In the last three months the Trailblazer Water Filter team has delivered and installed 102 bio-sand water filters to new families. This means another 1,500 plus individuals will now have access to clean water for drinking, cooking and washing dishes, resulting in an improvement to the health of their families so they can work and farm more effectively to better support their family.
Because our Water Filter and Well Drilling teams are frequently in rural villages and have a good relationship and report with villagers, some villagers reported that they were having a problem with their bio-sand water filter. These families understand the importance of clean water and wanted to once again enjoy the benefits of potable water. The Trailblazer team, therefore, spent time to maintain those 26 bio-sand water filters that were not functioning properly. Now over 300 individuals will be able to keep themselves healthy because of the repair made to those bio-sand water filters.
The village woman in the photo, though her life is simple and she and her family are true victims of poverty, living in a palm leaf hut, owning no livestock, having no food stocks or means of transportation, Trailblazer has been able to give them the most basic of needs, clean water, and hope of a better life thanks to the kindness of donors who wanted to make a difference.
You too can make a difference. It's not complicated, all it takes is a willingness to help. With $80 USD you can impact 15 people [that equates to one, two or three families] by providing them with the gift of a bio-sand water filter. A gift that keeps on giving! Please, give today. Thank you for helping make the world a better, healthier place.
Heab lives with her family of six members, only one is male, in Kouk Ruessei village, Kaev Poar commune, in Puok district. They are actually quite lucky to live in a house made with wood walls, being they all survive on a $.50 per day income. However, Heab's family is too poor to own cows or oxen and a cart, or a motorbike, so the entire family shares the use of their single bicycle for transportation. They have no livestock like chickens or fish to augment their food securities and cannot grow enough rice to have extra in storage to get them through the dry season and until their next harvest.
As you can see here by her smile, Heab is very happy to receive a bio-sand water filter for her family and be able to give clean drinking water to her children. Now that they have potable water their health will improve which inevitably brings about a natural process of development.
Thank you for bringing clean safe drinking water to Heab and her family.
The Trailblazer team continues to reduce poverty and save lives through life's most basic need: water.
In the past 3 months at least 1260 more rural villagers have clean water to drink through the distribution of over 180 bio-sand water filters reducing illness, disease and suffering.
Up to 63 more families have access to water with over 20 wells installed improving hygiene and sanitation, as well as providing them the ability to irrigate home gardens for increased nutrition, food security and income generation.
Other project activities the Trailblazer team were involved in include:
We thank all our donors and volunteers who continue to make progress possible through their gracious gifts and willingness to be part of making an impact in bettering the livelihoods of poor villagers in rural Cambodia.
The staff at the Trailblazer Foundation could not be more proud to announce that this year will mark the 10-year anniversary of the commencement of their organization. This pride, present due to the exponential increase of impact that the Trailblazer Foundation has seen over the years, holds true for both expatriate founders and local staff alike. When the formerly unrevealed organization began their work in Siem Reap, nearly 10 years ago, founders Scott and Chris Coats worked to increase the amount of potable water available to Khmer locals, with merely one bio-sand water filter mold and practically zero additional help. In the beginning years, the Trailblazer Foundation was producing upwards of 300 bio-sand water filters each year. Today, the Trailblazer Foundation both produces and delivers over 400 water filters each year, in addition to the approximate 120 wells drilled per year, and inevitable upsurge in local food production and wealth. This success can be largely attributed to a noticeable gain in both local and international support; due to increased funding, the Trailblazer Foundation has been able to provide training and salary wages to the now 11-person Trailblazer staff.
Trailblazer Foundation’s goals continue to rise. The current headquarters, where staff members and volunteers connect, is simply not large enough in size to meet the demanding needs for potable water in and around Siem Reap. Therefore, the Trailblazers plan to move to a new location that will accommodate both the office and the workspace needed in order to meet these needs. When asked if the organization will see an increase in production once the headquarters have been moved, co-founder Scott Coats responded by exclaiming, “That’s one of the reasons we want to move…so that we can increase our potential!” “We’re improving the worksite,” he added. Furthermore, in upcoming months, the Trailblazers hope to hire their 12th member to the team. This additional worker, who will join the current three-man bio-sand water filter team, will make production considerably more efficient.
