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Heidi Kuhn Receives Prestigious Mother Teresa Award in India

World Food Prize 2023 Laureate Restores Peace Through Agriculture Worldwide

Mumbai, India November 27, 2023 – The Harmony Foundation presented the prestigious Mother Teresa Memorial Award for Social Justice to Ms. Heidi Kuhn, Founder, Roots of Peace, in tribute to her work as a global peacemaker BY replacing the explosive remnants of war caused by landmines with sustainable agriculture fields.

Her award was presented at The Taj Hotel Santacruz in Mumbai, India and is especially meaningful, as this date is referred to as 26/11 Mumbai attacks, honoring the martyrs and all those who tragically lost their lives in the midst of a terrorist attack fifteen years ago on November 26, 2008.

This date represents resilience, as Roots of Peace also suffered a terrorist attack in 2014 and overcame the obstacles to stand in solidarity with the Afghan farmers where she CONTINUES TO proudly work today to cultivate a ‘Harvest of Hope’ for families living on war-torn lands.

Dr. Abraham Mathai, Founder Chairman of the Harmony Foundation, commented,

“Heidi Kuhn’s work through Roots of Peace perfectly embodies the spirit of the Mother Teresa Memorial Awards. Her commitment to replacing the scars of war with the seeds of hope is a remarkable example of ‘Humanity in Action.’ We are honored to acknowledge her dedication to creating a more peaceful and prosperous world.”

Upon receiving the Mother Teresa Memorial Award, Ms. Kuhn took immediate action by calling forth a Roots of Peace Garden Campaign to cultivate peace through agriculture—leading with the ‘shovel’ not the ‘sword’. 

She quoted the words of Saint Mother Teresa, “Not all of us can do great things, but we may do small things with great love.”

“Removing a landmine and planting a fruit tree is an act of peace,” stated Heidi Kuhn. “Yet, our Roots of Peace Garden campaign goes one step further by planting millions of fruit trees throughout India and worldwide, and thereby restores the lungs of Mother Earth with climate smart agriculture.”

With the backdrop of escalating conflict worldwide, Kuhn called forth the students at Wilson College in Mumbai, to join her in an act of peace that may ripple worldwide.

“To plant a seed requires that we fall to our knees, touch the ground, and nurture both the soil and soul,” stated Kuhn. 

“As bombs fall from the sky in so many nations, we as humans must fall to our knees, kiss the ground, and plant a flower, a tree or even an orchard, in an act of solidarity to heal the wounds of war.”

This simple concept of planting the Roots of Peace on Earth will go viral with social media hashtags: #rootsofpeace #foodprize23 

The meaning of Victory Gardens were wartime gardens during World War I and World War II.

Now, Roots of Peace Gardens are a proactive way to avert another World War III by inspiring backyard gardens to assist with the peace effort–a groundswell of planting seeds of life, benefiting human nutrition while enhancing carbon sequestration.

During this Season of Peace on Earth, San Francisco Rotarian Heidi Kuhn recalled the words of Rotary International President Gordon R. McInally, who said earlier this year, that “Peace is the soil where hope takes root”.  

She will travel this week to Calcutta to meet with Past Rotary International President Shekhar Metha and visit the Missionaries of Charity established by Mother Teresa as they engage Rotarians worldwide to follow her leadership by planting Roots of Peace Gardens at home and abroad.

Frank Yih, Past President of the Rotary Club of Shanghai, China and Founder of the HuaQiao Foundation embraced this idea, joining hands with Heidi to plant Rotary Roots of Peace Gardens in India and China—with the vision of bridging borders worldwide.

Currently there are more than 1.4 million Rotarians in over 46,000 Rotary Clubs and more than 200 countries and geographic areas worldwide. This Roots of Peace Garden appeal has the potential to go viral with the tools of social media in schools, churches, and family backyards.


