BISCEP and 10 Students from Miami Central Senior High School are headed to Botswana, South Africa
Miami, FL - Blindfolded International Student & Cultural Exchange Program (BISCEP) is a non-profit organization founded in 2018 to widen the horizons of youth between Miami, Fl and Botswana, South Africa. BISCEP provides intercultural learning opportunities to help high school aged students develop the knowledge, skills, and understanding needed to be well-rounded individuals. The immersion program helps students from both locations to emerge together in language acquisition, analytical and problem solving and responses to global issues.
High school students from Botswana on a tour around the University of Miami's Coral Gables campus. Photo: TJ Lievonen/UM
On July 14, 2022, along with Founder, Edwin Sheppard, ten students from Miami Central Senior High School will be heading to South Africa to complete a 14-day cultural immersion with students from the region in Botswana. While in the region, student participants will embark on a packed agenda that includes a private dinner with her Excellency Ambassador Tebelelo Mazile Seretse, the Chancellor of the University of Botswana and the first woman to serve as Ambassador to the United States from Botswana, who is also an esteemed alumna of Morgan State University.
"BISCEP has made me to view life and the world at large from a different perspective." says Otsile Lame, a former cultural exchange student, which speaks directly to the impactful life experiences that students connect with and share while creating bonds between their similarities and differences that will last a lifetime.
BISCEP was birthed out of the documentary Blindfolded: How They Hid My Heritage From Me. (bit.ly/3wPwgMO) A creative expression based on Edwin Sheppard's research in Botswana and South Africa that shows how African Americans in the U.S. have been misled about what Africa is really like. Students from both Miami and Botswana are able to experience first hand the similarities they share and as previous student Keamogestse said, "teach each other about their cultures'' while "bringing people from two different countries together to become friends, to become one family even though they are a thousand miles away."
To-date 10 students from Botswana have successfully completed the program in Miami, FL and BISCEP is excited to continue this summer with another cohort of 10 students traveling to Botswana after being on a travel moratorium for nearly 3 years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Edwin Sheppard and BISCEP is raising funds to help minimize the cost to families and to cover any additional costs of experiences for the program participants. There are six levels of sponsorship opportunities available ranging from Title Sponsor ($10,000) to Silver Sponsor ($100). Visit here to view their donor guide (bit.ly/38Q0KoV) with more details. "We are determined to change the cultural narrative starting with our youth", says Edwin, and the outpour of support from donors is priceless.
Find out more on Blindfolded International Student & Cultural Exchange Program (BISCEP) at www.biscep.org.
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