IN THE BEGINNING, was THRIVE 1.0:  Professor Judy Dushku of Suffolk University had a vision:  establish a Center for Trauma Healing, Personal Reflection and Community Growth in Gulu, Uganda, a land ravished by Joseph Kony’s decades-long reign of terror.  Together with former students, personal friends and a small team of visionaries, Judy established an international NGO (non-governmental organization), giving life to her dream of healing invisible wounds.  A small cohort of generous donors took a risk, investing in the cornerstone for what would become THRIVE.

It soon became clear that if the dream was to flourish it would require greater attention to administration, financial prudence and professional staffing.  Hence, THRIVE 2.0.  Under the leadership of Executive Director Richard Purnell, THRIVE dotted its i’s and crossed its t’s, becoming an established 501(c)(3) in the USA and a registered NGO in Uganda.  THRIVE hired an outstanding Program Director, Alal Single Dora, in Uganda and more skilled staff were recruited.  Judy’s vision proved a beacon of hope in the dark aftermath of the Lord’s Resistance Army.  More and more individual donors began to see the positive impacts of making survivors into THRIVERS, and large international organizations, including USAID and Save the Children International invited THRIVE to become their implementing partner.

In July 2017, over seven years following the initial seed that Judy planted, the Board of Directors appointed a new Executive Director, Mick Hirsch.  An expert in trauma recovery, who had trained at both the Yale University Divinity School and the Harvard Program in Refugee Trauma, and who had directed a country-wide refugee program in Cambodia, Mick joined THRIVE, thereby commencing THRIVE 3.0!

THRIVE has overcome the challenging hurdle of establishing itself as a viable organization, one “in it for the long-haul.”  THRIVE has proven its effectiveness, having established 25 Village Savings and Loan Associations with over 1,000 members, having saved dozens of lives through mental health counseling interventions, and having introduced psychoeducation to almost 10,000 villagers so that they can better understand and identify signs and symptoms of mental distress.  THRIVE has taught women and men to read and write in both their native Acholi and in English; THRIVE has conducted regional workshops on best practices for psycho-social interventions in schools; and THRIVE has reduced domestic violence incidents among the women and men who now work alongside one another as equals in the common pursuit of a better life and a more hopeful future!

The THRIVE model of holistic support works!

THRIVE 3.0 is just beginning…  Now is the time for our programs to grow in number and geographical breadth.  Now is the time for us to hire more staff, increase our visibility so that others can benefit from our services, and extend our outreach to more hard-to-reach locations.  Now is the time for us to help thousands more rise out of poverty, reconcile their traumatic pasts with an inspiring future, and achieve peace and prosperity for generations to come.

Now is the time for us to share the bounty with which we have been abundantly blessed, to share with those who have been held back for want of the financial opportunities and
psycho-social well-being which enable each and all to thrive.

Your contribution makes survivors into THRIVERS
Please give generously to our 2017 Year-End Appeal

Thrive on!!!

Mick Hirsch
Executive Director, USA

Alal Single Dora
Program Director, Uganda
THRIVE-Gulu, Inc.
P.O. Box 412
Marlborough, MA  01752

(216) 303-2702


2017 Year-End Appeal from survivors to THRIVERS


Laloyo ki I gin marac *Supporting ‘those who have escaped from a terrible situation’

$1 - 99  Larem (‘friend’)
$100 - 249  Lamak cing (‘a supporting hand’= Supporter)
$250 - 499  Bedo dwon pi joo ma tye marac (‘a voice for those who are badly off’= Advocate)
$500 - 999  Lacang dano (‘healer of people’= Healer)

Laloc*Supporting ‘those who want to THRIVE’

$1,000 - 2,499  Lacung dwar (‘ambassador’)
$2,500 - 4,999  Latela (‘leader’)
$5,000 - 9,999  Tic me medo kero (‘revitalizing potential’) = Empowerment Specialist!
$10,000 +  Ocer (‘raising back to life’) = Trauma Recovery Specialist!


$500 – 999 = Hard copy Annual Report Mailed

$1,000 – 2,499 = Biannual letter from THRIVEGulu staff

$2,500 – 4,999 = Biannual letter from Empowerment Groups

$5,000 – 9,999 = Invitation to Fall Reception with Executive Director and Gulu Representative

$10,000 + = Invitation to Gulu for THRIVERS Circle Advocacy Trip