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Migration and Home Affairs
4 June 2024

MotherSchools: Parenting for Peace

  • Austria
Target Audience
  • Families
  • Local community organisations/NGOs
  • Youth/pupils/students
key themes association
  • (Early) prevention
  • Gender/women
  • 2023


Women without Borders (WwB) aims to build women’s social capital to address the most pressing issues of our time. Since 2001, WwB has been putting research into practice through community-based strategies that combine theory and grassroots-level fieldwork. 

WwB has completed over 80 projects across 40 countries, focusing on PVE, gender-based violence (GBV), Women’s Leadership, Capacity Building, and Empowering Dialogue. 

Responding to the threat of radicalisation by sensitising women to their roles and responsibilities in building community resilience, WwB initiated the world’s first female PVE platform in 2008: the Sisters Against Violent Extremism network. 

WwB pioneered and continues to lead the effort of harnessing the potential of Mothers Preventing Violent Extremism (MPVE) through its MotherSchools Model.

Type of Organisation: NGO

Project description

Mothers present a missing link in the entire community approach to preventing the spread of violent extremism. Their physical and emotional proximity make them witness to each stage of their child’s development. While mothers, like fathers, have the potential to intervene in the initial stages of the radicalisation process, they often lack the essential competence and self-confidence to recognise and address the warning signs in their sons and daughters. 

Women without Borders (WwB) began introducing the notion of Mothers Preventing Violent Extremism (MPVE) in the context of its SAVE network of projects and initiatives from 2008. Responding to its research study findings from surveys and interviews with 1,023 mothers across five countries, WwB developed and designed the evidence-based and pioneering ‘MotherSchools: Parenting for Peace’ Model. When put into practice the model’s curriculum strengthens the participant’s individual capacity, capability, identity and emotional literacy, and heightens her awareness of radical influences. 

The MotherSchools empower women at the community level. The weekly 3-4-hour workshops that deliver targeted training over a period of 4-5 months create a trusted space and build relationships that outlive the project. MotherSchools build networks of women as agents of change and strengthen leadership capacity at the individual level, thus empowering the mothers to take a bottom-up approach by sharing their learnings with their families and taking action in their communities. 

In addition, MotherSchools feature multiple community outreach components offering a sense of agency, hope and engagement, and a path forward. This public forum lifts their voices, elevates their social status, helps to grow their community network, and heightens local awareness of extremism while highlighting women’s role and mothers’ unique capacity in PVE.


Development of the MotherSchools Manual; given to each MotherSchools Teacher as a how-to guide to implement and contextualise the MotherSchools in their country. 

The MotherSchools projects are continuously producing films and impact reports as part of project deliverables. Please visit our YouTube channel and website for the latest updates.

Contact details

Contact person: Dr. Edit Schlaffer
officeatwwb [dot] org (Email) | Website

Read the full practice

4 JUNE 2024
MotherSchools: Parenting for Peace