's youth participatory council (El Consell de la Infància i la Joventut).

The measure is intended as a way to “get children and adolescents participating in shaping their community. They can't vote, but that mustn't mean they can't still play an active role”, explained Dolores Fernández.

The electoral programme was broken down and read by twenty-some representatives from the island's different primary schools and the Marc Ferrer secondary school. Before starting, the children were met and greeted by Council president Jaume Ferrer, who thanked the young participants for their participation.

Their programme is divided into different component issues, in the style of the electoral programmes being championed by political parties formed by adults.

Included on the Consell's list of demands are calls for “a youth café, a cultural space where Formentera's young people can organise theatre shows, concerts and exhibitions”,  increased police presence in areas susceptible to drug trafficking, raising the motorcycle driving age to reduce accidents and a clear and categorical 'no' with respect to petroleum explorations.

Evening of kid-friendly cinema at Sant Ferran library

asterix-and-the-vikings-8The Formentera Council, through the Sant Ferran library, will put on a projection of the children's film Asterix and the Vikings on Thursday 19 March at 5pm.

Each month, the libraries of Formentera pick a movie from their catalogue to showcase in a special showing. Afterward, interested parents can borrow the selection for home viewing.

The story is adapted from an issue of the famous Asterix comics, illustrated by Albert Uderzo and written by René Goscinny.

37-point plan to foment youth participation, ensure well-being

pla estrategic joventutEarlier today, the office of social welfare, early-childhood and youth services, an arm of the Formentera Council, publicly laid out what is being called the Strategic Plan for Formentera Youth. El Pla estratègic d'infància i joventut de Formentera, as it is titled in Catalan, was jointly-drafted by various council offices and received ratification by councilmembers in the ordinary plenary session of February.

Present for the occasion were Dolores Fernández, councillor of social welfare, infant and youth services, Pere Serra, head of the local social welfare office and Mònica Rey, head of youth services. The document outlines 37 specific action points to be developed over the course of the next four years (2015-2018). According to Councillor Fernández, “more than 50% are already en route while the remainder are easily within reach”.

Fernández highlighted the three chief features of the plan: “Compile the different tasks necessary to a successful promotion of Formentera's infant and adolescent population, promote the active participation of local youth and uphold the rights of the child”.

Before detailing the tasks themselves, head of youth services Mònica Rey gave a bit of background on the document: “[It] offers a description of the social and demographic realities of Formentera today, breaking down the data into interesting, often-unseen perspectives. The island's population aged 0-18 is set at 1,839; 982 males and 857 females”. In the same section, El pla estratègic also includes information about the current legislation concerning young children and youth.

Pere Serra was on hand to present the 37 actions included in the pages of the strategic plan. The head of social welfare explained that “the actions listed in Strategic Plan are divided up into four categories: improvements to the family environment; participation of young children and youth in local issues; equal opportunities; and public health and prevention work”.

The first category consists of five actions. One of them calls for the creation of a meeting point for parents in conflictive relationships where issues regarding the children of the family can be discussed. Other actions propose offering courses dealing with such topics as parenting skills and techniques in family problem solving. Still another action proposes improving the coordination that exists between public health agencies and other local administrations.

A total of 21 actions propose augmenting the active participation of youth in local affairs. Among these, one aims to promote volunteer work. Other actions focus on increasing participation in day camps, competitions, sports camps and at the Casal de Joves. This last entity, the local youth centre, has long played an extremely-important role in fomenting activities for young people.

Six actions consider equal opportunities on the island. One suggests a convention among Formentera's sports clubs to assist families with financial difficulties. A second recommends extra support for the participative wing of the local youth council (El Consell de la infància i la joventut).

Last on the list are the actions that contemplate improvements to public health and prevention work. One proposes support for Formentera Marxa, a programme that organises guided weekend activities.
Other actions recommend programmes to assure that every young person enrolled in basic mandatory education possess a set of acquired abilities by age sixteen. These actions aim to prevent addictive behaviour in technology, instil healthy emotional and sexual practises and give youth the power to make intelligent decisions about drugs.

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