Trailblazer began construction of a primary school in Kok Dong Chas village, Kok Dong commune, Angkor Chum district, Siem Reap province early February 2021. The village has a total population of 1,195 people within the 280 families who live in Kok Dong Chas village. The land is certified and registered under the community’s name protecting it as school property, and is located 63 kilometers from Siem Reap city in the center of Kok Dong commune.
Kok Dong is the most populous village in the area, and did not previously have a school building for its students. Students in Kok Dong Chas village have been traveling to surrounding villages to study.
Currently there are 272 students who are of the primary school ages - under 11 years of age. With a new school in the area it is estimated that there will be an average annual growth of 72 new students who will attend the Kok Dong Chas primary school.
Along with education playing an important part in combating poverty, access to clean water and good sanitation plays a vital role in keeping students and teachers healthy enough to attend school. Through the generous donations of two donors, Trailblazer is nearly finished with the construction of a filtration/hand washing station system at Kok Dong Chas Primary School.
With the rural school being remote, and limited access to good water sources, the need for clean water and better sanitation for its student population was all the more essential. Trailblazer is thankful for the donors who contributed to making this project a reality and providing a sustained healthy environment.
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.
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.
In 2014, Trailblazer delivered bio-sand water filters and conducted hygiene trainings in Chrey Kharng Cherng village, Kean Sangkae commune, Soutr Nikum district, Siem Reap province. The project started by making introductions to the people, family by family and in group meetings, regarding the benefits of bio-sand water filters and water pump wells. Villagers became interested and made their request to the village chief to receive a water filter. The village chief presented this list of registered villagers to Trailblazer.
Mrs. Khut  is a widow who lives in Chrey Kharng Cherng village with her two sons and one daughter. She was one who requested and received a bio-sand water filter from Trailblazer, as well as neighbors in this community. She shared with us how having a bio-sand water filter has impacted her and her family.
Mrs. Khut said, “Before receiving a bio-sand filter from Trailblazer we did not have access to clean water. It was difficult drinking the water directly from the pump well because it had a very bad smell and the color was red [iron]. Me and my family were getting sick often, especially with diarrhea. We had to use our savings to buy medicine and pay for the doctor. When my children were sick, they could not go to school or help me with my business. We lost time and money due to our poor health because we did not have clean water to drink and cook with.”
She continued, “After receiving a bio-sand water filter from Trailblazer the water quality is very good, the taste is better, and we do not have diarrhea anymore. We have more knowledge about clean water and body hygiene after attending the trainings from Trailblazer. I have reduced costs on medicine and the doctor, and can save money again to invest in my business. My children have good health, they spend more time at school, and when they are home they can help me.
Lastly, I am very happy to have had Trailblazer come to my village and give us access to clean water, and train us on the knowledge of body hygiene and sanitation. We are healthier and happier thank you.”
We wish to thank all our Trailblazer supporters for helping make our Health projects possible. A bio-sand water filter is such a simple thing, yet has a huge impact on the lives of those who have and use one. With your continued support we can help more families like Mrs. Khut's. Thank you for your generosity.
Due to the tremendous support Trailblazer received in 2019, we were able to install 574 bio-sand water filters to rural families, that is 159 more filters than our annual goal.
Bio-sand water filters are designed to service 15 people, so this number of water filters could potentially provide over 8,000 individuals with clean, safe drinking water. This is a notable figure of rural Cambodians whose health and lives will be greatly improved because they have a bio-sand water filter.
We could not do this great work, though, without the generous support of our donors. Trailblazer is privileged to have the continued support of our efforts, and to be able to help raise our Cambodian partners further out of poverty and into more sustainable livelihoods. You can continue this success with an $80USD donation to purchase a water filter. You can donate in your name, or that of someone you would like to recognize.
You may be curious how the bio-sand water filter works. The diagram below describes how the filter functions to remove bacteria, viruses and protect against dangerous waterborne illnesses. With every bio-sand water filter installation, Trailblazer staff train the recipient family about the proper use and maintenance of the filter, as well as basic hygiene and santitation practices, to ensure the project is lasting.
Project Reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to globalgiving.org by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.
If you donate to this project or have donated to this project, you will get an e-mail when this project posts a report. You can also subscribe for reports via e-mail without donating.
We'll only email you new reports and updates about this project.
Support this important cause by creating a personalized fundraising page.Start a Fundraiser