In addition to supporting refugees and immigrants in Rhode Island, Higher Ground International provides financial assistance, basic needs infrastructure support, and critical resources to villages in Western Africa to help to repair the areas most impacted by years of civil war.  We also work to address safety issues and implement programming that promotes education, empowers women, and builds community.

Below is just a snapshot of some of the projects and work we have done in Western Africa:

Moses Turkett

Higher Ground International’s first project was to provide clean water to over 200 residents of the Moses Turkett community in rural Arthington. Before the well was installed in 2011, the women and children were walking for miles to source water from a stagnant creek. During the dry season, when the water level was low, the creek would be filled with mud and excrement. Due to the creek being the only source of water they had, the residents had to use it to drink, cook, and other household tasks. The installation of the well saved the residents from various life-threatening illnesses and death from drinking the contaminated water. Higher Ground International also provides clean water for the residents of the James Wright Community. With contributions of sand and gravel from the community, HGI was able to install a hand pump well that now provides clean water to over 150 people in this remote community


James Wright Community

Higher Ground International also provides clean water for the residents of the James Wright Community.

With contributions of sand and gravel from the community, HGI was able to install a hand-pump well that now provides clean water to over 150 people in this remote community. These wells are so important to the communities because it removes the trek that many of them take to secure clean water.

1940 Community

Higher Ground International also provides clean water to the residents of the 1940 community in Arthington.

The 1940 community is one of the larger communities in central Arthington and is also the transit hub. Due to this area being very busy, one hand-pump is not enough to provide clean water to everyone. HGI intends to advocate for and raise additional funds to install two more hand-pumps in this area.

Community Bathroom & Latrines for the Moses Turkett Community

In June 2014, Higher Ground International completed a modern, six-unit, community bathroom and latrine for the Moses Turkett and surrounding communities.

This facility provided over 200 residents access to safe and private facilities to use.

Gomkpon Junction

Second to the completion of HGI’s community bathrooms and latrines project, providing a hand pump for the children and residents of Gomkpon Junction has been the most rewarding for the members of HGI thus far.

When the residents first came to advocate for the need for a hand pump, HGI was not aware that the residents had built a one-room church and school in the community because they needed those buildings.

To our surprise, we arrived at the Gomkpon Junction community and found them. We were able to impact the lives of about 300 people in the community, especially the children, who had to leave school to walk a mile to the creek for water.


What We Learned?

  • At a cost of $4,000, a hand pump was the most economical way to fulfill the need for clean water.
  • At 40 feet, the well was not dug well enough to provide a continuous flow of water for everyone during the dry season.
  • It is a very dangerous task for the young men who dig the well because they lack the safety standards and in some cases, the well caved in on the workers.
  • The demand and constant use of the pump causes it to break down often.

Our Solution

  • Build a well, that costs $6,500 but provides many advantages that make the cost worthwhile.
  • The well was dug with a borehole drill to a depth of 95 to 110 ft. This allows for a continuous flow of water during the rainy and dry seasons.
  • It meets the needs of the community with two hand-pumps for the village of 300 to 500 people. By having two hand-pumps, the wear and tear of the equipment is reduced from constant use.

Arthington Signs

We believe that creating impact also starts with listening to what is important to the people, and working along with them to instill pride and dignity within their community.

Below are the first of two signs leading into Arthington that HGI has built.

Ebola Outreach and Awareness

HGI heeded the call to the Ebola outbreak by heading out into the bushes of rural Arthington to mobilize the community, bringing a message of awareness and prevention, and distributing over 1,000 sanitation kits to the residents of the region.

Post Ebola Support

As Liberia enters into the post Ebola stage, HGI is being proactive in working to mitigate the needs of those whose lives have been impacted by the disease.

HGI plans to build a residential facility for orphans in the Arthington area.

“Creating a safe place and a home for orphans of the Ebola cris is paramount o mitigating the urgent needs that exist for these innocent children”

HGI has begun the process of rehabilitating the above one-acre property so it can be used as a residential facility for orphans and also a section for HGI office space.

These children are traumatized by the outbreak and are in need of comprehensive care to help facilitate the devastating loss they have experienced.

Center for Workforce Development & Literacy

HGI has acquired and is rebuilding a facility and four similar ones as the central hub for the organization’s commercial agriculture, workforce, and literacy program.

“Founded on the principles of private initiative, entrepreneurship and self-employment, underpinned by the values of democracy, equality, and solidarity, the co-operative movement can help pave the way to a more just and inclusive economic order”

Upon completion, these facilities will be a life-changing opportunity for the people in the region to gain the skills that will propel them to a place of economic empowerment and sustainability.

You can restore DIGNITY. You can EMPOWER lives.
You can help to keep PEACE.

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    Higher Ground International is a forward-thinking and culturally grounded social impact nonprofit organization. We are dedicated to advocating for, empowering, and providing life-changing services to Liberians and West African immigrants, refugees, and other marginalized communities. We seek to restore dignity, empower lives, and keep peace through work that centers and celebrates the cultural heritage and unique individuality of those we serve.


    Higher Ground International was founded in 2008 by Henrietta White-Holder, a native of Liberia, to help support the vast needs of refugee arrivals who had experienced the traumas of civil war. Click Here to learn more about our History.


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