Press Contact:  Adriana Aristizabal  +1 (917) 833-0103


For more than twenty five years, Roots of Peace has worked in war-torn countries around the world to remove the remnants of war, landmines and unexploded ordinance, and restore the land in order to rebuild peaceful communities for generations to come. Their award-winning methodology is rooted in a philosophy of providing market-driven solutions tailored to rural communities in war-torn lands, serving as a catalyst for industry-wide development.
With more than 500 million smallholder farming households representing a large proportion of the world’s poor who live on less than $2 a day, rebuilding a source of income that can sustain themselves and their families is one of the most pressing issues that must be addressed in post-conflict countries. With the help of Roots of Peace, farmers are addressing the key challenges to increased income by applying modern technology and farming techniques that result in increased yields and sustainability.
The Roots of Peace “Mines to Vines” approach has impacted over one million farmers and families. By removing landmines, the land is no longer held hostage by war. In Afghanistan, they have facilitated the export of fresh fruits, nuts and spices to new markets in India and U.A.E. and increased agricultural exports from $250 million in 2019 to over $1.4 billion in 2020. Their proven methodology is rooted in a philosophy of providing market driven solutions tailored to rural communities and serves as a catalyst for business development.
Roots of Peace has been recognized by governments and global organizations for their unique development model that incorporates best practices with local customs and cultures to achieve long lasting sustainable results.

For more information click here.


The Harmony Foundation is a non-profit organization based in Mumbai, India founded by Dr. Abraham Mathai in October 2005 that is very active and effective in the advancement of social justice in India through civil society initiatives. Society today needs peace, tolerance, equality, and social justice to function cohesively and to encourage inclusiveness. Considering this situation and to make this ideal a concrete and tangible reality, the Harmony Foundation hosts the prestigious Mother Teresa Memorial Awards for Social Justice annually to acknowledge and felicitate selfless individuals and organizations across the world who’ve excelled in this dimension and have imbibed the compassionate qualities of Mother Teresa. The award is an annual event that celebrates and commemorates the legacy of Mother Teresa and is the only one endorsed by the Superior General of the Missionaries of Charity, Kolkata. It was instituted in 2005 in memory of Mother Teresa, who was canonized a saint by Pope Francis in the Vatican. With a history of 18 years, Harmony Foundation’s prestigious awards are a globally acclaimed award that has earned the admiration of notable dignitaries, including government heads, Nobel Laureates, eminent prominent personalities, and organizations around the world who have received this award among other astounding recipients. Few of our past prominent awardees include Nobel Laureates such as H.H. the Dalai Lama, Ms. Malala Yousafzai, Mr. Kailash Satyarthi, Ms. Tawakkol Karman, UNHCR, Médecins Sans Frontières; government heads like Ghanaian President H.E. Nana Akufo-Addo Prime Minister of Denmark H.E. Mette Frederiksen (received the award on behalf of Denmark) Former Prime Minister of Malaysia H.E. Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, Prime Minister of the UAE H.H. Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum; prominent changemakers like renowned actress Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Dr. Nashwa Al Ruwaini (CEO – Pyramedia – the Oprah of the Middle East), Sudha Murthy (Indian educator, author and philanthropist), Vikas Khanna  (Indian chef, restaurateur, cookbook writer, filmmaker and humanitarian), Dr. Oby Ezekwesili (Nigerian Presidential Candidate – 2019 & Founder – Bring Back Our Girls) among others.

To know more about the Harmony Foundation, click here.

The Harmony Foundation passionately upholds Mother Teresa’s legacy, fostering compassion, peace, and support for those in need. The Foundation’s commitment honors her vision of a more compassionate world, realized through different initiatives.

The Foundation’s unique initiatives include:

  • Successfully Fought a Custody Case for a Minor Girl, securing her custody for her Maternal Grandmother  from a religious radical paternal household: anny/articleshow/62479455.cms

  • Financial Support for Healthcare for the underprivileged
  • Financial Support for Education for the underprivileged
  • Rescue Operations of Trafficked Women and Children
  • Celebrating The Birth of Girl Child
  • Initiatives for Afghan Refugee Children in New Delhi
  • Initiatives During Covid


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