The women who changed their communities… long before us. Do you know Therese Brunsvik?

The women who changed their communities… long before us. Do you know Therese Brunsvik?

21. februára 2024 Off Od ÚMC

We did not invent what we are doing in the mother centers – there were women before us, in every town, in every village, who changed them. They slowly and patiently broke down stereotypes. They taught children that you can live kindly, respectfully, create values not only for themselves and their families, but for others around you. They adorned public spaces. They created ways to take care of the weak, the disadvantaged, with dignity. They educated.

Those women often remain in the background, they are not in textbooks, they do not have commemorative plaques.

Just look up the words “notable people” in your town or village on You will see a long list of men – this one designed a bridge, this one was a significant school principal. This one pillaged here.

But what about women? Why aren’t they on those lists – in a 1:1 ratio or “fifty-fifty”, the way we are in real life?

Let’s look at that together.

In this series of blogs and statuses, we will bring you stories from the past.

And you might come up with more and more names.

Let’s not forget.

Do you know who Therese Brunsvik was?

Does it suffice to say that she was a caring and sensitive woman with a sense of justice?

Let’s take a closer look at her story.

She was born in Bratislava, called Pressburg at the time, in the year 1775 to a noble family. She was married at a young age – and was widowed at a young age.

Things were not easy back then. She seeked solace in various places – for a while, she lived in her mother’s home in Buda, then with her sister in Russia.

Her encounters with the Swiss pedagogue Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi, who educated children in a simple, playful way and tried to get them to learn basic education, and the English educator, the pioneer of pre-school education (infant school) Samuel Wilderspin, became literally fateful to her.

Under their influence, she founded the first nursery school in the Krisztinaváros district of Buda in 1828 – a kindergarten in Austria-Hungary, called the Angel Garden.

She was certain that if children from poor backgrounds were given (as she put it) a “reasonable” and morally and religiously sound upbringing at an early age, they would be healthier, more virtuous, and grow up to be honest people.

They didn’t stop at one nursery.

She founded more and more of them: in Pest, in Banská Bystrica, in Pressburg – where she opened two kindergartens there, on Vydrica and on Valonská Street, and also in Trnava.

Therese was also involved in the establishment of the first girls’ industrial school in Hungary.

Read more:

And one more thing. If you know any inspiring women from the past in your local area, write to us about them. It’s important to know your own history.

These articles are being implemented as part of the “Women in The Community – from charity to equal work in communities” project, which is supported by the Domestic and Gender-Based Violence Programme financed by the Norwegian Financial Mechanism 2014 – 2021 and the state budget of the Slovak Republic.

“Working together for a green, competitive and inclusive Europe”

Therese Brunsvik on an engraving by István Szinay from 1860. Source – Wiki Commons