Following several years of conducting "Immersion" programs for a variety of groups and institutions, Africa Exchange has determined to more specifically focus such programs in order to achieve desired outcomes.
“Kutana” is the Swahili word which means “to meet, encounter or come upon.” As Swahili is wont to do, it indicates a mutuality or reciprocity in that it is not one sided or in one direction. Thus, when one says, “tunakutana,” one is saying, “we are meeting each other, we are fellow-shipping one with another, we are encountering one another.” The spirit of "Kutana" is what we hope will guide and infuse each of our cross-cultural programs.
- Our desire is to provide a context in which old assumptions are challenged on the basis of new relationships with indigenous people, scholars, clergy and cross-cultural workers. We have designed Kutana with ample space for self reflection and awareness. In undergraduate programs, we hope to approximate the “rites of passage” concept that is prevalent in African societies and integral for emerging adults - a concept that Western culture has all but lost.
- A core component of service learning is designed to place participants in development situations where they have the opportunity to transform as well as be transformed through working for, with and alongside local people.
- One or more environmental field components will provide opportunities for participants to explore some of the most diverse, rich and spectacular habitats on the planet. Ecological issues will be explored holistically, including a theology of the environment and stewardship of creation.
- We hope to promote both a preparedness prior to the experience as well as an integration of the experience into the normal lives of participants upon conclusion of the program.
Africa Exchange undertakes to provide this experience for the following groups:
- High School Youth - in conjunction with Passport Kenya
- University Undergraduates - in conjunction with Mercer University
- Divinity School & Seminary students - in conjunction with Baptist Theological Seminary at Richomond and partner institutions
- Change for Children partners - in conjunction with participating congregations and groups who sponsor Integrated Child Development Centers