Next year will mark 30 years since I first arrived in Vietnam in 1989 and where I embarked on what was to be a most incredible journey in my life.
Little did I know upon arriving in Saigon with just several hundred dollars in my pocket what lay ahead of me, after all I was merely, and many said quite foolishly at the time, following a reoccurring dream that compelled me to go to this post war-torn ravished country. At this time I had no NGO experience, what I did have however was real life firsthand experience of what it was like to be a child living in extreme poverty and on the streets, and what it felt like to be marginalised and isolated by my society and denied even my most basic human rights. Then, I needed just one person, one kind person that could make a difference to me and my younger siblings. Eventually, I was to become that one person that I had wished for so long ago.
I have been blessed that my own children made the decision to work alongside me over the years, and they have unselfishly given most of their adulthood to service others, and I remain very proud of what we have achieved as a family.
The global landscape of charity has changed considerably since I formally established my foundation in 1991 and most significantly in more recent years with, and quite rightly so, increasing expectations to provide clear evidence of robust governance, greater transparency, and more financial propriety to all those who very generously support charities.
In early 2017 my family and I made the decision with the support of our UK Head-Office Board, that if we are to secure our legacy successfully, then organisation reform was needed and demonstrative strides required if we are to ensure the long-term sustainability and security of our Foundation; so it may continue well in to the future and continue delivering excellent humanitarian services to some of our most vulnerable members of society.
In taking all the correct recruitment procedures throughout 2017 with the generous pro-bono assistance of leading executive recruitment agency Heidrick & Struggles Hong Kong to ensure good due diligence, we have now identified the core members of our new board.
Mark will be visiting the operations in Vietnam in the next few weeks, followed by a visit to our Mongolian operations sometime after this. Presently Mark is working alongside Thomson Reuters Foundation/ TrustLaw pro-bono lawyers to ensure a robust and sustainability organisation structure to position the Foundation for its next phase of growth.
As always, it is with my heartfelt thanks and appreciation to you all for your continuous support. It is only because of this we are able to continue in our humanitarian efforts.
If you have any questions or would like to know more details on this announcement please email:
CEO Helenita Pistolas - firstname.lastname@example.org or
Chair Mark Devadason - email@example.com
Christina Noble may also be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org