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How Trailblazer Foundation Delivers Health & Educational Prosperity In Rural Cambodia
“Can you imagine what you would do if you didn’t have a toilet in your house? What would life be life if you couldn’t walk into the kitchen and just turn the faucet on?” Chris Coats, founder and executive director of the Trailblazer Foundation said.
This is what life is like every day for poverty-stricken families living in and around Siem Reap, Cambodia. It all began in 2001, when Coats and her co-founder were doing international volunteer work. In that process, they traveled through Cambodia and absolutely fell in love with the country and the people there.
Alyssa Spagna / Jetset Times
Battering rainfall: PP still reeling from flash floods caused by Monday’s deluge
Phnom Penh is still reeling from the flash floods brought by torrential rains on Monday, with some neighbourhoods remaining inundated yesterday and waterlogged streets experiencing traffic congestions.Heavy rains on Monday submerged most of the streets in the capital and scores of motorbikes broke down due to some of the streets having waist-deep floodwaters.
Tith Kongnov/ Khmer Times
Cambodia to celebrate 18th anniversary of King’s coronation today
Cambodia is going to solemnly celebrate the 18th anniversary of His Majesty Preah Bat Samdech Preah Boromneath Norodom Sihamoni’s coronation as the King of Cambodia on October 29.
Best wishes for the King have been broadcasted on TV and radio stations and printed in newspapers and magazines.
His Majesty Norodom Sihamoni succeeded to the throne on October 29, 2004 by a vote of the Council of the Throne and following the late King-Father Norodom Sihanouk’s abdication.
AKP-C.Nika / Khmer Times
Ministry sets ambitious rural water and sanitation goals
The Ministry of Rural Development has said it has set a goal of providing clean water and sanitation for all rural citizens by 2025.
At a press conference yesterday, Ministry of Rural Development’s secretary of state Chrun Theravat said that the Royal Government has prepared a National Strategic Plan on Water Supply and Rural Sanitation Promotion 2014-2025 in order to improve and sustainably provide water, health and sanitation services to promote health and nutrition.
Sok Sithika / Khmer Times
Committee unveils plans for Queen Mother’s 87th birthday
The National Committee for Organising National and International Festivals has advised all relevant ministries and municipal and provincial administrations to prepare to celebrate Queen Mother Norodom Monineath Sihanouk’s 87th birthday. The committee said authorities should decorate their offices with national and religious flags and prepare photos along with stories depicting her activities and achievements ahead of her birthday on June 18.
The Phnom Penh Post | Mom Kunthear | Publication date 02 June 2022 | 21:38 ICT
Prime Minister Hun Sen warmly welcomed
Prime Minister Hun Sen, as ASEAN chair, and other ASEAN leaders were warmly welcomed by US president Joe Biden as the ASEAN-US summit May 12-13 kicked off today in Washington. “This evening, I welcomed ASEAN leaders to the White House for the first time in history, and reaffirmed the US commitment to Southeast Asia. “We discussed the importance of working together to ensure security, prosperity, and respect for human rights for our one billion people,” tweeted President Biden.
The groove is in the art at Phnom Penh galleries
The capital’s contemporary art scene is on a roll — and it’s a far cry from apsaras and sunrise over Angkor Wat As the city’s cultural venues burst into post-pandemic life, a spate of new gallery openings and a burgeoning number of innovative multi-arts spaces are inspiring, promoting, and supporting creativity in Phnom Penh like never before.
Posted on May 2, 2022 by Susan Haythorpe
Big-name divers explore deepest Mekong pools in key fauna survey
A group of well-known underwater explorers have dived to a depths of the Mekong River in Cambodia, an important body of water that is the last habitat of the world’s largest fresh water fish. “We are exploring deep into the Mekong, another world – a realm within a hidden realm, a pitch-black space inhabited by rare and unusual fish like the Mekong giant stingray and giant catfish,” said Zeb Hogan, a fish biologist and leader of the USAID-funded project.
Ry Sochan | Publication date 01 May 2022 | 21:08 ICT
Cambodian poverty rate rises to 17% due to Covid pandemic
The Cambodian poverty rate has increased by four percent in six years to 17 percent in the 2019-2020 period, due in large part to the global Covid-19 crisis, a Ministry of Planning official has revealed. Ministry secretary of state Tuon Thavoreak shared the findings at the launch of the National Population Policy 2016-2030’s special focus on people and education at Siem Reap Provincial Hall on April 19.
