No Sunday Plans? Watch “Half the Sky” Online!

Watch Part 1 through October 8 here:

Watch Part 2 through October 9 here:

Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide was filmed in 10 countries and follows Kristof, WuDunn, and celebrity activists America Ferrera, Diane Lane, Eva Mendes, Meg Ryan, Gabrielle Union, and Olivia Wilde on a journey to tell the stories of inspiring, courageous individuals. Across the globe oppression is being confronted, and real meaningful solutions are being fashioned through health care, education, and economic empowerment for women and girls. The linked problems of sex trafficking and forced prostitution, gender-based violence, and maternal mortality — which needlessly claim one woman every 90 seconds — present to us the single most vital opportunity of our time: the opportunity to make a change. All over the world women are seizing this opportunity.” -From

“When women progress, we all progress.” – From “Half the Sky”

Do you want to support NCAS-I and our upcoming Painting Marathon fundraiser?  Visit our Crowdrise page and donate to the cause HERE!

Become Part of The Restoration Movement!

It’s not too late to sign up for “Restoring The Lives of Survivors Symposium” presented by Transitions!  And it’s easy…simply follow this link!

A few weeks ago we posted about the event, which you can read about HERE.  The symposium will feature a number of speakers and experts in the field of human trafficking, aftercare, and restoration, covering such issues as shelters, safe homes, aftercare programs, and other responses to serving victims of the sex trafficking industry.

General Information:
8:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Greenwood Community Church
5600 E. Belleview Avenue
Greenwood Village, CO 80111

***The Naropa Community Art Studio-International will be represented by some of its 2nd year Art Therapy students along with Sue Wallingford.  We hope to see you there!  

All information gathered from… P.S. Did you now Transitions has a really informative blog?  Check it here!

Photo Credit:  The Naropa Community Art Studio-International, Cambodia, 2012

Symposium Presented by Transitions: Restoring the Lives of Survivors

A symposium on shelters, safe homes, aftercare programs,
and other responses to serving victims of the sex trafficking industry, presented by Transitions on September 29, 2012 in Greenwood Village, CO.  The symposium will specifically cover what key issues are at stake and what is needed to provide successful aftercare and restoration to the survivors of sex trafficking.

Featured speakers and experts in the field of human trafficking, aftercare, and restoration will include:  Tovah Means, who serves on Transitions’ Advisory board (, Stacia Freeman, Executive Director of Abolition International and director of Abolition International Trafficking Shelter Association (, Katherine Chon, Co-Founder and Director Emeritus of Polaris Project in Washington, D.C. (, Helen Sworn, Founder and International Director of Chab Dai (, and James Pond, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Transitions (

Topics will include:  “Trauma Informed Care for Sex Trafficking Survivors,” “The State of Shelters, Accountability, and the Trafficking Shelter Association,” “Strategic Planning for Shelters, Safe Homes, and Aftercare,” “What Excellence Looks Like,” “How Do We Know We Are Effective?,” “Faith in Practice.”

Are you wondering if you should attend?  This symposium is intended for: Those who currently provide domestic or international aftercare; Those interested in creating an aftercare facility or program; Those who desire to work in the aftercare arena; Those concerned about the critical need for successful restoration.



If you have any questions about the Symposium, please contact Pam Harvey at

***Transitions is an organization that provides holistic and innovative long-term aftercare for adolescent girls who have been rescued from sex trafficking.  The Naropa Community Art Studio – International (NCAS-I) formed a partnership with Transitions in 2011 and traveled to Cambodia to work with the organization in May of 2012.  The NCAS-I looks forward to a continued partnership with Transitions and fully supports their mission.  

All information gathered from

Meet Molika

Black, White, and Pink– The perfect color combination according to Molika!

Molika is one of many rescued girls at Transitions the NCAS-I looks forward to meeting in Cambodia.  Molika also loves karaoke with her friends, would love to develop her skills in art, dreams of raising a family, and aspires to become a social worker and help girls like her.  Read on below:

Molika was rescued and began her journey of restoration at the Transitions Dream Home in August of 2010.

Molika likes the taste of salty fish and vegetables. She believes black, white and pink to be perfect combination of colors, and loves her time with friends — especially singing karaoke!

Molika thinks traveling to the USA would be a great experience, seeing tall buildings and exploring new places. If she had the money to spend she would enjoy shopping for a handbag and a cute pair of little heels.

