Lao Environmental Activist Wins Women of the Future Awards in Singapore

Souksaveuy Keotiamchanh, founder of Zero Waste Laos, received the Woman of the Future Award in Singapore last Thursday.

Founder of Zero Waste Laos, Souksaveuy Keotiamchanh, has received the Women of the Future Awards South East Asia in Singapore and is the only woman from Laos to win in the ESG (Environment, Social and Governance) category.

Ms. Souksaveuy founded Zero Waste Laos (ZWL) in 2019 to spread awareness about environmental issues and provide recommendations for solid waste management in collaboration with over 100 Lao youth and international organizations.

In a country with a youth population of over 50 percent, Zero Waste Laos has discovered ways to engage young minds, raise their awareness, and encourage their participation in addressing the world’s most pressing problems relating to the environment.

“I am so proud and appreciative of the support from my team, partners, and the government who have been working with me, especially the ZWL team, who worked incredibly hard and with the same vigor and enthusiasm as me. This award is dedicated to Green Girls of Laos, a young group of woman volunteers who advocate for Zero Waste Laos,” said Ms. Souksaveuy after receiving the honor.

Through the provision of capacity-building, knowledge sharing, policy advice, and research in four thematic areas — Waste Management, Climate Change, Sustainability, Youth Development, and gender — this youth-led organization assists numerous schools and organizations, and communities in achieving their environmental and sustainable development objectives.

“ZWL’s vision is to create many more schools that serve as waste management models and transform youth leaders into sustainability leaders. ZWL will continue to provide learning and development opportunities for youth,” Ms. Souksaveuy told the Laotian Times about her hope for youth engagement in Laos to tackle waste management.

The Women of the Future Program is a platform that fosters a culture of generosity and collaboration among leaders to support and recognize the achievements of women.