The Phnom Penh Post | Ry Sochan | Publication date 20 April 2022 | 21:54 ICT
Photo by Hong Menea
Conservationists ring in 2022 with baby dolphin
WWF said in a statement on January 6: “The year 2021 has ended with joyful news especially for the freshwater Irrawaddy dolphin population and the Mekong River ecosystem as a new dolphin calf – the sixth calf for 2021 – was spotted on 31st December swimming at the Kampi pool in Kratie province.”
Post Staff | Publication date 07 January 2022 | 12:06 ICT
Cambodia set to fully reopen
Prime Minister Hun Sen concludes that the October 5-7 Pchum Ben public holiday, during which many people either flocked to their hometowns for family reunion or gathered at tourist attractions across the country, has not caused an outbreak of Covid-19.
In a special address to the nation early on October 19, he said the number of new transmission cases and death toll have been stable and even less than before the holiday.
Post Staff | Publication date 19 October 2021 | 09:05 ICT
Why celebrate the bicycle?
Regular physical activity of moderate intensity – such as walking, cycling, or doing sports – has significant benefits for health. At all ages, the benefits of being physically active outweigh potential harm, for example through accidents. Some physical activity is better than none. By becoming more active throughout the day in relatively simple ways, people can quite easily achieve the recommended activity levels.
World Bicycle Day - 3 June
‘No light at the end of the Covid-19 tunnel’
Tourism players fear latest upheaval is the end-all for many. Even as vaccination is progressing in Cambodia and globally, tourism players contemplate their long-term survival .
‘Our business is on the verge of a collapse. All our savings are gone and we have borrowed from banks, our friends and families. Now, we don’t know what to do!” bemoaned Clais Chenda, who owns two boutique hotels and an elephant sanctuary in northeastern province Ratanakkiri.
Sangeetha Amarthalingam | Publication date 08 April 2021 | 23:17 ICT
Photo by Heng Chivoan
Private schools reopen after end of ‘Nov 28 event’
Private educational institutions have been allowed to reopen from December 29 while the 2020-2021 academic year for public schools will resume on January 11, according to a notice from the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport.
All schools are required to continue implementing health safety measures.
In a statement, minister Hang Chuon Naron said the decision applied to all private schools which had previously been permitted to open during the first and second phases of reopening earlier this year.
Voun Dara | Publication date 29 December 2020 | 22:46 ICT
IDPoor pandemic relief to continue
The poor and vulnerable families can now breathe a sigh of relief after the government announced that the COVID-19 pandemic cash support will be continued for another three months. In his televised speech on Tuesday, Prime Minister Hun Sen said the government has so far spent $160 million from June to November to provide relief for poor people affected by COVID-19.
Sen David / Khmer Times, December 17, 2020
Cambodian-American helps explore Mars
The Mars Perseverance Rover was launched on July 30 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida and is expected to land on Mars on February 18 next year.
On Mars, it will seek signs of ancient life and collect rock and soil samples for a possible return to Earth. As of Monday, it reached 56 per cent of its journey to Mars, according to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Nasa).
The Post connected with Ny Sou Okon, a Cambodian-American whose parents survived the Khmer Rouge regime. Ny Sou Okon worked on the Perseverance project.
Your Parents survived the Khmer Rouge regime. Can you tell us briefly about their journey to the US?
Niem Chheng | Publication date 09 November 2020 | 21:43 ICT
As the Kingdom restricts travel and prepares for a state of emergency, some foreigners in Cambodia are scrambling for a way home.
Foreign embassies in Phnom Penh are making efforts to get their citizens out, but cancelled flights have become common due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The German Embassy said on Tuesday that Germany operated two final repatriation flights on March 29 with a total of 446 passengers.
The passenger list included 302 Germans, 34 Belgians, 21 Romanians, EU citizens, and foreigners with permanent residency in Germany.
The Ministries of Economy and Finance; and Education, Youth and Sport, will implement a food programme for 50,000 children in 205 target schools using community products.
An announcement issued on January 23 and obtained by The Post on Monday said the two ministries would implement the programme at target schools using community products starting immediately.
The programme aims to support the growth and development of children, both physically and mentally.
Niem Chheng | Phnom Penh Post | Publication date 03 February 2020 | 22:06 ICT
This article speaks to the food security issues in Cambodia, and to the need for Trailblazer's continued work to help improve rural families' ability to better feed their families through our Food Security Program activities.
