So much of what Trailblazer Foundation does, as a rural community development NGO, is focused on breaking the cycle of poverty. One way to break this cycle of poverty, especially on a generational level, is to ensure that children have the opportunity to go to school. This is an almost daily practice that most of us take for granted for our kids. However, a formal education is not always an option for families living in Trailblazer’s geography of focus.
Although constructing new schools has not been a main focus of Trailblazer Foundation’s work since our inception, at the conclusion of 2019 we will have completed the construction of 9 school buildings, and 2 libraries. These schools have been well-received enough – by local villagers and the Cambodian government alike – that in a Fall 2015 meeting, Trailblazer’s Board of Directors voted to include school construction as one of our four major programs. This is a fitting decision, given that the organization’s first project ever, in 2004, was building a school.
As we have in the past, moving forward Trailblazer will build schools in response to a request from District officials, as part of the District’s Integrated Workshop process (see "Our Story" for more details). When we complete the construction project, and as part of the school inauguration ceremony, Trailblazer signs the deed over to the appropriate government agency. This is how we ensure the school can fully launch, and stay open for the local students. The government is then responsible for providing the teaching staff, paying the staff, and providing the Cambodian curriculum.
Additionally, because our schools are government schools, they qualify for food support through the United Nations World Food Program (thereby addressing, at least in part, another programmatic area of Trailblazer’s – food security).
Finally, Trailblazer works to reduce other barriers to education by providing hundreds of bicycles and school uniforms to our partner villages. Bikes help students to travel to schools within their district. This is particularly true of students in Junior and Senior High School, as not every village has one of these schools (they are often shared between villages). Without a bicycle, many students would simply drop out because their secondary level school is just too far away.
We also like to provide two sets of uniforms for school students, which again will help to take another burden off their families. You can have a direct impact on a child’s future by providing a school uniform, which will help provide access to school and help improve the school environment thus improving attendance and reducing the dropout rate. 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. This makes Trailblazer’s efforts even more relevant and vital.
We are raising funds to provide school uniforms for children in rural Cambodia. Our Field Director, Sor Ratanak, informed us of the need. He would like to give two sets of uniforms to each student.
By providing these school uniforms we will help take the burden off their families. We need 100 uniforms for a delivery. Thank you for being a part of bringing a smile to a child’s face: $15 one uniform $30 two uniforms
Please share with your family and friends and help us bless many rural Cambodian students and their families.
A short video of work being done on Trailblazer Foundation's 2015 school construction project.