Kommaly Chanthavong wins award!
From The Source scarves are made by organisations that make a real difference to people's lives such as Phontong Handicrafts in Laos. This year Kommaly Chanthavong, the founder of Mulberries, Camacrafts, and Phontong Handicraft Cooperative in Laos, was one of the honoured recipients of the International Women of Courage Awards. This is an acknowledgement of her fantastic work providing training and employment opportunities to women in Laos.
United Sates Ambassador to Laos Karen B. Stewart’s remarks on the award: “As the world marks On this 100th anniversary of International Woman’s Day, it is important to recognize that women globally have made significant gains. Secretary Hillary Clinton will participate in celebration in Washington, D.C. with First Lady Michelle Obama to announce the International Women of Courage Awards to 10 honorees from around the globe.
"The recipients represent the women who work in their countries against corruption and injustice, and who find for human rights, good governance and economic opportunity. They are agents of change. Overcoming poverty, discrimination, and violence, the honorees not only champion the rights of women and girls, but also serve as inspiration to us all.”
The organisations founded by Kommaly are committed to increasing and stabilising the livelihood of Lao villagers through the renewal and support of traditional Lao handicrafts. Phontong Handicrafts was founded in 1976 when Kommaly was one of many internally displaced people living in Laos. Kommaly’s vision is to expand the benefits of the PHC to poorer areas of Laos (Kommaly herself came from the poorest region in the North).