Dec 2, 2019

What Sanitation Means to Rural Families

Trailblazer Foundation projects are designed to alleviate poverty and improve health conditions for rural villagers. Trailblazer prides itself on helping Cambodian villagers, and more broadly entire villages, move from survival to sustainability. Trailblazer knows that providing a latrine to each family that wants one is one of the first steps toward the sustainability of that family and its members.

According to the annual Cambodia Socioeconomic Survey conducted in 2014 by Asia Development Bank, the survey showed vulnerability to poverty had increased, and that urban povery may be rising. Many families moved only slightly above the poverty line, despite a dramatic decrease in income poverty since the mid-2000s.

In order to move out of poverty a family needs to be healthy enough to pursue their other basic needs:  food, education, and economic opportunities. One of the best ways to combat poverty and disease is to provide access to better sanitation conditions. Without a latrine, villagers are forced to defecate on the ground not far from their home.

Many villages that Trailblazer works with have made strides towards meeting their basic needs and are now seeking sanitation solutions to prevent the spread of illnesses. In 2019, we were fortunate to receive donations to be able to construct latrines for 43 families.

Trailblazer recently learned of the tremendous need for 3,848 latrines for villages in four of the twelve districts of Siem Reap province. The needs lists are as follows:

  • Soutr Nikum district = 825 latrines
  • Prasat Bakong district = 783 latrines
  • Banteay Srey district = 716 latrines
  • Pouk district = 1524 latrines 

This request for latrines represent 19,240 rural villagers who currently do not have an adequate sanitary place to toilet. This is a staggering number of villagers in jeopardy of contracting disease from exposure to unsanitary conditions. [This beneficiary total is calculated based on the fact that typically, one family uses each latrine and the average family size is five individuals].

Trailblazer Foundation’s program plan for 2020, is to work with and provide as many latrines as possible to families in these four identified districts of Siem Reap Province, Cambodia, dependent on the funding aquired. Latrines cost $175, but all levels of contribution add up to provide better health for those living in a less socioeconomic situation.

Latrines are one of our “tools” for advancing our Health program, which focuses on securing clean and abundant water, and improved sanitation and hygiene for our partner villagers. Trailblazer provides the cement rings, PVC piping, toilet tank and procelain bowl. Villagers contribute by building the walls and roof.

You can help address this huge need through your generous support. We are very thankful to our donors for their contributions, especially because we understand a latrine is not a “glamorous” gift to give. But, can you imagine for yourself what life would be like without one?

Oct 28, 2019

We Have Nearly Reached our Annual Goal

In our last newsletter we reported that we needed 20 more bicycles to "Fill the Truck" and make another bicycle delivery. We are happy to report that we have met that goal and are scheduled to deliver 31 bicycles in November!

This support could not have come at a better time! Students have just recently returned to school, and so for those students in the secondary level, they now will have transportation and do not have to worry about walking such long distances to stay in school.

We wish to thank our donors who made this upcoming bicycle delivery possible, and for helping the recipient students be able to continue their education. We are very grateful for having met this particiular goal.

However, our annual goal is to distribute a minimum of 100 bicycles to students who have gone into the secondary level of school. We are only 8 bicycles short of reaching this annual goal of 100 bicycles. And as we have noted before, when the truck is full, we make a delivery.

Your support is critical to making a life changing impact on students who still need a bicycle. We hope you will join us in not only meeting our annual goal with 8 more bicycles, but the continuing goal of filling another truck! A bicycle is only $55 and makes a huge difference in the life of a student and his/her family.

Without your continued support, rural students may simply drop out of school because they have too far to walk.

Thanks to everyone who has contributed to this educational effort.

Sep 4, 2019

The Lasting Impact Clean Water Can Make

Happy family with filter
Happy family with filter

Prohut village is one of many remote villages in Siem Reap province, Cambodia where Trailblazer works. In the rainy season, which is happening right now, only bicycles and motorbikes - with the help of being pushed by the riders, can travel to villages like Prohut. Villages like Prohut have less access to clean water, therefore, villagers are forced to use rain water and/or pond water to meet their water needs. However, these sources of water are not potable, even if boiled, and cause serious health issues. Few families can afford to purchase a filter from the market to have for clean water for their family.

In 2015, Trailblazer drilled pump wells and installed bio-sand water filters in Prohut Village for several families. One example the impact of having clean water and access to water can make is with Mr. Hoy and his family. Mr. Hoy and his wife Hann were one of the recipient families that received a bio-sand water filter and a pump well. They have three children. Their daughter studies in Prohut Village Primary school.

Mr. Hoy recently told Trailblazer, “Before our family received the bio-sand water filter and the pump well, we had difficulties in our living, especially problems with our health. We got diarrhea and were sick often. We faced money problems because we lost production time in our garden, and had to use the money we could earn from our hard work to pay for medicine and health care. We didn’t have enough water to raise animals or irrigate our small garden."

Mr. Hoy continued, "We were very happy when Trailblazer introduced us to the bio-sand filter and trained us about hygiene. This is very important. We lived our life without knowing that by consuming clean water it would save our health and improve our economic ability. After using the pump well and filtered water from the bio-sand filter, we noticed that our health situation improved, and continued to get better. No one is sick with diarrhea now. We can save money to buy study materials for our daughter. It has been four years now, and the bio-sand filter still works well, and we are having a productive life." 

Now in 2019, Mr. Hoy has a small tractor, two motorbikes, one bicycle, 5 cows, 15 ducks, and 10 chickens. This economic growth is clearly a result of better health because of clean water and access to water. Owning livestock raises a families level of poverty from extremely poor to simply poor. Mr. Hoy and his wife thank the donors and Trailblazer for receiving the bio-sand filter and pump well. It was life changing.

Other villagers in Prohut Village who received a bio-sand filter and pump well from Trailblazer reported experiencing a similar positive impact and benefit to their lives as Mr. Hoy and Hann have.

We wish thank all of you who aided in this effort to bring clean water and hope of a better life to rural villagers throughout Siem Reap province, Cambodia.

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