The both exuberant and scrupulous Trailblazer staff notes overwhelmingly positive remarks toward the organization’s growth; nevertheless, one regretful piece of information remains. Although Trailblazer Foundation has, for 10 years, been able to provide water filters at a cheaper price than those offered by other water filter NGOs in Cambodia, “inflation has caught up with us,” remarks Coats. The increased cost of transporting the 150lb water filters, in addition to an increase in the cost of copper (used as piping), has resulted in an indispensible increase in the cost of providing a water filter to a family in need. The cost to both produce and deliver a bio-sand water filter is now $80 USD.
Trailblazer Foundation plans to continue to foster increased health and growth in local families. However, support is always needed. If you are able to provide support financially, the Trailblazer staff, as well as local beneficiaries, cannot thank you enough. Or, if you find yourself travelling in South East Asia, and are able to provide support through physical labor, your presence would be greatly appreciated. As always, thank you for the ongoing support.
The following is a postcard from Charissa Murphy, GlobalGiving's In-the-Field Representative in Southeast Asia, about her recent visit to the Trailblazer Foundation in Cambodia.
The basic necessities of life: Food, water, shelter, clothing. Education isn't one of them, but why not? Because if children are hungry, ill from unclean water, or fragile and weak from the environment's forces, their ability to be present and learn is significantly diminished.
This is how the Trailblazer Foundation (TF) began its focus on providing the people in Cambodia with access to water. As surprising as it may be, considering the distances to target villages are not from the highly-touristed Angkor Wat boutique hotels, the same limitations to these basic needs still exists prevalently for people in Cambodia today. At four different villages I had the opportunity to ask some of TF's beneficiaries about their lives. I wanted to capture an idea of what life was like for them before they were provided access to water and now after they received a well and/or bio-sand water filter. After hearing some of their stories, it was clear that the transformation the filters and wells has on the villagers' lives means they (we!) need to keep reaching more and more people, families, and communities there. Many people in Cambodia are still limited to dirty, unsafe water, causing them to frequently be ill. Basic needs are still not being met everywhere, but village-by-village TF is supporting the villagers to create more sustainable practices and methods of health and income.
48, Female, mother of 2 (1 deceased during Khmer Rouge), husband left her after 2nd son birth
Before: I used to have to walk very far for water. I lost a limb in the Khmer Rouge, which makes it difficult.
Now: I still have to carry water, but now I have a well and filter at my house, so the distance is much shorter and easier for me. My home garden has also grown, increasing my income and giving me more of a reason to live. (It was touching, yet heartbreaking, to hear that she didn’t feel she had much to live for, and now after receiving access to water she feels happier and with purpose).
61, Male, father of 6
Before: We used to take at least one family member to the hospital every day for illnesses.
Now: If I think really clearly, in the five years since receiving the bio-sand filter, my family and I have never been to the hospital, even the commune hospital. [Never in the five years. Incredible.]
After my visit with TF and speaking with various villagers, I'm confident that the donations you all have provided to them are truly impacting the lives of so many in Cambodia. The needs unfortunately haven't changed much, which makes it clear that there are greater governmental and systemic issues. Until those are resolved, the Khmer still need support.
I was also so inspired by TF that I asked to stay a month longer to help support them as a direct volunteer. My focus was on providing capacity-building assistance on the village fund micro-financing program, helping to create a way for volunteers to stay connected with TF and other volunteers (join the Trailblazer Foundation Volunteers Facebook group if you have ever volunteered for TF!), and documenting villager stories.
Trailblazer is truly changing the lives of villagers one village at a time, and there are still more villages to reach, as well as conducting maintenance and replacements of previously delivered filters. Thank you all for your support!
Upcoming Event on GlobalGiving – TODAY, this Wednesday, July 16th, is a Bonus matching day!:
Today, July 16th (Wednesday), beginning at 9AM EDT, GlobalGiving will match 40% of any donations (of up to $1,000 from any individual donor) to Trailblazer Foundation. There are $130,000 in total funds available for matching that day for all of GlobalGiving’s partners. To ensure your donation is matched before the funds run out, please consider donating early today shortly after 9AM.
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