Project Stories | 3 MIN READ

How Clean Water Does More than Just Quench Thirst: Meet Trailblazer

water filter well trailblazer cambodia

The Power of Clean Water

Clean water does so much more than just quench thirst.

Clean water means healthier children who can attend school. It means higher quality crops to provide better nutrition and income for families. It means more than 2 hours of travel time saved every day from having to collect water from a pond far away – time better spent on personal development.

And in Trailblazer’s case, clean water can even mean enabling people to start businesses, or fund their hospital bills.

Meet Trailblazer

Trailblazer is an organisation that helps develop impoverished villages in Cambodia from the grass-roots level. They are also one of B1G1’s amazing Worthy Causes.

The organisation started back in 2005 when their founders travelled to Cambodia looking for a way to help others in the most sustainable manner. They went to a village and asked a simple question:

“What do you need?”

Though the villagers said they wanted a school, the Trailblazer team realised that villagers were sick and crops weren’t growing. What the villagers desperately needed was access to clean drinking water. So, they set off installing bio-sand water filters and PVC wells.

The organisation sends teams to the villages once a month to conduct baseline surveys and check on the water filters.

Having a well and water filter on site makes a huge difference to the lives of villagers. They no longer need to walk long distances to retrieve dirty river water, nor do they have to rely on a small pond that might dry up at any time.

Growing Needs, Flourishing Lives

With easier access to clean water, the villagers started growing healthier crops.

They then started to request for farmers training to build their farming businesses.

As the needs of the people they supported developed, so Trailblazer’s activities evolved together with the community. The growth of quality crops catalysed the birth of Trailblazer’s farmers training programme.

Study Tour Cambodia Water Filter Trailblazer

Lonsey and Caitlin from Trailblazer demonstrating the use of a PVC well

Lonsey is one such individual who benefitted immensely from the support provided by Trailblazer in various forms.

When Lonsey was young, he frequently fell ill due to various water-caused diseases such as malaria, dengue, and diarrhoea.

After receiving better quality healthcare education from Trailblazer, he learnt to change his habits of consuming dirty water and to take better care of his living quarters to prevent the breeding of mosquitos.

“For me, if I don’t have Trailblazer, I don’t have today.”

Trailblazer also supported Lonsey’s education from primary school through to university, so he decided to work for the organisation as an economic developer after graduation.

Creating Self-Reliance and Sustainability

All of Trailblazer’s initiatives require a buy-in from their beneficiaries – a small amount that gives them a sense of ownership over their water filters and wells. But these contributions don’t go to Trailblazer; they go back into the village fund.

Whenever any village member requires money to go the hospital, or to buy resources to start a business, they can always borrow money from this village fund at a 2% interest rate. This further allows the village fund to grow, creating a cycle of self-reliance and sustainability.

“We can change people by training them how to help themselves.”

Thanks to organisations like Trailblazer, more and more individuals can now achieve higher standards of living and develop themselves to their full potential.

Support hundreds of other great causes like Trailblazer by being a part of the B1G1 Business for Good movement

About Ren Jean Chong

As B1G1's marketing manager, Ren Jean heads B1G1’s efforts to spread the word and inspire more businesses to become giving businesses. She is often the voice behind B1G1’s social media communications, the brain behind the digital marketing campaigns, and the smile behind the live chat, to get deeply connected with people inside and outside of B1G1.