Hope and Renewal in the Face of a Tragedy

Founder Heidi Kuhn became gravely aware of landmines, and their lasting effects on economies, upon the tragic death of Princess Diana in 1997. Motivated by the Princess’s compassion and commitment to global demining, Kuhn began Roots of Peace in honor of Diana’s memory and to ensure that her work would continue. Heidi’s vision was to turn MINES TO VINES  by replacing the scourge of landmines with bountiful vineyards worldwide. Initial support from the California wine industry helped turn Heidi’s dreams into a reality.

With funding from the public and private sector and countless generous donors, Roots of Peace has worked in numerous continents to bring economic empowerment to populations living in post-conflict regions. We have raised both awareness and funds to remove one million landmines and unexploded ordnance’s worldwide and plant over five million trees to give farmers access to land that was previously deemed too dangerous to develop. To ensure economic development, we work beyond demining and assist farmers so that they have the tools and resources to grow, market and sell their products effectively and efficiently. We bring dignity to farmers and families living on war-torn lands for future generations to thrive.

Timeline

  • Sep 1997
    MINES TO VINES™ Toast
    Heidi and Gary Kuhn host California Commonwealth Club reception at their home for Jerry White, Mary Wareham, General Robert Gard, Caleb Rossiter to honor the death of Princess Diana of Wales who sought to eradicate landmines worldwide.
  • Dec 1997
    Ottawa Treaty to Ban Landmines
    Three California Vintners (Tor Kenward, Eric Wente & Robert Mondavi Winery) join Heidi Kuhn to witness historic signing in Canada to eradicate landmines.
  • Apr 1998
    Roots of Peace Launched at World Trade Club
    Roots of Peace launched by Mrs. Nane Annan, Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, ICBL Nobel Peace Prize Recipients, at the World Trade Club in San Francisco, CA.
  • May 1999
    Robert Mondavi Hosts Roots of Peace Gala Fundraiser
    $30,000 raised to begin work in Dragalic, Croatia.
  • Dec 1999
    Secretary of State, Madeline Albright invites Heidi Kuhn as SPEAKER for PM/WRA Dinner
    U.S. Department of State features Roots of Peace MINES TO VINES initiative at the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs (PM),Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement (WRA).
  • May 2000
    U.S. Department of State Mission to Croatia
    Heidi Kuhn and Mijlenko (Mike) Grgich in front of Grgic Vina.Napa Valley Vintner Miljenko 'Mike' Grgich (Grgich Hills Estate) and Sonoma Vintner, Judy Jordan (J Wine) join Heidi Kuhn and daughter, Kyleigh Kuhn, age 13, to visit Croatian minefields.
  • Jun 2000
    U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan Keynote Speaker at Roots of Peace Reception
    Silicon Valley leaders & California Vintners gather in Palo Alto for MINES TO VINES™ reception.  
  • Jul 2000
    Completes 2nd Demining Effort in Serbia and Croatia
  • Jan 2001
    Presents Awareness Campaign Materials to U.S. State Dept.
    Washington, D.C.: Roots of Peace delegation presents awareness campaign materials to U.S. State Department—helping establish a joint partnership.
  • Apr 2001
    Erika Hills, Grgich Hills Estate, hosts Hermes of Paris Luncheon supporting Roots of Peace
    Dede Wilsey donates $100,000 for Croatia and Diane Disney Miller donates $100,000 for Afghanistan.
  • May 2001
    Miljenko ‘Mike’ Grgich 25th Anniversary of Paris Tasting Designates Roots of Peace Charity
    Mike GrgichOver 60 Napa Valley vintners host.
  • Sep 2001
    Heidi Kuhn, and son, Brooks Kuhn, age 18, fly from Croatia through JFK
  • Sep 2001
    9/11 Attacks
  • Dec 2001
    Secretary of State Colin Powell invites Roots of Peace to U.S. State Department Dinner
    Chevron Corporation donates $30,000 to Roots of Peace for Battambang, Cambodia.
  • Jan 2002
    Launches MINES TO VINES™ Campaign for Afghanistan
    Heidi Kuhn working with HALORoots of Peace partners with United Nations Mine Action Group (UNMAS) to remove landmines in the Shomali Plains of Afghanistan. Partners $250,000 with The Halo Trust for demining.
  • Aug 2002
    Completes First Demining-Replant Project in Cambodia
  • Jan 2003
    USAID/RAMP grant $6 million to Roots of Peace for replanting in Afghanistan
    Rapid Agriculture Marketing Program (RAMP), USAID program, implemented by Roots of Peace.
  • May 2003
    Roots of Peace “Pennies for Peace” Campaign
    The founders of the Roots of Peace Penny Campaign: ABC7 News Anchor Cheryl Jennings, Heidi Kuhn and Kyleigh Kuhn, at the Del Mar Middle School in Tiburon, CA, in September 2003.ABC7 News Anchor Cheryl Jennings, Heidi Kuhn, CEO and Kyleigh Kuhn partner.
