A neighborhood mother in every woman

Every culture develops a particular way of dealing with matters related to women. Currently, the neo-Feminist movement is gaining adepts and visibility, and, in some regions, it has even adopted violent protest methods. The #MeToo movement let out some steam, but the situation of women in many regions of the world (including the developed world) remains, in many cases, unjust.

Finland is exceptionally advanced in these matters, however, there are numerous protests aiming to change structural inequalities still affecting women’s potential in domestic and work life. Nevertheless, instances of injustice are better dealt with through prevention, and what a better way to do it than through education and active service.

Last October 14th, 2019, eight women of foreign background graduated as “Neighborhood Mother” (Naapuriäiti in Finnish) in the city of Espoo. The seven-week course and the graduation celebration took place in Me-talo Espoo. The course started in September and consisted of six modules that included information and exercises related to volunteering, work life, social services, health & wellbeing, democracy and event organization.

The graduation ceremony: a memorable moment for all the participating women.

The coordinator of the course, Analyn Wagas-Hyvönen, Espoo’s Naapuriäiti program area coordinator trained the participants in most of the topics and invited external trainers from organizations like Länsi-Uudenmaan pelastuslaitos (Länsi-Uusimaa Rescue Department) who trained the participants in home safety and fire control. The Multicultural department in Espoo provided information about raising bilingual and bicultural children.

Regarding the projects to be started by the new neighborhood mothers, Wagas-Hyvönen mentions the following events: Children Movie Club, Bringing up Teenagers in Finland, and Family Group Activities and Ha