THRIVE Gulu is a non-profit organization founded in early 2010 that operates as a center for community gatherings in Gulu to support the emotional healing and rehabilitation of trauma victims of the 20 year civil war in Northern Uganda through educational programs.
THRIVE’s mission is to assist communities in Northern Uganda in healing from the traumatic events of war, sexual enslavement, extreme poverty and lost opportunities, like land ownership, because people in Northern Ugandan fled for their lives.
THRIVE’s vision is to help war-affected communities heal through sharing their experiences in solidarity with others, teaching life skills, and building their confidence so that they may contribute to the harmony of their communities. They are working closely with community leaders to implement the following programs:
- Create places of safety and shelter.
- Provide opportunities for healing through artistic expression.
- Facilitate adult education and life skills.
- Encourage entrepreneurial skills to people.
PROJECT WITH USAID SAFE
The project Acholi Community Psychosocial Support Project of Thrive Gulu will address significant gaps in mental health and trauma healing support for returnees and the broader Acholi community in post-conflict Northern Uganda, creating a platform for people to overcome the past and live in harmony. This advances component 2 objectives of USAID SAFE of peace and reconciliation.
One objective of this project will be to strengthen the system of mental health services, including training 500 key service providers (such as paralegals, health workers and SAFE’s partner organization staff) in basic psychosocial support methods and making referrals, as well as training 50 lay counselors to provide basic counseling and referral services at the parish level.
Another objective will be improving community awareness of mental health signs, symptoms, and available services, through psycho-education sessions, dialogues, media campaigns, and other events, reaching a target of 1,000 community members.
Achieving these objectives will result in a reduction in stigma against formerly abducted persons, including children born in captivity and those with mental health needs, as well as greater access to badly needed mental health services. Ultimately, better responses to war-related trauma and other psychosocial needs will lead to a reduction in community conflict, leading to improved community coexistence and social cohesion. This will ultimately advance the post-conflict reconciliation and recovery process which directly contributes to the Northern Uganda Strategy and SAFE’s results framework.