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International Student Seeks Host Family

Johnson Harris, a 16-year-old from Liberia, is coming to Molokai as part of an International Student Exchange program. The International Hospitality Center (IHC) in Honolulu is looking for a host family willing to house this student for the coming school year. Given his background and interests, the IHC believes Johnson would adjust well to life on Molokai and make a contribution to the community.

In his home, Johnson lives with his parents, two brothers and two sisters. His daily home responsibilities include cooking, washing, and gathering fresh water for the family. His dream is to study agriculture.

He is part of the debate team at his high school, and enjoys playing soccer. He received the “Best Debater of the Year – 2018” for his school, Zwedru Multilateral High School. The school’s principal, who recommended Johnson for the IHC program, calls him “a fine character, self-motivating, confident, respectful and reliable.” Johnson wants his host family to know that he is a Jehovah’s Witness.

The IHC is looking for a family to host Johnson for the coming academic year (2021-22). If none is available immediately, a Welcoming-Host Home would be a host who agrees to host Johnson for at least the first eight weeks of his stay on Molokai.

All hosts are volunteers with no financial remuneration. The student can share a room, can be placed with a single adult, a married couple, partners, host with little kids or teens or no kids, empty-nesters, etc.) Students receive a $125 monthly stipend for personal expenses but hosts provide bed and meals.

This is the same grant on which student/magician Dren Ibrahimi, whom some may remember, came to Molokai in 2019-2020.

Anyone who might be available and interested in serving as a host family can call Barbara Bancel, IHC Excecutive Director, for more information about Johnson and the IHC program. You can reach her at (808) 521-3554. They hope to have secured a home within the next two weeks. Mrs. Bancel will provide a Host Application including an online background check. All IHC students must be vaccinated for COVID-19 to be accepted into the program.

Mahalo nui no kokua,
Beth King-Mock


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