To learn more about our Food Security Program... https://thetrailblazerfoundation.org/food-security-program
PHNOM PENH, Oct. 30 (Xinhua) -- The Asian Development Bank (ADB) on Wednesday signed two agreements to provide 89 million U.S. dollars to Cambodia for improving rural areas' water supply and the country's financial sector development, said an ADB statement.
The financial sector in the Southeast Asian nation is in its early stages of development while much has been achieved by the banking and microfinance subsectors, access to finance remains limited, especially in rural areas. "Almost one-third of the population is completely excluded, having no access to any form of financial services.” the statement said.
To address this issue, Trailblazer supports our partner villages in managing their own local “Village Fund” through micro-finance programs. Once Trailblazer has helped our village partners secure abundant clean water and sufficient nutritious food (through our Health and Food Security programs), the next step is to support them in establishing livelihoods – jobs, a source of income. Learn more…https://thetrailblazerfoundation.org/economic-development-prog
It was late at night on Oct 2 when the judges cast their votes and announced Meas Chantha – affectionately known as Jack – had won gold at the Wanderlust World Guide Awards 2019 in London.
“Mr Meas ticks all of the boxes, with the qualities and natural attributes of an exceptional guide – he’s the one that I want to go on tour with the most,” says judge and seasoned British tourism veteran, Alex Graeme.
Read the article in full by Gerald Flynn / Khmer Times at https://www.khmertimeskh.com/50647864/its-official-the-worlds-best-tour-guide-is-cambodian/
“Mere access is not enough. If the water isn’t clean, isn’t safe to drink or is far away, and if toilet access is unsafe or limited, then we’re not delivering for the world’s children,” said Kelly Ann Naylor, Associate Director of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene, UNICEF. “Children and their families in poor and rural communities are most at risk of being left behind..." read the article in full at http://bit.ly/2x6xCTX
By proclaiming the International Day of Education, UN member states recognized the importance of working to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education at all levels – so that all people may have access to lifelong learning opportunities that help them to acquire the knowledge and skills needed to access opportunities to participate fully in society and contribute to sustainable development. Read more...http://ow.ly/sgvn30nrlkt
School children in a classroom in Gao, Mali. UN Photo/Marco Dormino
17 August 2018: This is another interesting article about efforts being taken to improve energy technologies in Cambodia. At this point in time, most of the rural families that Trailblazer is helping are still located outside any electrical grid. This effort gives me further hope that conditions for the majority of the country's population will continue to improve.
09 August 2018: You may find this article interesting. It is good to see Cambodia taking steps to improve their environment by going green!
December 11, 2017: The Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) board of directors recently approved more than $50 million in loans to help expand and improve urban water supply and sanitation services in four of Cambodia’s largest provincial cities.
November 6, 2017: The government has unveiled four strategies to eliminate malnutrition in the country, especially among children. Prime Minister Hun Sen is enlisting state institutes, partners and NGOs to join the fight to eliminate malnutrition as the country holds national nutrition day today. Mr Hun Sen said the first strategy advocates to increase quantities and quality of food...
September 30, 2017: The idea with this project was to look objectively and conduct a medical assessment on how Expert-Exchange alongside other Doctors and professionals could help with Cambodia’s medical system and infrastructure. Expert-Exchange and Dr Messer from One Good Turn completed a brief medical assessment over an 8 day period in September of 2017.
July 27, 2017: Plastic Free Cambodia shares about a common fear amongst travelers to Cambodia is safe drinking water. Here’s a guide to where you can get drinkable water without using 4.6 million plastic bottles. In Siem Reap, it’s estimated that 4.6 million water bottles are generated by the tourism industry alone....
July 11, 2017: This year’s winners are hubs for culture....When it comes to Asian cities, Travel+Leisure readers are shifting their allegiances. This year’s World’s Best list leans heavily toward ancient traditional capitals and tropical resort towns, rather than the sprawling, futuristic super-cities that have often dominated the rankings in the past.
June 19, 2017: The Khmer Times interviews the outgoing country director for World Bank, who reflects on the value of education, and outlines three ways to help farmers raise their productivity and incomes. His recommendations for Cambodia supports Trailblazer Foundation's comprehensive rural community development strategy.
April 25, 2017: A recent article in The Phnom Penh Post explains that, "an apparent US State Department budgetary document shows the body plans to gut foreign aid to Cambodia, completely eliminating all development assistance and slashing health programs funded by the State Department and USAID as well." This article was based on original article inForeign Policy Magazine.
April 18, 2017: Long Beach is home these days for survivors of the Killing Fields. But they pay close attention to what’s going on back home in their native Cambodia. And, so, community leaders were eager to meet with visitors from an international development group working in rural Cambodia.
