Learn & Serve’s “48: A Slum Experience” Retreat Coming Soon – Sign up Now!

Although forty-eight hours may not be enough time to travel to a developing country and back, it is enough time to get a glimpse into the everyday life of over one billion people on our planet. This coming January, Learn & Serve is offering our fourth annual “48: A Slum Experience”.  For forty-eight hours, participants will have a chance to immerse themselves in a simulated urban slum and learn the struggles of people living in these environments. Students interact with common challenges associated with living in a slum, such as dirty water, prostitution, HIV/AIDS, mass evictions, hunger, unemployment, corruption and the social havoc that each of those struggles can create within a community.

While 48 may seem intimidating, feedback received from youth and leaders who participated in past events proves that the experience is worth the challenge. Carmen Sanders, a high-school senior from Brandon, Mississippi, who has attended this annual retreat the past three years, describes why she first decided to attend 48, “I chose to attend because I had been to Learn & Serve summer camp several times before, and I wanted to learn more about what it was like to live in poverty, and to see how God might work in my life at this experience! I was hesitant to come at first because I didn’t know what to expect, but it was totally worth it.” Additionally, she spoke of her experience during the event and what she feels she learned: “Quite honestly, during 48 I felt pretty miserable… it was very difficult, and almost a little disturbing. But then I kept remembering that there are people all over the world who live in this situation their whole lives, and have no hope of ever getting somewhere better. I learned how it feels to have next to nothing and I learned that we in America have so many resources to change the circumstances of people who are in poverty, but we choose not to use them. I also learned the importance of hard work, and that you get so much more spiritual blessing by getting out of your comfort zone.”

Sanders also encourages others to go through the experience, “It is indeed challenging, but the knowledge and responsibilities you take away from it are more than worth it,” Sanders said. “It is a life-changing experience.”

Learn & Serve invites you to attend 48: A Slum Experience during MLK Weekend, January 19-21, 2013. For information on registration for this retreat, visit our website to download the Registration Form or email learnandserve@sifat.org

Check out this video for footage and feedback from last year’s “48: A Slum Experience”.

Interested in volunteering to staff this retreat? Click here and download the 48 Volunteer Application!