To improve health, food security, education, and economic development in rural Cambodia in ways that are self-sustaining by the individuals and communities we serve.
Our four program areas—health, food security, education, and economic development—represent a well-rounded strategy for not just giving our partner communities a proverbial fish, but helping them learn how to live in ways that are self-sustaining.
Trailblazer Foundation chooses our projects based on an annual local government assessment of village needs. We are honored to be one of only a handful of NGOs invited to this annual meeting. Through this bottom-up process, the villages themselves identify their needs. Their requests, in turn, direct our annual activities, which are “developing ripples of sustainability through community water projects."
Trailblazer Foundation was founded in 2004. The co-founders chose the name because they were blazing a new trail in rural community development, by being the first non-government organization to work in the rural villages of Cambodia's Siem Reap province.
– DEVELOPING RIPPLES OF SUSTAINABILITY THROUGH COMMUNITY WATER PROJECTS –
The Work We Did In Our First Village Became The Model for Our Rural Community Development Strategy.
Since its inception, Trailblazer Foundation has been a "big bang for the buck" organization. We keep our expenses low through our commitment to hire Khmer workers, as staff of our affiliate Trailblazer Angkor. In 2016, we increased our budget by 40% to meet increased demands for our services.
Trailblazer Foundation's staff work remotely in Colorado and Oregon. Our Cambodia affiliate, Trailblazer Angkor, has eleven staff who implement Trailblazer's four programs.
BECAUSE PAST CIVIL WARS, POLITICAL UNREST, AND GENOCIDE SET THE STAGE FOR SIGNIFICANT RURAL POVERTY IN CAMBODIA TODAY
There are several reasons why Cambodia is such a poor country, some with their roots in past events, and some due to present-day issues. Collectively, these influences have left one in five Cambodians living in poverty, according to The World Bank (2014). As recently as 2011, 41% of the population lived on less than $2 per day, and 72% lived on less than $3 per day. The vast majority of those are rural villagers.
Our Board of Directors hail from the United States, Cambodia (although now living in the states), and Canada. They bring experience in non-profit management, health, education and job skills training, sustainable development, and the ways of Cambodia and its culture.
We are pleased to post our new introductory video, which tells the story of our work in Cambodia's Siem Reap province, where we are developing ripples of sustainability through community water projects. Trailblazer is extremely grateful to Ysabel King for producing this video.