Mother Centers Around the World, MINE history

by | Jan 27, 2023 | Concept and history

Mother Centers represent one of the most amazing grassroots women’s movements spear headed by women at the community level.

Originating in Germany they have spread over the past decade across the world.

Mother Center initiatives are found in Albania, Argentina, Austria, Bosnia Herzegovina,

Bulgaria, Cameroon, Canada, Czech Republic, Germany, Guatemala, Italy, Kenya,

Liechtenstein, Macedonia, Nepal, Netherlands, Poland, Russia, Rwanda, Serbia,

Switzerland, Slovakia, and USA, all in all representing a network of over 1,000 Mother

Centers worldwide.

Find the list of MINE members/Library members here:

Mother Centers show an impressive potential to bring women and families out of isolation and crisis, to rebuild their confidence and ability to help themselves and support each other in improving their living conditions. Mother Centers initiate collective income generation projects and help single mothers to get off the welfare system. They empower grassroots women to raise the issues of families and communities and to participate in decision making processes at the local and national level.

Despite new levels of global connection, the human condition remains unchanged.
At the grassroots level, a child needs sustained nurturance and stable relationships, and mothers need support in performing this daunting task which is often not anymore naturally available through family structures in contemporary society. Mother Centers are a vivid example of what is needed to implement the „It takes a Village Concept“ into neighborhood structures of industrialized societies as well as into the rapidly changing conditions of developing countries.

In a world where violence is increasing among youth and children, who fail to feel a meaningful connection to society and in societies where old age is decreasingly embedded in traditional care systems, new ways of fostering community are needed.

How do Mother Centers work?

Mother Centers are meeting points in the community for families. Activities include nursing groups, play groups, language and computer courses, courses on ecology in the household and on alternative health care, family support services like toy libraries, second hand stores, babysitter service, family excursions and intergenerational festivities, as well as income generating activities like hairdressing, childcare, eldercare, hot lunches and laundry services. 

Space for the centers are negotiated with local government or with foundations, NGOs and other institutions like churches or the YWCA.

Mother Centers worldwide are grassroots, self-organized communities, supporting mothers, families on a daily basis. Experience shows that mother centers were the answer to a historical need of mothers in the 1970th. They are still spreading around the world. They represent another kind of globalization: globalization from the ground. This has produced the need for a global network. So MINE was born.

MINE stands for a world that values and supports the work of mothers and in which the culture of care is reintegrated into public life.

Originating from Germany, Mother Centers have spread across the world in the past decades. Today, Mother Centers exist in the Netherlands, Austria, Liechtenstein, Switzerland, Italy, Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Bosnia, Turkey as well as in Burundi, Brazil, Argentina, USA, Canada and South Korea. Currently we represent a network of approximately 1000 Mother Centers in 20 countries.


MINE has won the Dubai International Award 2002 for Best Practices to Improve the Living Environment. The Mother Center International Network for Empowerment was awarded the Dubai prize for strengthening the capacity of civil society to revitalise local neighborhoods and revive community life and for the gaining of effective voices by women in decisions affecting their livelihoods.

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