Community co-designers / Elders
We describe the four elders (seen in the picture) individually as they have become the most important participants and co-designers having been continuously involved since 2009.
Gerard is an elder and a pensioner who resides in the village called Erindiroukambe. He has been actively involved in the project since its inception. He has always been an active participant in all visits by the researchers. He has seen the importance of preserving the knowledge from the elders and that has motivated his participation. As he knows the culture very well, his stories and insights have been recorded. Gerard wants the youth to learn both the urban and rural ways of doing things.
Job grew up in Erindiroukambe and has never lived elsewhere. He only attended a small portion of primary school and then went back to the village. In representing viewpoints, Job has been influential in the project. He has participated as he wants to send a message to the youth and others on the importance of knowing your roots first before going to do something else. For him, it is important that others know what survival techniques and food there are in the village as our existence depends on it
He is one of the most talented elders when it comes to using his hands to make something out of nothing, for example, when given spare parts of a broken television, he can use the parts for other things like a radio. Alex used to be a soldier before returning to the village where he has been living since then. He has been helpful in the study as he at least understands a bit of English. Alex is best known for his humor. His favorite statement (in English) has been “I know what I do and I do what I know”.
Vehaha has lived in Erindiroukambe all his life. During discussions with other community members, he openly and freely shared his experiences and knowledge. He is one of the community members upon whom the project really depended. His critical reflection based on fundamental questions was honestly conveyed. He has been the one who tested tools extensively and provided critical reflections on the technology.
† Gerard sadly passed away in January 2015. In memoriam