In 2011, Sue Wallingford spearheaded the creation of the Naropa Community Art Studio- International (NCAS-I), a sustainable service-learning project.
The mission of this project is to bring art therapy practices into international populations working toward social justice and human rights issues. For the past three years, she has led month-long trips to Cambodia with art therapy students to work with local NGO’s that shelter women and children rescued from domestic violence, extreme poverty, and the sex trafficking industry.
The intention behind this work is to bring to awareness and engender deep compassion for the plight of the Cambodian people complicated by years of historical and generational trauma, while offering art therapy practices and trainings to the clinical teams of partner organizations in Cambodia.
This video is about the relationship between Wallingford and a Cambodian girl living in a shelter for victims of domestic violence and sex trafficking. “Mahle’s” story is superimposed over the history of the Khmer Rouge, where over a third of the population died from mass genocide, and shows how this kind of traumatic devastation continues to effect the lives of Cambodians today.
You can see some of the writings about this work by Wallingford and her students at www.ncasi.wordpress.com