  • Nov 2003
    Cluster Munition Coalition
    Launched by non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in November 2003, the CMC plays a crucial facilitating role in leading global civil society action in favor of the ban on cluster munitions. With campaign contacts in more than 100 countries, the CMC works for the full universalization and implementation of the Convention on Cluster Munitions.
  • May 2004
    U.S. Secretary of State, Colin Powell Honors “Pennies for Peace” Students
    Washington, D.C.: Secretary of State Colin Powell honors “Pennies for Peace” students from Marin County, California, for collecting $70,000 to demine schoolyards and soccer fields in three Afghan provinces.
  • Oct 2004
    CNN Joins Roots of Peace in Minefields of Croatia
    Reporter Alessio Vinci and Flavia Taggiasco cover Mother/Daughter MINES TO VINES story.
  • Nov 2004
    First Cold Storage Shipment From Afghanistan
    First Refrigerated Ground Shipment of Fresh Table Grapes to IndiaRoots of Peace ships 4 tons of fresh grapes from Kabul to Delhi-creating history as the first cold storage shipment from Afghanistan.
  • May 2005
    Diane Disney Miller donates $100,000 to turn MINES TO VINES™ near Vukovar, Croatia
    Roots of Peace launches their sixth Croatian demining project in Ilok, along a former Croatian and Serbian battlefront with CROMAC.
  • Jun 2005
    New Cold Storage Fruit Processing Center Established in Afghanistan
    Roots of Peace opens a new fruit processing center in the Shomali, north of Kabul in Afghanistan.
  • Aug 2005
    ABC7 News Anchor Cheryl Jennings visits Roots of Peace in Afghanistan
    Cheryl Jennings, ABC 7 News Anchor, and Heidi Kuhn visit the plant where prosthetic devices are made.
  • Sep 2005
    Robert & Margrit Mondavi Host Roots of Peace GALA at COPIA
    Roots of Peace 8th Anniversary hosted by legendary vintner Robert Mondavi.
  • Jan 2006
    National Orchard Program launched in Afghanistan
    Afghan Woman and Apricots35,000 Orchards established on former battlefields.
  • Mar 2006
    Oxford, England–Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship
    Skoll FoundationJeff Skoll presents Heidi Kuhn with Skoll Award honoring Roots of Peace.
  • Apr 2007
    New National Orchard Programs in Afghanistan
    Roots of Peace announces new national orchard programs in Afghanistan to plant nearly 2 million cherries, apricots, prunes, plums, apples, walnuts, and almonds trees throughout Kandahar, Badakhshan, and Jalalabad.
  • May 2007
    Queen Mary II hosts Roots of Peace ‘Cruise for Peace’ from NYC to South Hampton, England
    Her Majesty Queen Noor of Jordan and Miljenko 'Mike' Grgich receive Global Citizen Award.
  • Sep 2007
    Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Jody Williams joins Roots of Peace in Croatia
    President Stepan Mesic and Prime Minister Ivan Racan and Dijana Plestina lead the delegation.
  • Oct 2007
    Zagreb, Croatia–President Stepan Mesic hosts Roots of Peace
    Hollywood Actress Diane Baker presents $50,000 from Miljenko Grgich for demining.
  • Nov 2007
    President Hamid Karzai Welcomes Roots of Peace at Presidential Palace
    Heidi Kuhn and Shamim Jawad join efforts as American and Afghan mothers.
  • Feb 2008
    Hollywood Actress Diane Baker joins Roots of Peace in Afghanistan
    Visit to Mazar-e-Sharif, Samangan and Balkh provinces to meet with farmers.
  • Apr 2008
    Rotary Club of San Francisco #2, President John Hoch visits MINES TO VINES™ in Croatia
    Rotary Club of San Rafael and District #5150 contribute over $250,000 to Roots of Peace.
  • Jun 2008
    San Patrignano, Italy–Roots of Peace invited as Speaker
    Afghan traders feature dried fruits and saffron at largest slow food exhibition in Europe.
  • Mar 2009
    Leader Nancy Pelosi invites Heidi Kuhn to meet U.S. Congressional Delegation in Kabul
    Recognizing the work Roots of Peace as an outstanding example of positive change durning International Women's Day in Afghanistan.
  • Sep 2009
    Roots of Peace implements USAID program
  • Nov 2009
    Grand Opening of Mir Botcha Kot School ‘Diane Disney Miller’ Library and Computer Lab
    Ribbon cutting event—construction on the new Mir Botcha Kot School Library and Computer Lab is officiated by Brigadier General Barbara Faulkenberry and Afghan Governor.
  • Jan 2010
    Bam Saray School Completed in Afghanistan
    Construction on the new Bam Saray Girls High School in Bamyan is completed.
  • Feb 2010
    Receives Largest Government Grant to Non-governmental Organization
