International (MNN) — "Mystery is part of what makes the whole experience exciting," said Ruth Majawa, Christian Reformed World Relief Committee's service learning manager.
CRWRC's new Youth to Youth Exchange Program will bring together groups of teens–one from the third world and another from a developed nation. The only information participants learn about the trip destination is that it is "on the African continent."
Before the eight-week trip in July 2009, the teens will do distance learning for a year. They
commit to a year of orientation beginning July 2008 which focuses on preparing them for their encounter and responding appropriately to the issues of poverty and development that they will face. It will include basic language development, cultural awareness training, fund development to help cover the cost of the trip, and Biblical studies about poverty and development.
"The program will help teens on both continents better understand poverty and development," said Majawa. "They'll learn practical ways to respond to each other and their circumstances which can change the rest of their lives and the lives of the people around them."