During the course Project Research and Design, we made a circle of trust for 2 different entities that have to cooperate closely during the project in The Gambia: ourselves, the students, and the women who we are going to teach about dried food and who are eventually going to give workshops themselves.
First, we made the circle for us, which you can see in the picture below.
The circle of trust that was made from the perspective of the women is shown next.
After we overlapped the circles, we could see where the greatest differences are. There are a few different possibilities with this combined circle. We could focus on the subjects that have the largest differences between us and the women. However, the size of some of these gaps is too large to minimize in such a short time. That is why we chose to focus on the role of the women and their environmental impact. The women in The Gambia that we are going to work with are simple farmers, they do not have much respect from their surroundings and they do not contribute significantly to the environment. By giving them a powerful role in our project, namely letting them give workshops about solar drying and help them building the solar dryers, they have responsibility, they earn respect from the people around them and they contribute something to the nearby villages. We think that this will strengthen the relation of trust between these women and us.
Also, we would like to reduce the difference in emotional space. These women are of course very comfortable in their own surroundings, whereas we are in a completely different environment with a completely different culture. We think that the size of the gap may be reduced by getting to know the people that we see every day and that we work with. We can realise this for example by having meals together and having small talk. It may also be reduced by getting to know the habits of these women, to avoid awkward situations and to avoid us walking on eggshells the whole time.