Jul 30, 2019

Help us Fill the Truck!

Life for rural Cambodians is not so easy. They are less well endowed with infrastructure and economic resources. There is no municipal transportation system. You can think of it as having a bike versus taking the bus to school.

A bicycle is such a simple, yet vital mode of transportation. The impact in the lives of students who do, or don't have a bicycle is significant. Without a bicycle, many students drop out of school. Students with the means to get to school, and stay in school, can keep learning and growing in their knowledge and abilities. A bicycle affords students with that opportunity.

I think we can all understand how important education is and the results a good and full education can have on being able to get a job, or a better job. Trailblazer is working to provide a way for young adults of Siem Reap province to continue their education so they can be more succesful in their lives.

In our last newsletter we were pleased to let you know that we successfully delivered 40 bicycles so far this year. We currently have donations for 16 bicycles in the bank. However, 16 bicycles do not fill the truck. In an effort to maximize our resources of gasoline and staff time, while serving as many students as possible at the same time, we wait until we have a truckload of bicycles before making a delivery.

This means we need of an additional 20 to 24 bicycles in order to fill the truck. And you can help! With your contribution of $55USD you can provide a rural student with a bicycle and help us reach the goal to give more students hope of a sustained education and a better life.

The rainy season is coming to Cambodia, and roads will become more difficult to navigate. Time is of the essence. The sooner we can make a delivery of bicycles to keep students in school the better.

I hope you will consider what difference you can make in the life of a rural Cambodian student to help them be successful, and will donate toward this cause.

Thank you.

Jun 10, 2019

The gift the keeps on giving

Since 2006, Trailblazer Foundation's main mission has been to improve health conditions in Cambodia's rural areas by providing access to safe drinking water. Trailblazer works with villages on drilling wells for access to water and distributing bio-sand water filters for potable water.

The quality of the water and the efficiency of the filters has been tested in the past. However, the environment around the wells and filters may have changed, sources of pollution may be present and have an influence on the quality of the water. Therefore, Trailblazer conducted a study on the quality of drilling water and filtered water in early 2019.

Eight villages in the province of Siem Reap were selected for this study, the analyzes were carried out on 8 wells and their 8 associated filters. Given the similarity of the plots and the small size of the villages, they were representative of the other wells and filters present in the villages. The water used in the villages came from wells that are about 25 meters deep, but this water is not drinkable because it contains pathogens that can cause diseases. The biosand filters installed by Trailblazer can treat this water and make it drinkable.

In a village, a well is installed per plot and a filter is installed for a household of about 5 people. Several homes can share the same well, in this case wells were very close to homes. All the studied wells were installed on plots with potential sources of pollution: presence of fenced-in or free-roaming animals, latrines, garbage, wastewater thrown open. We found these elements on the majority of the parcels of a village. The studied filters were between two to four years old.

Trailblazer used a local laboratory in Siem Reap for conducting the testing of the water samples. The laboratory enforces the drinking water quality standards of the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Kingdom of Cambodia.

The analysis of water quality in these eight villages verified the effectiveness of bio-sand filters installed by Trailblazer. Indeed the well water was naturally full of Iron and Manganese which makes it unfit for consumption. In addition, the wells were subject to bacteriological pollution which was due to faecal contamination. This contamination can be explained by the presence of animals (pigs, poultry, bovins) and latrines on the plots. Effluent seeps into the soil and contaminates the water.

Results of the tests show that the bio-sand water filters Trailblazer installed are still eliminating this pollution, even after two to four years of use, and makes the water drinkable. There is no doubt that the consumption of water cleansed by bio-sand filters reduces the health risk for the populations.

We wish to thank all our supporters who have given the gift of clean water for a rural family that received a bio-sand water filter each year from Trailblazer. Hundreds of people are experiencing improved health through clean water and have hope of a better life.


How a bio-sand water filter works
How a bio-sand water filter works
May 3, 2019

We are off to a great start for 2019

Students with their new bicycle
Students with their new bicycle

We are pleased to report that we have already delivered 40 of our 100 bicycle goal for 2019!

Students of Sasar Sdom Primary School received their bicycles in March 2019. Owning a bicycle is a life changing event for a student, as well as their entire family. A bicycle is often the ony mode of transportation for the family.

Bicycles play an important role in a rural student's life. Secondary level students often live far from their school. If a student's parent is unable to transport their daughter or son to school the student often misses class because to walk is simply too difficult and time consuming.

A bicycle provides the means for a student to be able to continue his/her education because it gives them a way to get to and from school easily. For female students, a bicycle adds a layer of safety, in that they will not be walking long distances alone, early in the day to school or late in the day from school.

Something so simple as a bicycle has a big impact. We thank all those who have helped our effort to keep rural students in school and have supported rural Cambodian students' education, and safety, through donations for bicycles.

Bicycles waiting to be distributed
Bicycles waiting to be distributed
Leaving school on their new bikes
Leaving school on their new bikes
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