Feb 15, 2021

One father's gratitude for a latrine

Hong family
Hong family

Although a latrine is a not a glamorous gift, it is life changing to the families who receive one. In 2020, Trailblazer installed 86 latrines benefitting 430 villagers. Below is just one story of a former receipient of a latrine and the change it made for him and his family.

In 2018, Trailblazer installed 50 latrines in Prom Kod village, Ballangk commune, Prasat Bakong district, Siem Reap Province. The families who received a latrine held a poor Identity Card, which recognizes their level of poverty by the government, and which is used by the village committee to determine which families are selected to be a beneficieary of a latrine.

Before the construction of latrines begin, Trailblazer's Health Program team conduct “Hygiene and Latrine Using Training” for the recipients of a latrine to best prepare them for having and using a latrine. Among the 50 selected familes, Mr. Hong, his wife, with their 7 children were one of the families who received a latrine.

Our team asked Mr. Hong, “Where did you and your kids defecate every day?” Hong replied, “We went to the bushes outside the village. We walked passed the field into the bushes, about 600-700 meters from our house. At night it was even more difficult. I was very worried for my girls when they went to the bush at dawn or dusk so I accompanied them.” Hong continued, “At that time, all of us were in a good health, but sometimes we got sick and didn’t know why.”

After receiving the latrine and the Hygiene Training from Trailblazer, Hong said, "We found out that we were sick because we didn’t know how to clean our hands properly after defecation.” He continued, “After we received the latrine, my family no longer has to walk to the bushes. We feel more comfortable and safe to have the latrine at home. We save money on medicine because we are not sick.” Finally, Hong thanked Trailblazer for giving the latrine to his family along with the knowledge of good body hygiene.

Trailblazer wishes to thank all its supporters who have donated a latrine for a needy family. We hope you realize the improved sanitation and health you provided, as well as dignity. Thank you.

bushes across the field
bushes across the field
the family's latrine
the family's latrine
Jan 4, 2021

How a bicycle can change a student's education

Since mid-March, Covid-19 has impacted education in Cambodia, especially in the rural areas, where online learning was more challenging due to the lack of internet. Schools across the country were closed to reduce the spread of the virus. By early September schools began to reopen in phases under strict government policies and regulations that put the welfare of students at the forefront.

The Cambodian government understands how important education is to the country's economic progress and growth as a nation. Wearing masks, washing hands, checking temperatures, and maintaining social distancing has become the new normal to ensure a safe environment for students and teachers. And, these efforts are working to keep students in school and continue their education.

According to a Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport statement released on November 18, 2020, the government is working to recruit over 3,000 qualified teachers in order to meet student-teacher ratios and the educational needs of students at the kindergarten, primary and higher educational levels across the country. This effort to recruit more teachers will provide more support to poor students and help these young Cambodians extend their education past primary school.

Trailblazer's work in distributing bicycles augments the Cambodian government's efforts to keep students in school. With the ongoing support of our donors, we can give a student the ability to attend school. We greatly appreciate every $55 donation that buys a bicycle for a student needing one. Thank you.

Oct 19, 2020

Access to water- a first step in improving health

As an international development organization, Trailblazer's goal is to fulfill our mission in ways that become self-sustaining for the individuals and communities we serve. Through a participatory model of community-based development, where local villages and their residents identify their needs, we provide our village partners with the training and products they need in order to shift their lives from one of survival to one of sustainability.

Complementing our efforts to provide clean water technologies to our village partners through water filters, is our effort to also provide access to abundant water via the drilling of new wells. Without a well family members, typically women and children, are tasked with gathering water from sources long distances from their homes.

Depending on the proximity to each other of villagers who request a well, each well provides easily accessed water to one-to-three families [5-15 persons based on an average family size of 5]. With a well near their homes, these villagers gain easy and year-round access to a sufficient supply of water for their personal needs and agricultural pursuits.

To date, Trailblazer has completed the drilling of 109 wells. By the year-end, we expect to complete the other 14 wells that remain on the 2020 drilling schedule.

Without the consistent year-round support from donors like you, our efforts to raise rural Cambodian families out of poverty and into more sustainable livelihoods would come to an end. You play a direct and beneficial role in improving the health, food security, education, and economic development for rural communities.

We thank all our donors who have supported these efforts to provide access to water for rural families, giving them improved health and bringing them hope of a better life.

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