The Water Cycle Project- The Trailblazers Foundation October 15, 2014We have bought ten Bio-Sand water filters for ten families in one of the poorest provinces of Cambodia, the popular tourist spot, Siem Reap. We heard that Siem Reap is overflowing with NGOs and were daunted by the idea of trying to find one that we could trust and believe in. Michael thought so too and has started Concert, a fantastic concept to help you identify the right NGO for your needs. He works closely with the Governing bodies who work together to share good practices, only 40 of the 310 NGOs are registered here, The Trailblazers Foundation is one of them. Scott and Chris Coats first visited Cambodia in February 2002. They were touched by the affability of the people and the apparent needs the Cambodian people struggled against daily. In February 2003 they returned with their daughter and spent two months researching how they could help. In May 2004 they returned to meet with government officials and commit to a project. The Angkor Thom District spoke about the need for a primary school in the remote village of Sras. In January 2005 Scott and Chris basically moved to Siem Reap to begin the school project. Upon his first trip to Sras, Scott immediately noticed the lack of water. With a simple Rotary grant they were able to install the village’s first two pump wells at the school site. As with many of the grass roots NGOs that we have come across, with each solution comes a plethora of problems and this usually means that the NGO diversifies, The Trailblazers Foundation now aids agriculture in vertical mushroom gardens, edamame production, fish farms and many more. They empower women by providing sewing and loom machines, aid education by providing bicycles, uniforms and school supplies. Health and sanitation programmes include wells, mosquito nets and Bio-sand water filters. The Kindness of Strangers understands that the first step to sustainable living is good health and sanitation and these Bio-sand water filters enable even the poorest families to have clean drinking water. Cheap to make and easy to maintain, these are the ideal solution for families in rural areas who are cut off from much of the country due to poor road quality. Each water filter costs $80, this includes transport and training costs, the filter is then sold, not given to the family, to give them ownership for a fee of $2. By providing water filters these families are at less risk of waterborne diseases and with increased quality of life coupled with the agriculture and education programmes we hope these families will have a brighter future. The water filters are made on site using a concrete mould and filled with 3 different gradients of gravel and sand. This simple system means that you can take dirty water from a well or river, pour it into the filter and it comes out clean the other end, removing 99.99% of turbidity and contaminants such as bacteria and viruses. Simple but life changing.