If you're looking for a way to help people that obviously need your help, you want to be able to choose a conduit that's going to use as much of what you give to do that work as possible. There are lots of organizations out there that are doing work in Asia. I haven't seen very many that allocate most of the funds that are raised directly in these projects. That's what Trailblazer does. They are working with the local counsel in these villages to determine what projects are needed. So, they have the support of the villagers. Trailblazer works together with the people who need the help the most, and they go about providing the help in a very direct way. I think that's a model other organizations could emulate. It's a very important reason why others would want to support Trailblazer Foundation.
I interned with Trailblazer over the summer of 2016. I got to see, first-hand, the incredible work they are doing, as they continue to bring new opportunities to families all over Siem Reap province. I worked with Trailblazer’s staff and local farmers, as they collaborative on a project to increase the farmer's income and local economy through a farmer co-op. I saw passion and drive coming from both the farmers and Trailblazer's staff. This was not only inspiring to me, it reminded me of the wonderful work being done at the grass-roots level of development. Thanks to Trailblazer, these farmers have opportunities they might not otherwise have.
The British School Foundation has been supporting Trailblazer projects for almost 10 years. During that period, we have helped fund six new school buildings. We continue to support Trailblazer’s school projects for the same reasons we chose to do so in the first place:  the projects are driven by the communities themselves;  the projects are sustainable in the long term, thanks to a memorandum with the Cambodian government that incorporates the schools into the public school system; and  the vast majority of the funds we provide end up in the communities for which they are destined.
Before our trip to Cambodia in early 2016, we reached out to Trailblazer Foundation to see how our family could help a village in need. We donated a well and a water filter, and Trailblazer’s team took us to see these products, and meet the people who benefited from them. Our 8 and 9 year-old daughters learned first-hand the importance of clean water as a basis for improving living conditions throughout. They understand now that with clean water, everyone is healthier. Healthy parents can provide for their families, and healthy children can go to school, get an education, and get better jobs. We were so moved by the community and the great job that Trailblazer is doing that we donated more wells after our visit. We are proud to be participants of Trailblazer’s program.
My farm was not good before the Trailblazer Agricultural training. I could only get low yields, because my knowledge about planting was terrible. I did not know how to prepare the soil, produce a seedling, and control the weeds with integrated pest management. Now, it is wonderful! I can get high yields, and my farm has a lot of types of vegetables like herbs, eggplant, and long beans. In addition, now I can plant in both the rainy season and the dry season, because I know how to plant the vegetables.
The two most important things Trailblazer provided were the school, and clean water and wells. Sra Village did not have a school until Trailblazer came. Now, many of the students who started at the school Trailblazer built are starting high school. The village health has also improved noticeably. Before they had no clean water. Now they have clean drinking water, and better sanitation. Trailblazer also helped initiate the Village Fund, which is still going, and is very successful. The families are better off financially. Most used to eat just one meal a day, now they have three. All these improvements are thanks to Trailblazer.
Our philanthropy program works closely with Trailblazer Foundation as a trusted on-the-ground partner. Their systematic way of identifying community needs, their emphasis on transparency, and their dedication to bringing clean water to the communities of Siem Reap Province isn’t just ideal, it’s inspiring! When our guests visit the homes of water well and bio-sand filter recipients that TF have installed it’s an emotional and eye opening experience for them. Most have never been in a situation or area where clean water is a challenge to obtain. The work Trailblazer does is important and vital to the communities of Siem Reap Province.
The Trailblazer Foundation is certainly one of my favorite partner projects that Globalteer works with. Trailblazer is making a massive difference in rural communities around Siem Reap Province. This foundation is crucial to breaking the poverty cycle, as children would not be able to concentrate in school if their basic needs are not being met. Our Globalteer volunteers have had incredibly positive feedback working with the Khmer team, and we especially love their commitment to educating the village people on maintaining the water filters, and other survival knowledge (teaching villagers how to grow different plants) so they can earn a better wage in the local markets. So much love for Trailblazer.
The thing I most enjoy about these trainings with Trailblazer is working with poor people that need our help to improve their life, by producing food they can eat and sell to the market. Now, they want more help from Trailblazer, because of the new ‘Farmers Community Group’ project, which will help farmers find local markets and restaurants where they can sell their crops.
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The Trailblazer Foundation is doing invaluable work in and around rural Siem Reap, Cambodia, providing villages with access to clean water. Visiting these communities first hand, I have seen what a difference the water filters make; being able to safely drink water, children not getting sick and being able to go to school, and being able to irrigate crops for a sustainable source of food. It is clear that Trailblazer is having a direct and lasting impact in these communities.