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The Rosalynn Carter Fellowships For Mental Health Journalism 2007-2008

Pieter van Zyl
Senior Writer
Cape Town, South Africa

TOPIC: Explore and portray the influence of crime and other trauma on South Africans and practical advice on dealing with these experiences. Also, provide journalists with guidelines on how to interview victims of crime as to minimize the traumatization of themselves, their readers and their subjects.

You Can Help Save our Kids
Just beyond the fence in the neighbors' back garden, a few meters from where her mom last saw her alive, Mikayla Rossouw's little body was found after nearly two weeks. In a garbage bag inside a box under the alleged rapist and murderer's bed in his foul-smelling tin shack.

Reunited--Then the Trauma
His tiny hand is clasped tightly in his mother's and the joy in the little boy's beaming face is nearly tangible. He was missing for nearly a month and he's delighted to be back with his mom.

Sexual Harassment: Speaking out!
The young woman at the hearing is being grilled relentlessly. ''Who is the father of your child?'' she's asked. What has that got to do with this, she wants to know. That's private information. But her interrogator won't back down. ''Who is your boyfriend?'' There are objections to the questions but the hearing panel insists she answers them.

Advice on Life: Raising a Fearless Child
As many as 91 percent of South African children have been exposed to crime. In such circumstances how do you prevent your child from becoming a fearful, anxious person?

A Real Little Rock
Just mention the name Little Rock and pride lights up the eyes of the residents of Blue Downs and its surrounds outside Cape Town. This little girl has become a symbol of hope in a sometimes hopeless and violence-ridden community.

Trauma: Kids are Affected
Childhood trauma. The word conjures up upsetting images of cruelty or sexual abuse – which can easily make you overlook lesser difficulties your own child might be experiencing in life.

I Beat the Bullies
Suddenly everyone knows his name and knows who he is - but for all the wrong reasons. Morné Harmse, 18, of Krugersdorp West has now been labeled the ''samurai sword murderer of the playground.'' I see pictures of him arriving at court on the front pages of the newspapers and my blood runs cold. It could have been me when I was a schoolboy - he's the mirror image of a boy who was bullied and teased mercilessly, an outsider who hid behind the domestic science classroom to avoid the cruel taunts because I wasn't like the other guys.

Lessons from My Ordeal
She's been called many names since being raped by a classmate in the school toilets - but "victim" is one name that can't describe this teenager. "I'm a winner," says 14-year-old Lizelle* of Cape Town. "I decided to speak out and use what happened to me to help other kids."

Loving a Man with HIV
On his 35th birthday Wynand Griesel*, inebriated from one too many celebratory drinks, got behind the wheel of his car. For the first few hours of what should have been a happy birthday, he ended up behind bars in Sea Point police station.

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