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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

Seniors’ clubs of Sant Francesc and Sant Ferran reopen this weekend

foto 2021 clubs majorsThe Formentera Retirees’ and Pensioners’ Club (Club de Jubilats i Pensionistes de Formentera) in Sant Francesc and the Seniors’ Social Centre (Centre Social i de Majors) in Sant Ferran will reopen this weekend with complete safety protocol in place. For now, both clubs will open Saturdays and Sundays 4.00pm to 8.00pm.

Seniors’ clubs were among the first facilities to close even before emergency orders were first invoked last year as the pandemic gained force, and Consell de Formentera deputy premiere and chief of office of the eldery Ana Juan welcomed the fact the island’s elders would at last be enjoying their favourite club activities again. “It’s been an extremely difficult, complicated year for everyone, but above all for our seniors. Good news like this was overdue”, said Juan, who pointed out that most old people on the island are either already fully vaccinated or are waiting for their second dose.

Under tier 1 rules in place on Formentera today, senior centres can operate if they keep capacity at 50 per cent. Masks are mandatory at all times, except during the precise moment of eating or drinking, and group activities, restricted to 10 people indoors and 15 people out, respecting an extended safe distance of two metres. Clubs will additionally be equipped with CO2 measuring devices.

Upkeep and upgrades during pandemic
Island services and the department of elderly affairs took advantage of clubs' months-long closure to commission painting, maintenance and repairs. The Sant Ferran centre got a fresh coat of paint inside, along with an upgraded electrical installation and a new awning and upholstery. Interior areas were painted and the kitchen expanded at the Sant Francesc club, with additional minor work in the toilets and new wooden wall hangers. La Mola’s Casa del Poble has been open for the elderly for a few weeks now. For the time being, the Es Cap centre remains closed.

7 May 2021
Communications Department
Consell de Formentera

Joana Frigolé unpacks ‘the power of emotions' in latest ‘xerrada’

cartell 2021 xerrades 15 abrilThe Formentera Department of Social Welfare reports that this Thursday 15 April the “Xerrades per a famílies” lecture series returns with a talk from psychologist Joana Frigolé. The event will be broadcast live on the Consell de Formentera Facebook page.

Frigolé, an emotional and couples’ coach, will give a lecture called “The power of emotions: living with the present to create the future”. “These raw, complicated times have shown us our resilience and capacity to face up to reality; the lecture will address things we can do to make life easier and use emotions to our benefit”,  she says.

12 April 2021
Communications Department
Consell de Formentera

13 complete social and cultural integration course offered by Consell de Formentera

foto 2021 curs integYesterday was the last day of class for 13 islanders enrolled in a course on social and cultural integration organised by the Formentera Department of Social Welfare. Hailing from multiple countries of origin, participants attended classes this March at Formentera’s adult learning centre, the current edition marking the 15th round of instruction since the course first began.

After watching diplomas handed out, social welfare councillor Rafael Ramírez applauded students’ effort and interest and pointed out that the regional government-issued certificates of completion would be valid for CCSE citizenship tests and to demonstrate integration during the early phases of a person’s stay in Spain.

This year class size was limited to ensure compliance with Covid-19 safety protocol. Instructor Dolores Fernández Tamargo covered topics including Spanish constitutional values, human rights and civil liberties, the Balearic Statute of Autonomy, the European Union and gender equality, among others.

31 March 2020
Communications Department
Consell de Formentera

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