April 20, 2012 – On April 14 and 15, 92 graduates from the 2011-2012 Outtatown program gathered on the Canadian Mennonite University (CMU) campus to celebrate their experiences in Africa and South America. They shared their experiences through stories and music during their two-day graduation program attended by family and friends, site leaders, and Outtatown and CMU faculty and staff.
CMU’s largest-ever program for Outtatown featured four teams travelling to South Africa, Guatemala, or Burkina Faso. The many highlights from the different teams included a meeting with a conservation organization working among indigenous people in one of Guatemala’s high-altitude rainforests, and a rare visit with South Africa’s Archbishop Desmond Tutu.
Students participating in the new French West Africa program discovered historic and cultural connections linking the cities of Winnipeg, Montreal, Paris, and Ouagadougou.
“One of the highlights for me was hearing students talk about their experience of community,” says Outtatown Director Cameron Priebe. In Burkina Faso, students encountered a culture in which one’s sense of identity is deeply rooted in family, community, church, and nationality.
About a third of the graduates plan to continue their studies at CMU in the fall.
The Outtatown Discipleship School is a unique and enriching program of serving and learning for students seeking a life-changing experience of adventure, travel, service, and Christian studies.
Through participation in Outtatown, students may earn up to 18 university credit hours for the academic work completed during their programs. Outtatown offers two-semester programs at site locations in Guatemala and South Africa, and a one-semester program in French Africa.