Over the past 14 months, the Christoffels Lab has developed a speaking book that communicates concepts related to biobanks. The book has been designed as a bi-lingual medium with an English-Xhosa, and English-Afrikaans version of the book. These books incorporate informative text, colourful illustrations and bi-lingual audio. The 16 short messages are accompanied by a recorded audio file and communicate concepts related to genetics, medical research, informed consent and the need for careful, and accurate storage of biological material for future research.
Starting in the week of 13th August 2018 and ending in the week of 20th August 2018, the first cohort of recruited participants consisting of UWC staff, started to test the utility of these speaking books. Participants from three groups (English, Xhosa, Afrikaans) will be providing feedback on the speaking book. Much excitement has been generated by staff and student assistant volunteers as participants explore concepts in biology. The Christoffels lab will use the valuable feedback gained to improve the book for wider distribution in communities and assess the impact of future community engagement projects.