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Roots of Peace Celebrates Ten Years of Planting Peace at the Embassy of Afghanistan

The Embassy of Afghanistan hosted a prestigious reception to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Roots of Peace on February 27. Roots of Peace is a humanitarian organization dedicated to eradicating landmines worldwide, restoring dignity to the victims of landmines, and rehabilitating minefields into prosperous farmland. The reception featured a feast of Afghan cuisine and was attended by numerous foreign dignitaries, Administration officials and Washington insiders, including Congressman Ed Royce of California; Mr. David Manning, Ambassador of the United Kingdom; Ms. Claudie Fritsche, Ambassador of Lichtenstein; Ambassador Samir Sumaidaie, Ambassador of Iraq, Dr. Hussein Hassouna, Ambassador of the Arab League; Mr. José Octavio Bordón, Ambassador of Argentina; Ambassador Karl Inderfurth; Ms. Susan Eisenhower; and Sandy Herz, Vice President, Marketing & Communications of the Skoll Foundation.

In Afghanistan, over 60 people a month are killed or maimed by landmine or unexploded ordnance. Approximately ten million landmines lurk beneath Afghanistan’s often stunning terrain. Thanks to Roots of Peace, over 10,000 Afghan farmers have been trained to grow grapes and raisins—alternative agricultural crops to poppies—and 100,000 landmines and unexploded ordinances have been removed from the once fertile Shomali Plains. Afghan farmers are now replacing the scourge of landmines with the nectar of fresh grapes and pomegranates and reclaiming the “Garden of Central Asia” for future generations.

Mrs. Heidi Kuhn, guest of honor and Founder and CEO of Roots of Peace announced that Roots of Peace would continue to turn “mines into vines” in Afghanistan and other countries afflicted by landmines. Ambassador Said T. Jawad thanked Ms. Kuhn for her dedication to a mine-free Afghanistan. “Since we last gathered together to celebrate the work of Roots of Peace in 2005, so many mines have been uprooted, so many lives have been saved, so many farmers have been given a new chance, so many orchards have been planted, and so many children have been given the greatest gift of all: a future,” he said.

“I have seen the results of their hard work with my own eyes, the smiles on the faces of children, the bountiful orchards, the fresh grapes and melons, and the gratitude of farmers for being given the chance to provide for their families,” said Mrs. Shamim Jawad, Founder of AYENDA: The Afghan Children’s Initiative. Remarks were followed by the debut of a short fill funded by the Skoll Foundation featuring the October 2006 visit to the Shomali Plains by Mrs. Shamim Jawad and Mrs. Heidi Kuhn—following the footsteps of an Afghan and American mother who are removing landmines and establishing vineyards, schools and soccer fields.

Please click here to learn more about Roots of Peace

 

   

   

 

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