The most telling indicator for a lack of development is water access, food security, nutrition, and health status of the people. One of the easiest ways to combat poverty and disease is to provide access to clean water sources, yet one in eight people in the world do not have access to it. Your support of a bio-sand water filter provides clean drinking water, and a latrine helps WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) out disease and builds better health and sanitation conditions.
As highlighted by the United Nations, it is important for any health program in a developing nation to focus on “the importance of toilets in supporting better nutrition and improved health. Lack of access to clean drinking water and sanitation, along with the absence of good hygiene practices, are among the underlying causes of poor nutrition.”
The need for latrines in rural Cambodia has increased and local officials strongly discourage out-door defecation. There were requests for thousands of latrines for identified poor families in four districts where Trailblazer works. Building a latrine for a family helps promote the wellbeing and safeness of the beneficiaries, especially for women and children.
Trailblazer’s goal for 2023 is to build 100 latrines. With typically only one family using each latrine, and with an average family size of 5 people, our latrines will directly benefit 500 people. To reach this goal, we need your help. We are ever so grateful for your support of this effort. Thank you.
Water. When do we think about it? When we don’t have it!
Access to water is vital to life. Depending on where you live, how and where you access water can be very different. In urban households of the developed world we can merely turn on a faucet tap. Households in rural areas of underdeveloped countries can face a variety of challenges in acquiring their daily supply of water. Women and children are usually responsible for gathering water for the family, hauling buckets of water long distances from various sources available to them, if they do not have a well near their home.
Dirty water makes children and their families ill, but you can help change that! The statistics vary between over two and three million Cambodians lack access to safe water. Approximately 77% of the population live in rural areas with poor access to water and safe potable water. One in three Cambodians use water from a non-improved drinking water source: traditional pit wells, ponds, rivers. This makes Trailblazer’s work, which focuses on water, all the more critical.
When children do not have access to clean water they suffer stunted growth, they can have impaired brain development, and even die from preventable water-related causes. Diarrhea is a common result and a major cause of children’s illnesses. Providing children with clean drinking water is one of the most effective ways to save their life and ensure they develop into healthy adults. Trailblazer addresses clean water through our biosand water filters, and a well provides access to a better and closer water source.
Each year, Trailblazer directly benefits the lives of thousands of rural villagers in Cambodia’s Siem Reap province. By “directly benefits,” we mean that our products and/or services positively impact the lives of the individuals and families who received them.
In 2022, Trailblazer directly benefited up to 8,735 people with all the products and services we provided. Based on that number, the cost-per-person of those who directly benefited from Trailblazer’s products and services in 2022 amounts to $36.54. [$319,147 (2022 budget) ÷ 8,735 (people directly benefited) = $36.54/direct beneficiary]. This constitutes an amazing return on dollars invested!
Here is the breakdown of the numbers for our two main water projects: filters and wells.
1) Water Filters: Trailblazer constructed and distributed 527 water filters. Calculating each family uses one water filter, with an average of 5 people per family, our 527 water filters directly benefited 2,635 people.
2) Wells: Trailblazer drilled 139 wells. With each well serving one family with an average family size of 5 people, our wells directly benefited 695 people.
Your investment of a water filter or well can give hope to one life, one family at a time. What we do for ourselves dies with us, but what we do for others in the world remains.
Help is like dropping a pebble into a pond and seeing the ripple effect. Your investments are keeping that ripple effect going. We greatly appreciate our donors for their support and help in making a real difference, and wish to say - thank you!
We thought you might enjoy reading about the impacts of bad water versus clean water directly from a family who received a water filter from Trailblazer. This family received their water filter in 2015, and it's still working great!
Mr. Hoy  and Mrs. Hann  live in Prohut village, Lvea commune, Pouk district. They have one daughter studying in Prohut Kindergarten, and a grandmother living with the family. Mr. Hoy told us, “Before we received the water filter we had problems getting clean water to drink and cook with. We used water directly from the well without proper disinfection, which made us sick a lot, specially with diarrhea. Because of this problem, it had an impact on our family’s economy, especially the loss of time to earn a living.”
