The Gulu Disabled Persons Union (GDPU) was established in 1979. Following the fall of Idi Amin, GDPU began working to assist people with disabilities access relief aid since they were routinely discriminated against and neglected during this time. After the state of emergency ended, GDPU focused less on access to relief services and developed into a cooperative acting on behalf of persons with disabilities (PWDs) in the district of Gulu. However, their work was disrupted during the emergence of a new conflict in northern Uganda. First led by the Holy Spirit Movement (HSM) and continuing under Joseph Kony’s Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), the consistent conflict in northern Uganda worsened the situation for PWDs.
Since 1992, the mission and focus of GDPU have changed. Coming together as a collective voice for PWDs in Gulu, they now focus on promoting the development of PWDs and their contribution to local and national development. Addressing the challenges faced by PWDs, GDPU works to build the capacity of member groups and to enhance the participation in and access to quality services.