In October we told you a story about Tran Van Hoan, a 17-year-old boy who had been hit by a landmine in Quang Tri Province, Vietnam. Hoan was riding his bicycle when the chain came off. He picked up what he thought was a rock beside the road to pound the chain back in, but it was a bomb. It exploded taking his eye, his hand and leaving him with severe burns. Founder/CEO Heidi Kuhn visited Hoan while he was in the hospital and it is with great sadness that we report that Hoan recently passed away from complications caused by his injuries.

It is stories like Hoan’s the remind us how critically important our work is here at Roots of Peace. In Quang Tri Province, 80% of the land is still contaminated by landmines and other unexploded ordinances left over from the war. Farmers and children are often injured, if not killed, after stumbling upon these relics of combat. And beyond that, these remnants of war hold the land hostage, causing livelihoods to suffer the cycle of poverty to be perpetuated.

During this time of great sadness for the loss of Hoan, we find strength to continue to heal the wounds of war and plant the roots of peace. It is our hope that one day innocent lives will not be lost because of the legacy of a war decades over. We will continue our work to improve livelihoods through agriculture so that farmers, their families and innocent people like Hoan can live on their land in peace.