Generous Donors Make Legacy Gift to International House

Although International House’s capital campaign was mostly complete at the end of 2012, higher than anticipated renovation costs for our move to the former Midwood High School meant that we were left with a $69,000 gap to cover construction expenses. Three generous couples have helped us close that gap through a September legacy gift of $30,000. We are delighted to announce that long term supporters Tony and Lakana Bikhazi coordinated a combined gift with their friends, Ziad and Roula Korban of Hong Kong, and Edouard and Rita Rassie of Lebanon. We are pleased to honor the Bikhazi’s, Korban’s and Rassie’s with Ambassador Level Recognition for their generous gift and named sponsorship of the large auditorium space here at the Midwood International & Cultural Center.

Tony and Lakana

Lakana and Tony Bikhazi

“We support the International House team for all the humanitarian and social activities they do in helping new comers assimilate and enjoy a better life”, said the Bikhazi’s who were co-chairs of International House’s 2012 capital campaign. Tony is from Lebanon, and Lakana from Thailand. Their own experience as immigrants who have built successful lives in the United States has given them great compassion for others who arrive in Charlotte from countries around the globe. Lakana Bikhazi has also given her time and energy for many years as the coordinator of the Doorways group at International House. Doorways provides a monthly opportunity to international women in Charlotte who want to meet new friends while enjoying programs and excursions to various places of interest.

Edouard Rassie expresses a similar motivation for their donation: “We lived in Charlotte for 14 years starting in 1988, and we are very familiar with the International House and its activities… we are very proud of what the International House has become and the help you provide to the members of the international community in the Charlotte metropolitan area.”

International House is deeply grateful for the generosity of the Rassie’s, Korban’s and Bikhazi’s. Their gift will continue our work of welcoming newcomers to Charlotte from around the world. It is because of people like them, and many other kind donors who support International House, that we can keep up the programs and services that turn strangers into neighbors!

Volunteer as a Home Host for Our International Visitors

International House is delighted to be hosting a group of Turkish judges and lawyers through the Charlotte School of Law (Aug 17-22) and a group of disability rights and healthcare advocates  from Georgia through the Open World Program  (Sept 19-27).

 As part of their experience in Charlotte, they are eager to spend time with American families, and we are seeking families and individuals to host these distinguished guests.   It’s a wonderful way to experience new cultures and make friends from around the world!

Home Hosts - CopyIn addition, we will soon host nine high school Youth Ambassadors from Peru, Ecuador, and Columbia who will visit Charlotte through the Youth Leadership Program between September 5th and 17th.  Their program will focus on youth empowerment, environmental leadership and public speaking.

We will need families with teenagers to home host during this time.  Hosting teens are welcome to participate in all meetings and workshops.  Our experience with past Youth Ambassadors has been delightful – expect  energy, smiles, and laughter, and lots of cultural exchange!   This is a highly selective program and each of our visitors are highly accomplished teenagers.

Individuals and families  serving as host families will assist with transportation on the weekdays with drop-offs at International House around 9:00 am and pick-ups around 5:00pm (carpools can be arranged) as will also provide breakfast and dinner.  A Home Host Orientation will be arranged prior to your guest’s arrival.

For further questions or to volunteer as a home host, please contact Johnelle Causwell at  (704) 342-2248 ext. 121.

For more information, click >>here.  Thank You!



Host An International Delegate This Month!


International House will soon be welcoming two high level delegations of international visitors to Charlotte, and we need your help! We are seeking host families to provide a home stay experience for these distinguished guests and show them some wonderful Southern hospitality!

Our first delegation is comprised of a group of six female leaders from Pakistan, Nepal, and Kyrgystan who are legislative officials or work in the area of human rights, women’s rights, and education empowerment. We are looking for home hosts between April 17 – May 8 and would consider families who are able to host either the entire 3 weeks or half of that time

Our second delegation will be with us between April 20 – 25. International House will host five finance leaders from Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan through the Rumsfeld Fellows Open World Program who are in Charlotte to gain insight into the subjects of local community engagement, international relations, and resolving conflicts between investors and governments. We are also seeking host families for these visitors.

What can you expect as a home host? We are looking for individuals and families to:

  • Welcome these guests into your homes.
  • Serve as cultural ambassadors in the evenings and weekends.
  • Assist with transportation on the weekdays to and from International House (1817 Central Avenue) with drop-offs around 9:00am and pick-ups around 5:00pm (carpools can be arranged).
  • Provide breakfast and dinner.

A Home Host Orientation will be arranged prior to your guest’s arrival.

Please let us know if you are interested in learning more about hosting one of these distinguished visitors. Our home hosts usually tell us that they have a wonderful experience with these international guests and develop friendships that last a lifetime! 

For more information, please contact Johnelle Causwell at jcauswell@ihclt.orgor call at (704) 342-2248 office or (561) 543-0740 cell.