The Grandmother Movement - Europe
Start an activist grandmother group---or join, support or network with an existing group! If you know of additional groups that should be listed, please contact us via email! (Projects highlighted in yellow are featured in the book Grandmother Power.)
Storytelling Grandmothers. In 2005, more than 100 grandmothers sat down in rocking chairs in the market square in Hameenlinna, took children onto their laps, and told stories about what life was like “back when” before television and the Internet. The Hippalot Arts Festival for Children may not include this activity every year, but it can inspire grandmothers everywhere to plan a similar event.
International Slow Food Grandmother's Day occurs on the next-to-last weekend of April throughout Ireland. Grandmothers teach their grandchildren to grow and cook fresh food. Activities may include planting a community garden, foraging for seaweed, collecting fresh eggs, running a farmer’s market, baking or fishing. Other Slow Food member countries celebrate this day, but it began in Ireland. The exact date can be found every year on the Slow Food International’s calendar.
Buranovo Babushkas. The dancing grandmothers from the village of Buranovo 600 miles east of Moscow in the Udmert Republic, are in their 70’s and 80’s. They’ve competed on Who Wants to be A Millionaire, charmed audiences across Russia singing Beatles songs and tunes by iconic Russian rocker Viktor Tsoi…and were elected to represent Russia in Eurovision’s 2012 Song Contest. Not only are they demonstrating that it’s hip to be a grandmother, they are raising money for a church in their village.
Grandmothers United. This organization works with African Solutions to African Problems (ASAP) and supports grandmothers in South Africa’s Cape Town and Eastern Cape who are caring for AIDS orphans. It gives grants to community-based organizations to build drop-in centers that provide broad based support to children and their grandmother caregivers. ASAP and Grandmothers United were founded by a grandmother who was born in Botswana. MARGE: Link to
Granny Cloud. British grandmothers, many of whom are retired teachers, are reading stories via Skype to children in Hyderabad, India: a project launched in 2009 by Professor Sugata Mitra at Newcastle University. The 6 to 12-year- olds work (four to a computer) in a Self Organized Learning Environment in their schools. Additionally there are several hundred “hole in the wall” Granny Cloud computer sites in India, Cambodia, and a few African countries. Volunteers (called eMediators) contribute a couple of hours a week after receiving orientation and training. Learn more
Green Grannies. Part of Grannies United (“A Global Community for Grandmothers”), the Green Grannies are environmental activists, growing their own vegetables and teaching their grandchildren about living self-sufficient, sustainable lives.