After writing my story on the connection between early childhood trauma and the endemic crime and violence in South Africa, I found my purpose and my potential contribution: ending violence through story-telling, and particularly, stories that (ethically) place children at the forefront of change. While there is extensive coverage on crime and violent activities in South Africa, there is not enough in-depth reporting about its systemic roots and that, through nurturing children between the ages of 0 and 7, crime and violence could well cease. There is a growing number of researchers and research units in South Africa that look at violence prevention through the focus on early childhood development. I would like to bring these stories to life and to make them accessible to the public. Without holding too lofty an ambition, I would love to help change public perception around the root causes of crime and violence in this country through beautiful storytelling. So far, I have identified 30 stories to write over a 30-month period. I intend these to be between 2500 and 5000 words. Some stories include:
*The profile of a child of a caregiver who testified in South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission. This piece will delve into intergenerational trauma and its effects and possibilities.
*A homeless Shakespearian actor, displaced from the Eastern Cape and living in Hillbrow, and his journey from crime to art.
*The "inside" of the groundbreaking book sharing project that has reduced violence in communities in South Africa. This story will share the journey of a mother and child and their experiences of the project.
*The profile of a mother who has benefitted from the home-visiting programme (Umdlezane), run by Ububele in Alexandra.
*The impact of the redirection of funds for higher education on social services for children in five provinces across South Africa.
News24 has agreed to be the platform of these in-depth reporting projects. I will approach international publications, such as The Atlantic, Guardian and Longreads in time. News outlets are unfortunately unable to cover the costs of my long-form journalism endeavour. I am hoping that my community and 'crowd' can contribute R7000 per story. will seek additional funding, if I can, from foundations and through my own furious fundraising efforts.
The person who contributes R6000 or more will receive a beautiful quilt, made by yours truly.
*In addition, I am furthering my knowledge in the field of violence prevention by studying towards an MA in Health Sociology. I am beginning with my honours year to cement my research skills. This will provide me with extra insight and help me keep abreast of the amazing research around early childhood development and the link with violence and crime.