Samir Lakhani and the Eco-Soap Bank



This Sunday, they’ll announce the CNN Hero of the year.

Samir Lakhani, is one of the 10 nominees for this year’s award – in recognition of his work in saving, sanitizing and supplying soap to schools, health clinics and communities in need. To date, Eco-Soap Bank has provided soap to more than 661,000 individuals.

And Samir, is only 24.


Show Summary

Samir Lakhani noticed that most of the locals in the Cambodian village he was working in, were frequently falling ill. He also discovered that mothers would bathe their young children using detergent. Why? Because they couldn’t afford soap.

So he set out to find a solution – one that wouldn’t cost the villagers anything. And his solution came from where he was staying at the time. In a villa/hotel, where he discovered that every day, the cleaners would come in and during their routine cleanup of his room, take away his barely used soap and replace it with a brand new one.

Listen to how Samir eventually launched the Eco-Soap Bank which as of Nov 2017, has saved, sanitized and supplied soap to over 661,000 individuals in developing countries

Our Guest:

Samir Lakhani has dedicated his life and work to restoring health and dignity to people in developing countries and for a number of years worked in the non-profit areas of nutrition, water accessibility and sanitation hygiene and also in the past developed solar lighting solutions for villages in Cambodia, Bangladesh and Nepal. Deeply involved in aquaqulture and nutrition work i the northern villages of Cambodia – that’s where he was inspired to start the Eco-Soap Bank in 2014, whose mission is to save, sanitise and supply recycled soap to the developing world.


Key Takeaways

  • Remember that everyday you wash your hand, you’re actually protecting yourself from disease.
  • Soap is a non-renewable resource that people from developing countries consider a luxury.
  • To begin on an idea or initiative, don’t be afraid to start small.
  • People will definitely rally behind you if they know the person who is leading the charge. Most people donate to people more so than they donate to causes or ideas.


  • Eco-Soap Bank – Eco-Soap Bank is a humanitarian and environmental non-profit organization working to save, sanitize, and supply recycled hotel soap for the developing world.
  • CNN Heroes page – donations through the CNN Heroes page will help them advance to the next round of funding to support their mission.


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