Dec 21, 2016

Why Ana Paid For A New Well in Cambodia....

New water filter for a rural Cambodian family
New water filter for a rural Cambodian family

Recently, a new contributor to Trailblazer Foundation, a musician named Ana who lives in the United States, donated $220 dollars, the cost of drilling a new well for a rural family in Cambodia. Accompanying the contribution was a note Ana had written, explaining why she chose to support Trailblazer.  Ana wrote:

"I wanted to help with a water well so that people had clean water, and I read on the internet about different charities that did this. I checked them, and yours was highly rated. I do not have much money, but I wanted to do this... and when I had the money, I did it. I also chose you because I went to your website and was impressed with how much good you can do, and because I could get someone a well with $220. I pray that people will benefit from this. Continue your awesome work. Merry Christmas! Ana"

Ana is one of a number of first time donors who made a year-end contribution to Trailblazer Foundation. Notably among these new supporters, we received a $1,470 contribution from the Rotary Club of Scarborough (a coastal suburb of Perth, in Western Australia) to help us drill more wells, and construct and deliver more water filters.

In all, during 2016, Trailblazer Foundation constructed and distributed 450 water filters, and drilled 100 new wells. These products directly benefited 2,750 rural villagers in Cambodia’s Siem Reap province (one of the country’s three poorest provinces).

In 2017, we plan to continue these efforts – our most well-known activities – at their present levels. However, given the hard work of the field staff of our Cambodia partner organization, Trailblazer Angkor, we will likely surpass our goal of 450 water filters, and 100 new wells in 2017.

A rural Cambodian family with their new well.
A rural Cambodian family with their new well.

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Dec 12, 2016

Year end update

Pull pump well
Pull pump well

Each year, Trailblazer Foundation directly benefits the lives of thousands of rural villagers in Cambodia’s Siem Reap province.  By “directly benefits,” we mean that our products and services positively impact the lives of the individuals and families who received them.

"The two most important things Trailblazer provided were the school, and clean water and wells.  Sras Village did not have a school until Trailblazer came.  Now, many of the students who started at the school Trailblazer built are starting high school. The village health has also impraoved noticeably.  Before they had no clean water.  Now they have clean drinking water, and better sanitation.  Trailblazer also helped initiate the Village Fund, which is still going, and is very successful.  The families are better off financially.  Most used to eat just one meal a day, now they have three.  All these improvements are thanks to Trailblazer."   Suy Kin, former chief of Sras Village, the first village Trailblazer collaborated with in 2005.

We at Trailblazer Foundation must admit, it feels great to read Suy Kin’s words about how our efforts have helped the people of Sras Village make their way from survival to sustainability. During the last eleven years, we have supported more than fifty villages in Cambodia’s Siem Reap Province.

In 2016, Trailblazer constructed and distributed 450 water filters, and provided a water filter and hygiene training for those families who acquired a water filter.  Given that one family each uses a water filter, with an average of 5 people per family, through our 450 water filters, in 2016 we directly benefited 2,250 people.  Trailblazer also drilled 100 wells. With each well serving one family, and with an average family size of 5 people, our wells directly benefited 500 people.

Although our first focus is to address basic needs, to provide access to and clean water, Trailblazer is unique in that we offer a comprehensive package to raising villagers from subsistance living to one of sustainability.

I wish to sincerely thank everyone who participated, either as a volunteer or donor, in making these thousands of recipients' lives better in 2016.  We could not do this important work without your generous support.

Bio-sand Water Filter
Bio-sand Water Filter
Sep 12, 2016

Floating water filter station nearly ready for use...

The floating water filter station, nearly finished
The floating water filter station, nearly finished

With the executive director Chris Coats and the Bangkok representative from Abercrombie and Kent Philanthropy in town this month, it provided the perfect opportunity to visit the nearly completed floating water filter station out at Mechrey floating village.

First, what is a floating village? Well really it is as the name describes. These are communities that live out on the water for the majority of the year. Their houses and shops are built to float and they get around by boat; even their basketball courts are built as floating structures. Their villages are mobile so they move their whole village as the seasons change; the higher the water the closer to land they will live. Here in Siem Reap the floating villages are based on the vast Tonle Sap lake; their primary income is from the fish they catch in the lake; this is either sold within the village or transported to the towns and villages surrounding the lake for sale at market.

When water is low in the lake the villages can reside up to a  4 or 5 kilometer commute by boat  from main land; this also means their only easy access to water is from the lake; this is by no means clean or safe to drink. Villagers are constantly having to boat in clean drinking water from the mainland; this is not only costly but also time consuming. They live on small salaries and having to add water to their weekly expense is a costly but necessary expense; many can not afford to do this so may end up drinking the unclean lake water which leads to all kinds of illnesses.

We at Trailblazer, thanks to our valuable partnership with A&KP have been able to change this for one floating village: Mechrey. A&KP’s support has provided the essential funds allowing Trailblazer to design and built a floating water filter station. The design and functionality is based on our bio sand filter, just on a much larger scale. Once in operation it will provide a daily, year round, clean and safe water source for the whole village which consists of 200+ families (about 1200 people).

The amount of water in the lake rises and falls throughout the year – this is why the villages have to move – and this is why it is so important to have a floating water filter station that can follow the families around as their village moves with the ever expanding and then shrinking lake – from wet to dry season the difference in size can be as large as 7,000 square kilometres. As the station will be able to follow them this means villagers will no longer have to travel for clean water; it will be right there at their door step.

We are very much looking forward to the opening ceremony in mid October where Trailblazers and A&KP will join with the villagers to officially open the water filter station for all to use.

Thanks to the help of companies such as A&KP as well as individual donations we are able to continue to develop and implement projects such as this floating water filter that will dramatically impact the lives of vilagers such as those from Mechrey.

Getting around
Getting around
Entering Mechrey village
Entering Mechrey village
Floating supermarket for all your needs
Floating supermarket for all your needs

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