Molika enjoys art and would love to develop skills in this area. Her dreams include raising a family of her own and becoming a social worker so she can help other rescued girls. Molika studies rigorously to help these dreams come true.

We can’t wait to meet you, Molika! 

(Image and information from

Polaris Project: A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

Check out this blog from Polaris Project and their visual collaboration of people taking a stand against sex trafficking: A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words.

Polaris Project was founded 10 years ago to fight sex trafficking and has contributed mass amounts of collaboration, research, advocacy, and victim assistance during their 10 years. Here’s what they have to say about their work:

Named after the North Star that guided slaves towards freedom along the Underground Railroad, Polaris Project has been providing a comprehensive approach to combating human trafficking and modern-day slavery since 2002.

Polaris Project is a leading organization in the United States combating all forms of human trafficking and serving both U.S. citizens and foreign national victims, including men, women, and children. We use a holistic strategy, taking what we learn from our work with survivors and using it to guide the creation of long-term solutions. We strive for systemic change by advocating for stronger federal and state laws, operating the National Human Trafficking Resource Center hotline 1.888.3737.888, and providing services to help our clients and all victims of human trafficking. (from

Inspired: Chab Dai’s work with sex trafficking in Cambodia

Chab Dai is a collaboration of organizations working to fight sex trafficking. Founded in Cambodia in 2005,  the organization aims to bring an end to trafficking and sexual exploitation through coalition building, community prevention, advocacy and research. In addition to our office in Cambodia, the vision of Chab Dai has been expanded into the USA and Canada. (from their website

They just released the 2nd annual report on re-integration of victims of trafficking. In this report Chab Dai conducts interviews with survivors of trafficking in an effort to understand what is most helpful to them, what contributes to resilience, where survivors are vulnerable, and what their major concerns are.

Below are a few quotes from the report. These quotes reflect some of the thoughts and struggles survivors of sex trafficking deal with in the process of re-integrating into their communities. You can view the full report here: Chab Dai Report 

“Now I know that there are good people and bad people in the world. After my bad
experience I thought there were only bad people in the world, but now I know that
there are both kinds. I think getting counseling is helping me to learn to trust good
In-depth Interview, Female in RP (RP stands for Residential Program)

“We should hide in the shelter and wait until the problem we had in our past goes away,
and as it goes we can forget about the people outside as they forget about us. So when
we come out [of the shelter] we can know we are not the same even if society still says
we are bad.”
In-depth Interview, Female in RP

“I don’t know how much she earned as a sex work but I know having sex with men was
breaking her heart. Her only goal was to get enough money to support her parents.”
In-depth Interview, Female in RP

“My friend returned to sex work. She said she did because she could only !nd work on
other people’s farms and could only earn 10000R per day and that was not enough to
survive. She said she could earn more money doing sex work. I think she can earn money
now but when she get old and if she gets HIV her life will not end good.”
In-depth Interview, Female in RP

Trafficking in Cambodia: The Statistics

We found this article from the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women about trafficking in Cambodia. Much of the information is at least 10 years old, but it’s a starting point for understanding what trafficking looks like in Cambodia. For the full story, go here:


Prostituted girls, most of them aged 15 to18 years of age, are found in the Svay Pak red-light district of Cambodia. Many girls are much younger. Most of them are smuggled in from Vietnam and all are bound by contracts, which last from six months to over a year. Svay Pak has the largest number of prostituted Vietnamese girls. (“The Street of Little Flowers,” rewritten from ‘Children of the Dust,’ by MIKEL FLAMM and NGO KIM CUC, Bangkok Post, 23 February 1997)Many of the prostituted women and children in Cambodia are from Vietnam. (Chris Seper, “Police Sweeps Help Clean Up Child Prostitution,” Christian Science Monitor, 8 January 1998)

Vietnamese girls are commonly brought to Phnom Penh, where they are concentrated in a strip 15 km north of the city in an area known as Svay Pak. (Laura Bobak, “For Sale: The Innocence of Cambodia,” Ottawa Sun, 24 October 1996)Policy and Law

Under newly passed legislation by the Macao Legislative Assembly, homicide, abduction, smuggling of people, forcing others into prostitution, aiding illegal immigration, illegally trading, and the manufacture, use, possession, and smuggling of arms are considered organized crime activities, and are punishable of 5-12 years in prison. (“Macao sets up new law to stop organized crime,” Xinhua, 5 August 1997)

