Rolene Miller – South Africa

Linked with the Amy Biehl Foundation Trust.

She is one of the 1000 women proposed for the Nobel Peace Price 2005.

Rolene Miller, born in 1938, is a qualified social worker from the University of Cape Town, South Africa. For five years, she worked as a teacher specializing in remedial teaching. She started the Mosaic Training Services and Healing Centre in 1993, a non-profit organiztion for abused women. The focus of the organization was to extend reproductive health services, HIV/Aids awareness, legal rights and food security. Rolene is recognized for her efforts in empowering women to take control of their lives and to bring about peace in their homes and in their communities.

She says: “Women are the first agents of change; the first teachers because they are the bearers and nurturers of culture. If change has to happen, it must start with women”.
… both on (1000peacewomen 1/2).

How Amy Biehl (an idealistic Stanford graduate of the Amy Biehl Foundation) was murdered; and: BIEHL’S PARENTS COME FACE-TO-FACE WITH DAUGHTER’S KILLERS, 1997.

The CAPE TOWN NETWORK CONTACT LIST.

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Rolene Miller – South Africa

She works for Mosaic Training Services, and for Healing Centre (not better specified, find all Healing Centres worldwide on Google search).

Rolene Miller and the community workers whom she trained felt honored and privileged to cross the previously forbidden color-bar, getting to know each other personally and learning about each other’s cultures and communities. For Rolene, social worker and volunteer counselor for five years, the change was evident ,when she began to receive many crisis calls from women who were experiencing abuse and domestic violence.

She started the Mosaic Training Services and Healing Centre in 1993, a non-profit organization for abused women. The focus of the organization was to extend reproductive health services, HIV/AIDS awareness, legal rights and food security.

In 1994, she teamed up with a psychologist and developed a one-year full-time educational program to train grassroots women in community and social work skills. Training and supervision of community workers took place in a disadvantaged community.

Mosaic’s work ethics are based on immediate conflict resolution by establishing support and strong bonds between the workers. A profound culture of caring, trust and transparency is maintained through one-on-one counseling.

Mosaic has many achievements to be proud of. Over three hundred community women have been given garden skills so that they are assured of food security by growing their own vegetables. There is a school, hospice and an AIDS crèche. The poorest children at the school are assisted with vegetables to take home.

Recently, a booklet on the protection of order and legal rights entitled: A simple guide to your rights has been published. At the launch ceremony for the booklet, the Deputy Minister of Justice said that thousands of abused people in South Africa would benefit from the comprehensive booklet that is printed in three official languages.

Yet, Mosaic has faced many challenges. For the first seven years its office was located in Rolene’s home because money was scarce. She largely financed the organization with the help of family and friends. The organization faced periods of financial difficulties, which almost forced her to abandon the project. The worst period was when fourteen community workers had to leave Mosaic. It was a traumatic time for everyone in the organization.

Rolene is an inspiration in the implementation of new legislation in trying to fight violence against women. She is encouraging new ways of promoting women’s human and legal rights and empowering women to be agents of change in their homes and their communities through peaceful methods.

Rolene Miller was born into a middle class, Jewish family. She was raised with a clear commitment to community service. The family was strongly opposed to the apartheid regime and was politically active with the progressive party, headed by Helen Suzman and subsequently with parties opposing the Nationalist government. (1000peacewomen 2/2).

She is Board Member of PositiveMoms.

Rolene Miller established Mosaic 10 years ago, an organisation that provides healing, rehabilitation and skills development for abused women. Mosaic community workers and representatives now do work across some 30 communities. Rolene was a finalist in the Cape Times/V&A Waterfront 2003 Woman of Worth awards.

Find her on facebook; and on Reunion.com.

South African courts appear to condone a certain degree of abuse of women who are assaulted within the family structure. Rolene Miller, director of the Mosaic Centre for Woman, reacted strongly to the fact that people generally see abuse of women as a domestic affair. ?This societal attitude effectively traps women within the abusive situation,? she said. ?Abuse works to isolate the victim and functions only within a structure of power and absolute control. There is the classic pattern of abuse, followed by remorse or scare tactics or wonderful promises, which often form part of the problem … (full text).

links:

Women’s Network South Africa;

Volunteer Services, Victim Support;

Western Cape Network on Violence Against Women; …

Beautiful Women, on National Catholic Reporter, March 7, 2008;

Rape Survivor, Emergency Contact Information;

speack out, emergency support;

the book: Extending Horizons, Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy with Children, Adolescents, and Families.

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