Hoy continued, “After attending the Clean Water and Hygiene Training from Trailblazer, and receiving a bio-sand water filter to use, we recognized that our health situation improved. We were less sick and did not have diarrhea. And we had no more problem with getting clean, safe water. Now we are able to have a more wonderful time. We have reduced the cost of treating our illnesses, and can save money for our family to invest in other interests. My mother is healthy and has more time to attend religious festivals in the pagoda with other village elders."
He added, “Lastly, I am very happy to have Trailblazer working in my community and providing us access to clean water, and giving us knowledge about hygiene and sanitation. Me and my neighbors in the communtiy have enough clean water to use and we are healthier.”
This story is just one of thousands about the impact Trailblazer's work has on the people being helped. It is rewarding work knowing we can make a difference. But we can't make that difference without your support.
Your gifts can help other families like Hoy and Hann's. With just $100 you can provide one to three families with a water filter and change their lives through clean water. A water filter is a wonderful and simple gift that keeps on giving.
We thank and appreciate every donor who has made a gift of a water filter. We hope you will consider contributing to this vital effort to improve health and reduce poverty for poor rural families in Cambodia.
Become a donor today and join others in making a lasting change in the lives of others. Thank you.
Perhaps it’s time to give you a brief history of Trailblazer Foundation and its Health Program accomplishments. Work that could not have been accomplished without the generous support of our donors, and we are deeply grateful.
Trailblazer has been in existence 18 years - since April 2004 - and has been working in Siem Reap province, Cambodia since January 2005, when the co-founders moved to Siem Reap to begin making a difference.
Our bio-sand water filter project began February 2006. There has been a minimum of 6,867 filters installed between 2006 and 2021. At an average family size of 5 persons, that means at least 34,335 people have clean drinking water. However, bio-sand water filters are designed to service 15 people. So, depending on how families are clustered, the number of people with clean drinking water could actually be more like 103,005.
Between 2005 and 2021 there has been 1,777 wells drilled. At an average family size of 5 persons, that means a minimum of 8,885 people have access to water for personal and irrigation purposes. Wells can service one to three families depending on how families are clustered, so the number of people with access to water could actually be 26,655.
In 2015 we began constructing latrines, and 369 have been constructed since that time. At an average family size of 5 persons, that means that a minimum of 1,845 people have a dignified, safe, sanitary place to toilet.
Over all, at a minimum, donors have provided 45,065 people with water and sanitation to improve their health and their livelihoods. If you calculate the numbers at the capacity of the products, donors [you] have helped change the life upwards of 131,505 people. That is no small feat!
We thank everyone who has contributed to making such a lasting impact over the years for tens of thousands of poor rural villagers. We encourage you to share Trailblazer to those you know, tell them why you support us, and that they too could be making an impact to last a lifetime.
Success in life is not about what you have achieved, but whether or not you have made a difference. You have been making a difference! Let’s continue making life a bit brighter and better for those in rural Cambodia who have few other options. Thank you.
Through the years, Trailblazer has collected many stories from beneificiaries of our products and services about how their lives have been changed because of our aid. Here is one such story....
Jomreoun and her family live in a small village in the Pouk district of Cambodia. Access to water is essential to her well being and that of her husband and their child. Like Jomreoun, 12.3 million others in Cambodia do not have access to a piped water supply. This makes up 70% of Cambodia’s total population (World Bank 2015). Instead, Jomreoun’s water came from her father’s house where she would have to walk everyday to collect. She described this water as dirty, it caused her family sickness, requiring them to spend money on medical expenses. Sometimes they experienced shortages of water, which she said wasted time and energy, and increased their health problems.
Jomreoun and her family received a well and biosand water filter from the Trailblazer Foundation in 2017, and since then she reports her life has changed drastically. With a well and filter on her own property, Jomreoun has access to water she describes as clean and good tasting. Her family’s health has improved greatly and they no longer have to spend money on medicine. Her garden has improved with better access and quality of water. With no more water shortages, Jomreoun can use this access to water to drink, cook, bathe her child, and grow her garden without worry.
Reliable and safe access to drinking water is a foundational step for development and wellbeing of rural Cambodian communities. With clean water, illness decreases, enabling children to attend school, and adults to have more time to work and grow food. It allows communities to flourish and achieve higher quality of life.
We sincerely appreciate and thank our donors who give generously to help improve the lives of poor rural Cambodian families and reduce levels of poverty - one family, one community at a time. Your financial gifts truly are making an impact and changing lives.
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