Our story

Established in 2002 under the vision of founder and CEO Justin Whitecross, One Thousand Villages has stayed true to its underlying vision; to have a lasting impact on girls’ empowerment in Thailand and the Mekong and prevent the sexual exploitation and trafficking of girls, and to do this by building strong relationships with communities in our region.

One Thousand Villages has always understood that in order to achieve girls’ empowerment, vulnerability factors need to be addressed at the local level, alongside efforts to reduce demand for sex both locally and abroad.

The common thread that defines our work is our commitment to forging long-term partnerships and alignments to help fulfil our overall vision. Our approach unites people together and fosters progress by empowering community members and partners to create and expand impact for girls. Our focus on relationships and locally-driven dialogue is what makes us special and inspires trust.


We want to see all girls across the Mekong inspired and supported to do great things in life. We want to see girls have access to education and job opportunities that will enable them to choose their occupation, so that no one is pushed by circumstance to sell their bodies for sex. We want to see girls protected from exploitation and violence. We want girls in every community to see themselves as agents able to affect their world rather than passive objects of beauty to be admired.


We work with communities – small and large – across Thailand and the Mekong. Founder and CEO Justin Whitecross established a foundation in Thailand to build strong partnerships with villages, schools, community leaders, and organisations to address the causes that make girls vulnerable to sexual exploitation and abuse. In Australia, we establish and build networks and engage men and boys to change stereotypes and attitudes that perpetuate widespread violence and sexual exploitation of women and girls in Southeast Asia.


The identity of One Thousand Villages is demonstrated in our values, relationships, convictions, and motivations. Our values generate principles and beliefs that guide us in our thoughts and actions. Our values also generate standards against which we measure ourselves and others. Core values and DNA of One Thousand Villages – strong relationships, trust, loyalty, passion, teamwork, and creativity.