Methods and Techniques of TraffickersUnofficial estimates say that there are as many as 15,000 prostituted persons in Phnom Penh, and that up to 35% of them have been smuggled into Cambodia from China or Vietman, mostly from the southwestern provinces of Vietnam (Long An, An Giang, Song Be, Kien Giang, Dong Thap, Can Tho and Ho Chi Minh City). Brothel owners pay traffickers from US$350 to $450 (8,750 to 11,250 baht) for each attractive Vietnamese virgin 16 years or younger. Non-virgins and those considered less beautiful are sold from $150 to $170 each (3,750 to 4,250 baht). (“Children of the dust,” rewritten from ‘Children of the Dust,’ by MIKEL FLAMM and NGO KIM CUC, Bangkok Post, 23 February 1997)

Girls bound by contacts to a brother owner have their debt to the brothel owner subtracted from the number of customers serviced. It may take from six months to a year or more to work off this debt. The fees that have been paid to their families, trafficking agents, and border guards compound the total debt. Once all debts are paid off, the prostituted person makes from $2 to $3 [50 to 75 baht] per customer, this is after the brother owner has taken their own cut. (“The Street of Little Flowers,” rewritten from ‘Children of the Dust,’ by MIKEL FLAMM and NGO KIM CUC, Bangkok Post, 23 February 1997)

Virgins, who have been sold to brothels by trafficking agents, are confined to the brothel or a hotel room until the first client comes. Due to the belief that sex with a virgin has rejuvenating properties, her first client is charged an expensive amount. Advertised as “special commodities,” virgins are also attractive in that they are less likely to have AIDS or other sexually transmitted diseases. The customer pays from $300 to $400 (7,500 to 10,000 baht) to have sex with her for one week in a local hotel chosen by the brothel owner. (“Children of the dust,” rewritten from ‘Children of the Dust,’ by MIKEL FLAMM and NGO KIM CUC, Bangkok Post, 23 February 1997)

When recruited by brokers in a village, the girls’ families are told they will be employed and be able to send money home. After the girls are purchased, usually for about $150, they are brought to a hotel room or safe house where they are kept until they can be sold to their first buyer for $300 to $400 for a week. But after this, the girl is considered “used goods” and her value drops dramatically to as little as $2 per sexual transaction. (Laura Bobak, “For Sale: The Innocence of Cambodia,” Ottawa Sun, 24 October 1996)

The enslaved girls must stay until their debt to their purchasers is paid off, or face beatings. This is difficult, if not impossible, since the owners consider the girls indebted to to them for their constantly mounting expenses for food, clothing, medical costs and abortions. As a result, a brothel owner will hold a girl prisoner until she becomes too old or too ill to attract customers. (Laura Bobak, “For Sale: The Innocence of Cambodia,” Ottawa Sun, 24 October 1996)

A trafficking network, operating under protection from local authorities, was discovered by human rights workers in Cambodia. For at least two years in Koh Kong province the network trafficked hundreds of children a month into Trat province, Thailand. The children are sold for $70 each. Some children were drugged and forced into prostitution. Other children who were sent to work on fishing boats were often arbitrarily tossed overboard to drown. (“Child slavery ring uncovered in Cambodia,” Associated Foreign Press, 19 December 1997)


A trafficker was arrested and confessed to having abducted 1,800 women from Beijing. Because of opposition from the villagers and from local officials, police were only able to rescue six women out of 1,800. (Stephanie Ho, “Trafficking of Women in China,” Voice of America, 27 September 1997)

A 12-year-old girl from the Zheijang region was sold for US$40,000 to a trafficker. She was taken to Bangkok, Thailand for “instruction” in prostitution. Authorities found the girl in Italy. Her destination was the sex industry in Miami, Florida, USA. (“Pedophilia ring uncovered in Italy,” USA Today, Nov 1997)

A Vietnamese woman, one of seven, was trafficked under false pretenses to China. She escaped from the brothel, and returned to Vietnam, where she was locked in a hut and threatened by a local Public Security Bureau official. She eventually fled to Hong Kong in July 1991, and filed for refugee status, which was denied in 1993. In February 1998, she was still appealing the decision. (“Viet women Œdeceived into life as Œsex slaves¹,” South China Morning Post, 21 January 1998)

The Privileged Helper

By Meg Hamilton, Art Therapy Student

photograph by Meg Hamilton from Didi: Sister, A Conversation on Nepali Womanhood

The NCAS-I team has been working with enthusiasm and purpose to ask local artists and art therapists to participate in the Small Resource=Big Possibilities Art Auction Gala. Again and again we are finding this project to be meaningful to everyone we talk to. We have endless inspirational stories and synchronistic moments.

