Sometimes the universe lets us know that we’re in the right place at the right time. This is what happened to Henrietta White-Holder as she searched her native Liberia for the right place to launch her innovative nonprofit NGO, Higher Ground International (HGI). She was led to the village of Arthington by a woman named “Sweetie,” who would become Henrietta’s mentor and guiding light in Liberia. As Henrietta arrived in the village after a difficult journey down treacherous, unpaved roads, she witnessed a rainbow in the sky. She knew then that Arthington would be the base of operations for HGI’s mission of upliftment, empowerment, and community development.
Higher Ground International works to improve the lives of people living in the rural villages of West Africa, while providing meaningful opportunities for workforce and community development to the West African community living in Providence, RI, where the organization was founded. It provides basic supports and economic and educational opportunities to these communities, with an emphasis on empowering women, youth, and young adults as agents of change and self-determination.
HGI has a unique opportunity to build community. Through the generosity of local landowners the organization acquired over 125 acres of land suitable for agriculture in the village of Arthington. The development and cultivation of this land is a major component of HGI’s work to provide vital resources and economic opportunities for Arthington and ten neighboring rural villages in the region. Few NGO’s can boast such valuable assets in a developing community. “We need a community to create a community,” says Henrietta.