    San Rafael, California: Roots of Peace receives a $30.4 million grant from USAID—the largest grant ever given to a nongovernmental organization.
  • Mar 2010
    50 Million Pennies Raised for the Roots of Peace Penny Campaign
    San Rafael, California: The Roots of Peace Penny Campaign reaches the 50 Million penny mark—children worldwide have contributed to building new schools and soccer fields in Afghanistan.
  • May 2010
    Vietnamese Government (PACCOM) grants approval to Roots of Peace
    Roots of Peace turns MINES TO VINES in Binh Phouc—replacing minefields with cacao/cashew.
  • Jun 2010
    Israel and Palestine—Embarks upon new MINES TO VINES™ program in Middle-East
    Qasr el Yahud, Israel: Landmine survivors Jerry White and Daniel Yuval invite Heidi Kuhn to begin programs.
  • Aug 2010
    Historic Shipment of Afghan grapes to New Delhi, India
  • Nov 2010
    Roots of Peace hosts Daniel Yuval, age 10, landmine victim in Washington, D.C. and NYC
    Jerry White and Daniel Yuval meet with Senator John McCain--Receive Global Citizen Award.
  • Dec 2010
    Historical Pomegranates Shipment
    Kabul, Afghanistan: Roots of Peace, implementing USAID’s CHAMP program, exports the first-ever refrigerated pomegranates to Canada and Holland.
  • Mar 2011
    Project “Green Kabul”
    Kabul, Afghanistan: Project “Green Kabul”—Roots of Peace plants 15,000 pine trees throughout the city of Kabul, with funding from the U.S. Military.
  • Mar 2011
    Knesset unanimous vote for Landmine Removal in The Holy Land
    Qasr el Yahud, Israel: Roots of Peace works behind the scenes to help pass the historical Mine Action Law.
  • Mar 2011
    General John F. Campbell, ISAF, invites Roots of Peace to Bagram AFB
    Roots of Peace 'Green Kabul' plants 15,000 pine trees with DOD funding.
  • Sep 2011
    9/11—10 Year Tribute—Heidi Kuhn joins General Barbara Faulkenberry in Germany
    International Women's Forum (IWF) honors turning MINES TO VINES.
  • Nov 2011
    Roots of Peace GALA honors Margrit Mondavi and Daniel Yuval at Meadowood
    Napa Valley Film Festival partners with Roots of Peace.
  • Nov 2011
    Yountville, California—Roots of Peace Grove established at California Veterans Home
    November 11, 2011 (11-11-11) — Six Redwood Trees planted in tribute to landmine victims.
  • Dec 2011
    Roots of Peace invited to Bethlehem and Jerusalem
    40 Day trip—Shirley & Paul Dean,Owners, Spiriterra Vineyards, fund Husan Village.
  • Aug 2012
    Roots of Peace SHADE program in Vietnam trains 500 farmers on former battlefields
  • Jan 2013
    THE HOLY LAND—ABC7 News Anchor Cheryl Jennings and producer Rick Pettibone
    Visit Bethlehem, Tel Aviv and Jerusalem—turning MINES TO VINES™.
  • May 2013
    Landmines Removed in the fields of Bethlehem (Husan Village, Muslim community)
    Historic landmine removal with Israelis and Palestinians working together with QUADRO.
  • Feb 2014
    Roots of Peace Trains 3000 Afghan Women to grow grapes on former war-torn lands
    Al Jazeera News Reporter, Jennifer Glasse joins Roots of Peace in Shomali Plains.
  • Mar 2014
    Taliban Attack—Roots of Peace Compound, Kabul, Afghanistan
  • Nov 2014
    Roots of Peace turns MINES TO VINES™ in Quang Tri, Vietnam
    VTV4 Reports on success in former DMZ—planting black pepper on former battlefields.
  • Oct 2015
    Croatian President salutes Roots of Peace MINES TO VINES™ in Zagreb, Croatia
    Announces ALL vineyards demined, due to efforts by Miljenko 'Mike' Grgich 15 years ago.
  • Nov 2015
    Roots of Peace historic shipment of black pepper from Vietnam to U.S.A.
  • Dec 2015
    Washington, D.C.—Leader Nancy Pelosi hosts Roots of Peace at The Capitol
  • May 2016
    Napa Valley—Austin Hills, co-owner, Grgich Hills Estate, hosts Roots of Peace Fundraiser
  • Jan 2017
    Islamabad, Pakistan—Prime Minister Sharif of Pakistan hosts Gary and Heidi Kuhn
    DUNYA TV features Roots of Peace humanitarian efforts.
  • Feb 2017
    Bogota, Colombia—World Summit of Nobel Peace Prize Recipients
  • Apr 2017
    MAG invites Roots of Peace to Kensington Palace
    Prince Harry announces goal to eradicate all landmines by 2025.
  • May 2017
    The Vatican—Pope Francis receives Heidi Kuhn–presentation of ‘White Rose’
  • Sep 2017
    Over 80,000 tons of fresh fruit exported, valued at $100,000 impacting Afghan farmers
  • Sep 2017
    20th Anniversary of Roots of Peace—Walt Disney Family Museum
  • Dec 2017
    Rotary China, Mr. Frank Yih, donates $150,000 to Roots of Peace for Vietnam
  • Feb 2018
    Vancouver, Canada–Rotary Presidential Peacebuilding Conference

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