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Mother Teresa Memorial Awards for Social Justice 2023 Will Be Presented To Heidi Kuhn, Founder of Roots of Peace

International Day of Charity features the ‘Mother Teresa & Me’ Film at the United Nations

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

NEW YORK CITY, September 5, 2023 — The world-renowned Mother Teresa Memorial Awards for Social Justice will spotlight Heidi Kuhn, Founder of Roots of Peace, during the celebration of the United Nations International Day of Charity at the United Nations’ Headquarters in New York which will be hosted by Thierry Cagianut, President of the Zariya Foundation. The award-winning film ‘Mother Teresa & Me‘ by Kamal Musale, inspired by the life of Mother Teresa, will have its US Premiere at the event. The event is held in association with UNITAR, UNICEF, and UNESCO.

In a poignant tribute coinciding with Mother Teresa’s passing anniversary on September 5, 1997, Heidi Kuhn will be honored for her exceptional vision. In 1997, following the tragic deaths of Princess Diana and Mother Teresa, Kuhn embarked on a mission to transform ‘MINES TO VINES,’ replacing landmines with flourishing vineyards and orchards worldwide. Over the past 25 years, she has made a profound impact, facilitating the removal of hundreds of thousands of landmines and planting millions of fruit trees in war-torn lands, cultivating peace through agriculture. Her relentless humanitarian efforts are in harmony with Mother Teresa’s words,

“What can you do to promote world peace? Go home and love your family.”

Mother Teresa

The Harmony Foundation, based in Mumbai, India, will officially announce the Mother Teresa Award Memorial Awards for Social Justice 2023. Dr. Abraham Mathai (Founder – Chairman, Harmony Foundation), remarked:

“Given her tireless efforts in founding Roots of Peace, which has truly made a remarkable difference in communities ravaged by conflict and violence, Ms. Heidi Kuhn has managed to create sustainable economic opportunities in war-torn regions, empowering local farmers and enabling them to support their families and communities. In view of the same, the Harmony Foundation is greatly delighted to announce that Ms. Heidi Kuhn is one of our esteemed recipients of the prestigious award this year on the theme of Humanity in Action“.

Dr. Abraham Mathai

The award ceremony is scheduled to be held in the second week of November this year.

Notable Past Awardees:

The Mother Teresa Memorial Awards for Social Justice has been previously received by, worldwide organizations, Nobel Laureates, world leaders, luminaries including Dr. Oby Ezekwesili (Nigerian Presidential Candidate – 2019 & Founder- Bring Back Our Girls), Nobel Laureates like the UNHCR– The Refugee Agency, H.H. the Dalai Lama, Ms. Malala Yousufzai (the Nobel laureate who has become a global icon for the education of the girl child), Médecins Sans Frontières; Mr. Kailash Satyarthi (prominent Indian Social Reformer), Ms. Tawakkol Karman (Yemeni Nobel Laureate, journalist, politician, and human rights activist); Nation Premiers like Ghanaian President H.E. Nana Akufo-Addo, former Prime Minister of Malaysia H.E. Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, H.H. Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan (UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs & Intl Cooperation), Prime Minister of Denmark H.E. Mette Frederiksen (received the award on behalf of Denmark), Prime Minister of the UAE H.H. Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum; Baroness Caroline Cox (former Deputy Speaker of the United Kingdom & House of Lords), Prominent actress Priyanka Chopra (UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador), Dr. Nashwa Al Ruwaini (CEO – Pyramedia – the Oprah of the Middle East), Ms. Laila Talo Khudher Alali (Yazidi victim of the ISIS onslaught), Dr. Anthony Fauci (Former Chief Medical Advisor to the President of the United States), Ms. Taban Shoresh (Founder, The Lotus Flower), Ms. Yasmine Sherif (Director ECW, United Nations) received the award on behalf of Education Cannot Wait (United Nations global fund for education in emergencies and protracted crises) among others.

Nobel laureates, heads of state, and governments have all graced the stage to receive this prestigious award, and it is with great honor that Heidi Kuhn joins this esteemed list. Her dedication to creating a compassionate and selfless world has set a powerful example for others to follow.

‘Mother Teresa & Me’ was awarded BEST FILM at the International Festival Mirabile Dictu in Rome. The film will open in theatres nationwide on October 5, 2023.


The Harmony Foundation is a non-profit organization based in Mumbai, India, founded in October 2005 by Dr. Abraham Mathai to establish social cohesion between various communities and castes and work towards the benefit of all the communities without any discrimination as to religion, caste, creed, gender, or region. The raison d’etre of this foundation was necessitated by the fact that we are presently living in a very turbulent period in the history of mankind wherein many wicked acts are being perpetrated under the guise of political, economic, and religious reasons that have long-term implications for the peaceful co-existence of human society.

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. The revered saint, Mother Teresa, is the epitome and personification of absolute selflessness in the service of alleviating the plight of suffering humanity and continues to inspire people across the world. For the past 18 years, the Harmony Foundation has felicitated outstanding individuals, organizations, leaders, heads of state, and Nobel Laureates with the award for their exemplary achievements toward accelerating social justice and following the compassionate legacy of Mother Teresa.


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 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.

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

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