While these stories have fueled our success and motivated us to strive to seed the project for the next three years we have not forgotten the underlying purpose we began the project with: to contribute to and grow from the collaboration of cross-cultural art therapy research and training.

Recently in a discussion about the project a student was asked, “Why not just raise $20,000 and send it to Cambodia directly?”

We thought this was an important question. One that deserved our thoughtful attention and response. It is a complex issue and sorting out the various degrees of globalization, privilege, and economics is a bit daunting.

However it is in considering such a question that we are able to examine our individual intentions for participating in the trip, to recognize our assumptions, and to begin noting the tangible learning that is taking place.

Here’s our answer to that question: One of our primary reasons for investing in a global partnership and social justice issue is that increasingly we are become aware of what has often proved to be the detrimental affects of globalization on developing countries. Often the influx of Western culture and ideals leaves these cultures permanently altered and dependent on developed nations for support. In considering participating in a globalized world we feel one of the most appropriate ways to collaborate is to share skills that offer empowerment rather than dependence. These things don’t run out; money does.

This brings me to my next point- the role of a “privileged helper.” It is a slippery slope to enter an unfamiliar culture with the intentions of offering help. Power hierarchies form rapidly- and are inherently in place when privilege plays a role. And privilege plays a big, big role. Simultaneously art therapy is field that is categorized as a helping profession. So how do we navigate the privileged idea of help while also acknowledging this is in fact what we would like to do?

We are dedicated to the idea of mutual helping; as we strive to offer skills and training that may benefit Transitions we are also receiving immense help ourselves. This help comes in the form of invaluable education about the culture, the issue of sex trafficking, and relational growth. The collaboration we hope to engage in is rooted in the value of community and the profound impact of being seen and learning to see in an unfamiliar environment. This is the core of why we want to go on this trip. In participating relationally the benefit of a global partnership has the potential to be magnified well beyond the limits of dollars and cents.

This learning happened for me when I travelled to Nepal in 2007 to examine sex trafficking there. I worked with women living in a safe house, some of whom had been trafficked. On my last night in Nepal I sat with the women who lived there and we shared our stories. One woman told of how she had been sold by her husband at the age of 14. She lived in a brothel in Mumbai for 9 years before escaping. I shared my story after each of the women had a chance to tell theirs. Abuse played a significant role in my life and it was important to me to share this. When I finished telling my story, the woman who had been trafficked looked at another woman and said, “Her story and my story are the same.” I am still amazed by the profound feeling of being seen and of sharing healing that I experienced in that moment.

It is with these experiences in mind that I am motivated to continue this work. In building relationships and teaching skills those of us traveling to Cambodia will constantly be challenged to check the role of privilege in our intentions and actions. The mutual learning we hope to engage with by doing this is what motivates us to go rather than to send money.

I say all of this and simultaneously acknowledge the fact that it takes to run an NGO as large and successful as Transitions. We hope that our fundraising allows us the opportunity to contribute to their financial success as well. But at the end of the day it is our desire to learn, to see, and to work with the suffering of the world that inspires us to move forward. And we are honored to have the opportunity to do this with Transitions.

January declared Human Trafficking Prevention Month

President Obama declared January National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month. While awareness of human trafficking is increasing there is still much work to be done to fight its occurrence. Polaris Project reports more than 12 million individuals are being exploited through sex and labor trafficking throughout the world. Through the tireless efforts of organizations like Transitions those who are affected by trafficking are finding sources of support. It is our hope that through developing a partnership with Transitions we are contributing to the fight against trafficking.

“The steadfast defense of human rights is an essential part of our national identity, and as long as individuals suffer the violence of slavery and human trafficking, we must continue the fight.” – President Obama

See more from on Human Trafficking Prevention Month

Please take some time this month to join the fight. Check out our resources page for more information on trafficking, and consider donating to our efforts or to the work Transitions is doing in Cambodia.

Welcome to our new site!

Hi! Welcome to the new NCAS-I website! Here you will find information about our partnership with Transitions Global, our fundraising endeavors, and our blog! We hope you enjoy learning about the work we are doing as much as we have enjoyed doing it.