April 9, 2017: "Sisters Emmy and Rae Specht came home to Bellport from a family trip to Cambodia determined to help address the Southeast Asian country’s rural poverty and lack of safe drinking water. Seven years later, they and two of their friends have raised $280,000 to build one school and provide clean water for thousands of rural villagers in Cambodia." Some of those funds supported Trailblazer.
February 20, 2017: Cambodia has long been a matriarchy—a culture in which women are considered to be the more powerful and important gender. Females, especially mothers, often hold the central roles of political leadership, moral authority, and control of property.
February 6, 2017: Angelina Jolie is giving a first look at her new film and longtime passion project, "First They Killed My Father". The film is based on the autobiography of Cambodian human rights activist and friend of Jolie’s Loung Ung.
January 19, 2017: Matt Damon's first statement at this talk set the stage for what was a good discussion about water and sanitation: "As I started to look at issues of extreme poverty that I wanted to get involved in a little over ten years ago, I was just shocked by how water underpinned everything."
November 21, 2016: In its recent "State of the World's Water 2016" report, the international NGO Water Aid said that Cambodia has made greatest improvement in increasing access to water.
November 2, 2016: A recent article in the Khmer Times starts by explaining that "The public has spoken and among their top priorities for spearheading sustainable development in Cambodia are eradicating poverty, administering quality education and achieving peace and justice."
October 26, 2016: The Phnom Penh Post article explains how a recent study found that, in Cambodia, "the reduction in children’s exposure to open defecation can statistically account for much or all of the increase in average child height between 2005 and 2010."
September 3, 2016: Siem Reap is one of the world’s top tourist destinations. However, according to a recent article in The Cambodian Daily, most of the money coming in from the tourist industry fails to reach the people of the local communities surrounding Siem Reap. "In the midst of the tourism boom, local people’s livelihoods have not improved."
August 13, 2016: Al Jazeera’s Sohail Rahman, reporting from Phnom Penh, said that "Children across the capital Phnom Penh are trying out these snacks and researchers say the initial results seem promising."
August 11, 2016: This article states by explaining that, "Though the rice-planting season has started and nationwide rice cultivation this month has been higher than planned, farmers are worried that adverse weather events caused by climate change will ruin their crops."
August 9, 2016: As explained in this article, "In Southeast Asia, the year is divided into two periods: the dry season and the rainy season, which usually reaches Cambodia in May and lasts until October. The arrival of the rains is key for farmers in the region — it’s when they start planting and wells for the rest of the year are filled."
July 21, 2016: While we at Trailblazer are not entirely sure, we think our efforts to provide water filters and wells are included in these numbers. What we do know is that there is still much work to be done. Trailblazer will continue increasing that percentage closer to 100%.
July 18, 2016: "Women’s inclusion and empowerment in Cambodia’s burgeoning financial sector is crucial for the Kingdom’s economic growth, said delegates yesterday at a regional economic forum." This is why Trailblazer is working with the local Women's Development Center.
April 25, 2016: According to the director of Nutrition and Health at the World Food Center, "Malnutrition continues to be a high priority in Cambodia. Despite the recent improvements in child health from efforts to reduce poverty, improve education, and promote immunization and breastfeeding, 40 percent of Cambodian children are stunted."
March 18, 2016: A new farm west of Siem Reap is "hoping to change the way that businesses and individuals in the city get their greens, and without relying on Siem Reap’s notoriously poor soil quality to do so." Trailblazer started using the same promising technique at our agricultural research plot (part of our office complex in Siem Reap) in 2015.
February 25, 2016: The World Bank's Vice President for East Asia and Pacific makes an economic case for addressing malnutrition in the region, and supports the U.N.’s inclusion in the new Sustainable Development Goals the goal of ending all forms of hunger and malnutrition by 2030
December 21, 2015: Article in the Phnom Phen Post explains how approximately 3 million students in Cambodia "are at risk of drop-out or under-performance as a result of inadequate basic infrastructure, according to research by a coalition of civil society groups."
November 21, 2015: This week is Geography Awareness Week, established by National Geographic Society to ensure that the United State’s youth are Geo-literate—that they understand how Earth’s interconnected human, ecological, and geophysical systems function.
November 12, 2015: Research published in The Lancet shows that, despite reducing maternal mortality by 44% between 1990 and 2015, the world fell short of the Millennium Development Goals' 75% reduction target. Cambodia was one of ten success stories in reaching that target.