Leila Goddard (Ngāi Tahu, Ngāti Irakehu) has travelled a long way from her Canterbury roots. These days, you’ll find her in the forests of Thailand, teaching art at Children of the Forest, a centre for stateless Burmese refugee children living on the Thai/Burmese border.

Leila, 36, has been living in Sangkhlaburi, Thailand, since December 2011. She went for a six-week visit to see her father, Keith Goddard, who was doing volunteer service for Children of the Forest with Leila’s step-mother, Barbara. During her visit, Leila saw the need for an art school that would support the well-being and healing process of the Burmese refugee children, so she stayed on. Since then, she has been instrumental in setting up the Borderlands Youth and Art Programme, which opened in June 2012. [Read more…]