Older people from minority and indigenous backgrounds are well respected leaders and often credited with improving the well-being of their families and communities. These photos tell some of their stories.
Kee Or, 104-year-old spiritual leader in a Karen village in Thailand. In October 2015, Kee Or brought charges against the former chief of Kaeng Krachan National Park in Phetchaburi, accusing him of burning down Karen villages. The community leader also led a petition by Karen people asking for the right to continue living on their land. Credit: Emma Eastwood/MRG.
Pastoralist elders in Cameroon. In the centre is the traditional Mbororo leader of the wider area, flanked by his closest advisors. Credit: Emma Eastwood/MRG.
Richard Yegon is an Endorois elder from the village of Kapkuikui in Kenya. Endorois elders take an active role in counseling and guiding the community and help to resolve conflicts over land and other resources such as water. Credit: Emma Eastwood/MRG.
Suba woman elders in Kenya. The Suba Elders Council for Development and Culture promotes women’s leadership by including women as general members and in its executive leadership. Laura A Young.
In indigenous cultures in Latin America, an elderly woman in the community is chosen each year to become the Pachamama (or Earth Mother), advising the whole community and guiding them towards a caring relationship with the environment. Photo shows a Pachamama in Argentina. Credit: Carolyn Stephens.
Pauline Kinyarkyo, a Maasai founder of Kenyan-based community organization Enaitoti Naretu Olmaa meaning ‘feeding, helping the Maasai community’. Pauline is an advocate against female genital mutilation. Credit: MRG.