Much of what Trailblazer Foundation does, as a community development NGO in Cambodia, is work to break the cycle of poverty. One way to do this, especially on a generational level, is to ensure children can go to school. In addition to building new schools, we provide student uniforms and bicycles to students in our partner villages, so students can travel the long distance to the nearest school. Without a bicycle or the required school uniform, many students would simply drop out.
Education is free in Cambodia, but there are requirements. One of those requirements is to purchase uniforms for the students, which many families can't afford. Another problem for many children in Cambodia is having to walk long distances to get to school every day. As a result, these kids start their school day physically tired, and possibly hungry from the commute. Many of these students simply drop out of school, because of the long walk to school or they can't afford a uniform.
By providing school uniforms and bicycles to students in our partner villages, Trailblazer addresses some of the biggest barriers to Cambodian students gaining an education. This simple action results in other benefits as well. Other members of their family often use the bike, including the parents (who may not have a bike, let alone a car). We are able to distribute bicycles, a truck load at a time, and uniforms to those who are identified as the poorest of the poor first.
For poor rural Cambodians, having to spend lots of time and energy to simply travel to meet their daily needs is one factor that keeps them in a state of poverty. According to the United Nations, an educated girl is more likely to be able to plan when she marries, when she begins having children, can better look after her health and that of her family. Nearly 12 million children could be spared from undernutrition if their mothers had received a secondary education.