Grassroots Women at Expo 2000

EuroPROFEM - The European Men Profeminist Network 


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17en_gen ... Gender Issues


Grassroots Women at Expo 2000


We want to welcome men and women who are interested in getting to know a German grassroot women’s project, the SOS Mother Center 2000, a project of the EXPO 2000.

SOS Mother Center 2000 is pioneer of a movement that began 20 years ago and continues to this day. There are presently around 450 Mother Centers in Germany. Switzerland, Austria, Italy, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic and the USA.

SOS Mother Center 2000 offers a public living room, common meals and drop in childcare to neighborhood women. It has developed a multigenerational living and working together in the community.

SOS Mother Center 2000 works into the community by providing a wide range of neighbourhood services.

SOS Mother Center 2000 links professional qualities of reliability and continuity with the fresh approach of empowered neighbourhood women.

SOS Mother Center 2000 is housed within innovative architecture, whose principles are: functional flexibility, transparency and the creation of casual and central meeting areas.

During the World Exhibition 2000 the SOS Mother Center 2000 provides a "home away from home" to visitors: We offer accommodation for women, childcare, family excursions and meal services.

We will organise guided tours through the SOS Mother Center 2000 for visitors and a weekly market place for grassroots women from all over the world to sell their products and exchange knowledge and information.

For visitors of EXPO 2000 who may encounter upsetting experiences during their stay in Germany, we offer our Peace Center. In the Peace Center you are welcome to talk to personell, experienced in stress release and conflict resolution in order to retrieve personal balance and well being.

For those of you, who cannot come personally we ask you to participate by sending your favourite songs, recipees, inspirational quotes or a patch for our quilt (10x10 inches plus 0,25 inch seam) to express your desires and hopes for the next century.

For information please contact:
Dorothee Schooss
at SOS-Muetterzentrum

Braunschweiger Straße 137, 38259 Salzgitter
Tel.: 49-(0) 5341 816718,
Fax: 49-(0) 5341 816720,

SOS-Kinderdorf e.V.

Mütterzentrum 2000
Grassroots Women’s
International Academy

Women, Homes & Community

Regional Center Europe

The Grassroots Women’s International Academy

The Grassroots Women’s International Academy (GWIA) is an important event during the EXPO 2000. It will enhance and deepen the international collaboration of community based women, a process that began during the UN Conference on Women in China, 1995 and was pursued during the UN Conference on Human Settlements, Habitat II in Istanbul 1996.

The significance of GWIA is the attempt to link grassroots and professional expertise and resources. We have scheduled four series during EXPO 2000. Each series will present five one day workshops open to the public, where grassroots women’s projects from around the world teach and exchange their methods that work, their lessons learned and their strategies for the new millennium. On the 6th day of each series the results of the workshops will be pulled together for joint analysis and conclusion. On the 7th day grassroots women and potential partners from the media, foundations, academia, local, regional and national government, international agencies, churches, NGOs and professionals, and the private sector will meet for a structured dialogue on enhancing principled partnerships.

GWIA is scheduled for the following weeks in the year 2000:

June 14 – 20, July 07 – 13, September 13 – 19 and October 18 – 24


GWIA will provide a female voice during the EXPO 2000, exhibiting and networking activities of grassroot women world wide. Amongst the participants invited to participate are the following groups:

    • *Allianza de Mujeres, Costa Rica: Empowerment and Leadership based on Local Heritage
    • Bantay-Banay (Family watch in the Community), Philippines: Women’s Participation in Basic Services: Water, Livelihood and Daycare
    • Bogso Women’ Farmer Association Cameroon: Combatting Poverty with Sustainable Farming
    • Center for Natural Birth, Germany: Women’s Confidence in their Own Bodies
    • CWEI (Community Women Education Initiative) Cork, Ireland: the Diary Method and the Shadowing Principle in Community Education
    • Forum of Women in Democracy, Uganda: The Women’s Caucus
    • *Foundation for the Support of Women’s Work, Turkey: Services for Urban Grassroot Women
    • *Mokosoi Grassroots Women’s Association, Papua New Guinee: Bardering and Village to Village Exchanges
    • *Mother Centers in the Czech Republic: Democracy from the Bottom up
    • *National Congress of Neighbourhood Women, USA: The Leadership Support Process
    • *Orap (Organization of Rural Associations for Progress), Zimbabwe: Zenzele, The Orap Way

Owen (East-West European Women’s Network), Germany: Grassroot Women’s Movements in Post Socialist SocietiesSPARC (Society for Promotion of Area Resource Centres), India: Partnering with Local Government and the Private Sector*SSP (Self-Education for Women’s Empower-ment), India: Savings & Credit as a Tool for Women’s Empowerment.The working language will be English, with some workshops being conducted in Spanish, German and Russian with English translation. Childcare at GWIA is provided.

Organisation and Partners

GWIA is organised by the SOS Mother Center 2000, Salzgitter, the National Association of Mother Centers, Hamburg, and the Huairou Commission – Women, Homes & Community, Regional Center Europe, Stuttgart, and will take place at the SOS Mother Center 2000 in Salzgitter.GWIA is sponsored by the German Ministry of Family, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth and SOS Kinderdorf e.V.

GWIA is conducted in partnership with GROOTS* (Grassroots Women Operating Together in Sisterhood).

GWIA is seeking further partners and sponsors in the grassroots and in the professional field.


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