FOUNDER & CEO
Henrietta Tonia, a native Liberian, is a humanitarian/social entrepreneur/community builder, and passionate advocate for the disadvantaged and underserved. In 2008, with an unexpected “gift” of only $1,000, Henrie founded the non-profit NGO, Higher Ground International. Since then, Henrie has accomplished a lot with very little. In addition to lobbying to end the 14-year civil war in Liberia and helping to integrate and empower young refugees in Rhode Island, Higher Ground has brought clean water and sanitation to Liberia, with the installation of latrines and hand-pumps in rural villages in Arthington, Liberia.
In 2015, Henrie—who understands the power of a warm hug—opened the Rukiya (the Swahili word for “Rising Up/Progress”) Center on the South Side of Providence, RI. The Rukiya Center was the first venue of its kind in Providence to offer intergenerational programs, women and youth empowerment programs, the Sweetie Care Program for African immigrant and refugee elders, and workforce and literacy programs.