Roots of Peace founder/CEO Heidi Kuhn to receive honorary degree from American University of Afghanistan in ceremony featuring former first ladies Laura Bush and Hillary Rodham Clinton
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November 08, 2022— Roots of Peace is pleased to announce that Founder and CEO Heidi Kuhn will receive an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Humane Letters from the American University of Afghanistan on November 14th.
In a dinner chaired by Former First Lady Laura Bush and Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton, Heidi will join an impressive list of 2022 honorees, including legendary journalists Christiane Amanpour of CNN, Pamela Constable of the Washington Post, Carlotta Gall of the New York Times, as well as Major General Roberta L. Shea. Each of the recipients are being recognized for their contributions to the plight of Afghan citizens.
“I am deeply humbled to receive the honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters, in the company of a group of such highly accomplished women– all of whom have done incredible work advancing the plight of Afghan citizens,”Said Heidi Kuhn.
“This recognition takes on special meaning when you take into account the incredible work that The American University of Afghanistan has done in the last year to provide Afghan women a quality college education, under near-impossible circumstances. Together, we stand in solidarity with Afghan women.”
The American University of Afghanistan (AUAF) is a global university. Since August 2021, several hundred students have been relocated to host campuses around the world. The AUAF serves as a beacon of educational quality and academic freedom for young Afghan women and men who are unable to leave Afghanistan.
The American University of Afghanistan continues to educate women and girls in Afghanistan, with 200 females in the freshman class who are taking classes remotely from the safety of their home throughout the country. In addition, AUAF is building bridge programs to enable high school seniors who have lost a year of school, to complete their high school education. AUAF serves as a beacon of hope for Afghan women and men who are unable to leave Afghanistan.
Leslie M. Schweitzer, Founder & Chair, Friends of American University of Afghanistan (FAUAF), said that the event must serve as a reminder of conditions for students in Afghanistan, and why helping them is so incredibly important.
“For twenty-some years we dedicated American lives and resources to support the empowerment of women and girls in Afghanistan. Now it seems that America has forgotten about Afghanistan. It is our moral responsibility to not forget these amazing resilient women and girls who hunger for an education. We cannot forget, we must not forget. Education will Prevail.“Leslie M. Schweitzer, Founder & Chair, Friends of American University of Afghanistan (FAUAF)
Roots of Peace has operated in Afghanistan for over 20 years, during which time it has facilitated the export of fresh fruits, nuts and spices to markets around the world, contributing to the increase in Afghan agricultural exports from $250 million in 2014 to over $1.4 billion in 2020.
Roots of Peace’s award-winning methodology is rooted in building a business model for peace: providing market-driven solutions tailored to rural communities in war-torn lands and serving as a catalyst for industry-wide development across the world. The Taliban Takeover of Afghanistan took place on August 15, 2021, thrusting Roots of Peace, an U.S. based NGO, and hundreds of organizations into confusion and fear. Yet, one year later, this woman-led humanitarian organization has managed to overcome daunting obstacles in their mission to cultivate peace through agriculture, by overseeing a bountiful harvest in 2021 and planting over 1.1 million fruit trees in Afghanistan in Spring 2022.
Heidi Kuhn is available for comment in advance of this momentous November 14th event in Washington DC.
For more information, please reach out to James Faccinto of Full Complement Communications at James@full-complement.com
About Roots of Peace
For the past 25 years, Roots of Peace has worked in war-torn countries around the world to remove the remnants of war, landmines and unexploded ordinances, and restore the land in order to rebuild peaceful communities for generations to come.
More than 500 million smallholder farming households across the world live on less than $2 a day. Building a sustainable, regenerative source of income that gives families livelihoods and stability is one of the most pressing issues to 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 and the remnants of war, Roots of Peace frees land held hostage by unrest. In Afghanistan, it has facilitated the export of fresh fruits, nuts and spices to markets around the world, contributing to the increase in Afghan agricultural exports from $250 million in 2014 to over $1.4 billion in 2020. Roots of Peace’s award-winning methodology is rooted in building a business model for peace: providing market-driven solutions tailored to rural communities in war-torn lands and serving as a catalyst for industry-wide development across the world.
For more info and the chance to donate to Roots of Peace, click here.
About American University of Afghanistan
The American University of Afghanistan (AUAF) was founded in 2006 as Afghanistan’s first private, not-for-profit, co-educational, non-sectarian institution of higher learning. From a first
cohort of 50 male students and one female student, AUAF’s enrollment grew to twenty times that size, including nearly half women and representing all 34 provinces and all facets of Afghan life. Our 1,750 graduates include more Fulbright recipients by percentage than any other university in the world and constitute the leading voices of their generation.
AUAF continues to offer a world-class education through online classes to students in Afghanistan. These young scholars and future leaders courageously pursue degrees in business, information technology, political science, and law. In addition, AUAF is pursuing a bridge program to rebuild the path to higher education for girls barred from high school. STM
boot camps for high school girls are being offered to girls all over the country.
These students in Afghanistan all embrace the basic tenets of an American style of education, freedom of speech, and critical thinking. Yet today, they face threatening challenges since the fall of Afghanistan to the Taliban in August 2021.
Never has the pursuit of knowledge been more courageous, and never has a body of students been more deserving of support. More information on the American University of Afghanistan can be found here.
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