What is THRIVEGulu?

THRIVEGulu is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that operates a center for community gathering and learning in Gulu, Uganda. We support communities in Northern Uganda to recover from the traumatic effects of conflict, through mental health, economic empowerment, and basic education programs.

We work with community savings and support groups to deliver our programs. We currently work with over 1000 Thrivers in 25 groups. Groups provide economic, social, and emotional support to members as they work together to heal and THRIVE.


THRIVEGulu assists communities in post-conflict Northern Uganda to heal from the traumatic effects of war, sexual exploitation, extreme poverty and the resulting loss of opportunities.


Our vision for Northern Uganda is one in which all people are treated with dignity, live in safety, and have the chance to contribute to the good of the community.

Our History

In 2009, Professor Judy Dushku traveled with a small group of students from Suffolk University in Boston to Gulu to study the effects of the 20-year civil war with Joseph Kony’s LRA. Many Ugandans still suffered from the deep emotional scars of being abducted or losing their families during the conflict, continued to live in extreme poverty, and lacked basic education. Shortly after Dushku’s initial visit, she created THARCE-Gulu: Trauma Healing and Reflection Center, which later became THRIVEGulu. It was registered as a 501(c)3 in the US in 2010, and then as a community-based NGO in Uganda in 2011.

We began as an organization of dedicated volunteers and board members, who would travel throughout the year to Gulu to work in the communities and provide training and basic education on business, health, and women's empowerment. We now employ 15 local staff members who run our programs on the ground, and two staff members who are based in the US and run our administrative and fundraising operations. Our program staff all have long experience working with the traumatized communities of Northern Uganda both during and after the conflict. In 2012, we were able to purchase a plot of 2.5 acres of land for our center in Layibi, just outside of Gulu town. This has helped us firmly establish ourselves in the community and ensure that our work will be sustained into the future.

We are very grateful to our major partners who support the important work being done in Gulu. The Sorenson Legacy Foundation has been our partner from the beginning, and provides THRIVEGulu with invaluable support. In addition, we are now in our third year of partnership with Save the Children International, working with them in rural primary schools to provide psychosocial support and training for pupils, parents, teachers, and administrators. In 2016, we also signed on for a one-year partnership with USAID’s SAFE program to strengthen mental health and psychosocial support systems in more rural sub-counties outside of Gulu. We also currently partner with Engage Now Africa, who is supporting our Acoli-English literacy program and infrastructure projects at the center in Gulu.

We also receive funding from individual major donors and from annual fundraising campaigns led by our dedicated board members and other key supporters. We want to extend a special thank you to all of those who have joined our global community of Thrivers along the way!

For inquiries about our financial documentation, please email info@thrivegulu.org for copies of our 990s.

Tax documents can also be found at the following link:
IRS 501(c)(3) Letter