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Trailblazer Foundation

Rural Community Development in Cambodia


Trailblazer Foundation is our primary partner for the Mad Monkey Clean Water Project in Cambodia.


Mad Monkey Hostels Trailblazer Foundation Partnership


Trailblazer Foundation works with the poorest communities in Cambodia’s Siem Reap province to provide technical and financial support for community development projects. The foundation is most well known for helping its 50+ partner villages secure clean and abundant water. Once good water sources have been established, these villages also need ample food to feed their families, good education facilities for their children, and opportunities to make a living. Therefore Trailblazer operates 4 program areas: health, food security, education, and economic development. The foundation’s endeavors come together in a well-rounded strategy for not just giving out proverbial ‘fish’, but helping communities to learn how to live in ways that are self-sustaining.


“We began [in 2004] with a school project, but quickly learned that water was the first priority. A person must have access to clean, potable water to improve health and sanitation. People must also have a water resource for growing their crops, livestock, and fish—the source of their food and commerce. Bad water is the cause of illness, malnutrition, and poverty. When there is good water, associated developments can occur to improve livelihoods and establish sustainable commerce.”

Trailblazer Foundation Co-founder and Executive Director Chris Coats speaking about the origins of Trailblazer Foundation


Mad Monkey works alongside Trailblazer Foundation to built clean water systems in rural villages around Siem Reap. We facilitate donations from our guests, friends, and family through our website. All it takes to build a well that will change a family’s life is $320 US! Click here to learn more and donate a water well in Cambodia.



Water wells draw up water that is cleaner than the water available in still water reserves, but to be fully safe for consumption water must run through a water filter device. Trailblazer Foundation also raises funds to install water filters alongside the wells that they build in each village, in order to provide families with a complete solution to the lack of clean water in their areas. The weekly Pub Crawl event at Mad Monkey Hostel Siem Reap raises money for these filters, and a donation is made to Trailblazer Foundation quarterly so that new filters are built and delivered regularly throughout the year.

We have chosen Trailblazer Foundation as our primary partner in our Clean Water Project because it is a thorough, accountable, and sustainable organization. Our partnership was forged over several meetings and discussions, in which it became clear that we share the same values and the same passion for helping Cambodians to access clean water and all the benefits it brings. The projects that Trailblazer Foundation funds are implemented by the entirely Cambodian Trailblazer Angkor team. This ensures that projects are undertaken with a sensitivity to the local culture and that all economic stimulus is kept within Cambodia.



Trailblazer Foundation chooses their projects based on an annual local government assessment of village needs. They are 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 Trailblazer Foundation’s annual activities. When you donate a water well through Trailblazer, you can be confident that it is being built in an area where it is greatly needed and will be valued and used to full advantage by the local families.

Trailblazer Foundation Website

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