Dear friends and colleagues,
As I begin my 18th year at DEPDC, the time has also come to look at the impact our work is having throughout the Mekong region, to reflect upon our challenges and successes, and to use these experiences to plan for the future at DEPDC. Starting in 1989 with just 19 daughters, DEPDC has grown to include formal and non-formal education for at-risk people of all ages, as well as child rights and protection services and a new thrust to form an extensive grassroots regional network through Mekong Youth Net. My daughters who have been with me from the first year of the program are now running DEPDC practically without me! My confidence in the staff and administrators at DEPDC and the pressing needs for trafficking prevention and protection programs in other Mekong countries lead me to a difficult but exciting decision – I have resigned as director of DEPDC in order to develop the Mekong Youth Net and pursue anti-trafficking programs throughout the Greater Mekong Sub-region.
I leave DEPDC in the capable and experienced hands of Ms. Alinda Wettasin, a trusted and hardworking friend who has been with me for 18 years and knows the organization inside and out. As I try to expand the anti-trafficking work of DEPDC to Thailand’s neighboring countries through the Mekong Youth Net, I will remain DEPDC’s founder and a consultant to Ms. Wettasin, continuing to be active at our centers. My decision to leave the directorship is not a break with DEPDC, but a chance to use these 18 years of experience in Thailand to help the daughters and sons of the Mekong region.
From this point forward, Alinda Wettasin, as acting director, holds executive authority at DEPDC and is the organization’s official legal representative. Her signature as the responsible party at DEPDC is binding on all documents and agreements.
This is a very exciting time for the children, staff, and youth leaders at DEPDC. I ask for your continuing support and interest in anti-trafficking work during this time of transition and expansion. DEPDC will continue its work to help children and women protect themselves from exploitation with the guidance of Ms. Wettasin and support from our partners around the world.
Let me take this opportunity to thank and send my greetings to all the funding agencies, private donors, friends, media contacts, supporters, visitors, volunteers, academics, researchers, intern students, GOs, and other NGOs who have shared in all the successes of DEPDC since 1989 until today. Thank you again for your continuing support and assistance in the fight against human trafficking. Ms. Wettasin and I both look forward to continuing our exciting work in the coming years.