Turning ‘Mines to Vines’—Minefields into Vineyards—In Ukraine
Roots of Peace Announces Landmark Partnership with Rotary E-Club of Ukraine to Eradicate Landmines/UXO Amid Current Conflict
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Friday, December 2– Napa Valley, California– Roots of Peace, a humanitarian non-profit organization, is pleased to announce the first MINES TO VINES program in Ukraine—transforming minefields into vineyards on former war-torn lands. The Rotary E-Club of Ukraine will partner with Roots of Peace to remove landmines in the Mykloaiv region of Ukraine, where winemakers have cultivated vineyards for thousands of years. Today, these vineyards yield the perils of landmines due to the recent invasion in February 2022, where the land is now held hostage by lethal landmines and explosive remnants of war.
The announcement will be livestreamed globally on Friday December 2 @ 1pm PST
“As almost 30 percent of the territory of Ukraine remain contaminated with Russian mines, it our strong belief that with Roots for Peace’s support the demining process in Ukraine will be performed quickly and effectively, bringing back normal life to our people, who suffered from this war of Russian aggression so far.”Said Dmytro Kushneruk, the San Francisco Consul General of Ukraine.
The program will be formally announced on December 2nd and 3rd at Grgich Hills Estate in Napa Valley, California, at the inaugural “Festival of the Bells” in support of the ongoing work of Roots of Peace. The 2022’s Festival is a celebration of the 25th Anniversary of the Signing of the Ottawa Treaty to Ban Landmines. To date, Roots of Peace has removed over 100,000 landmines/UXO and planted over seven (7) million fruit trees—cultivating peace through agriculture worldwide. The panels of December 2nd are to be livestreamed at this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=owao-iqoeK8
Violet Grgich, President, Grgich Hills Estate, will partner with Roots of Peace CEO Heidi Kuhn to lead a global campaign to eradicate landmines/UXO from Ukraine and plant sustainable peace through agriculture. In 1997, Heidi Kuhn personally attended this historic Ottawa Treaty signing along with three California vintners (Mondavi, Beringer and Wente) with a vision to turn MINES TO VINES—replacing minefields with vineyards.
“I’ve walked the minefields of the world, and Roots of Peace has had programs in each of them, including Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Afghanistan, Angola, Azerbaijan, Vietnam, and The Holy Land. Now we are scaling up to the minefields of Ukraine– which was once the breadbasket of Europe, and now faces widespread landmine use by Russia.”Said Heidi Kuhn.
Ambassador Kenneth Quinn, the former American ambassador to Cambodia, said that:
“Having personally confronted the devastating threat of landmines both as a young Foreign Service officer deployed in combat zones in Vietnam, I was deeply moved 50 years later to walk the still dangerous minefields in Quang Tri Province with Heidi Kuhn and see the powerful impact of Roots of Peace programs to build Peace Through Agriculture, an effort that we now need to emulate in Ukraine by merging two remarkable global forces for change– Rotary and Roots of Peace.”
The weekend’s programs are as follows:
On December 2, 2022 at 1:00pm/PST, Grgich Hills Estate will host a VIP panel discussion to commemorate the 25th Anniversary of the signing of the Ottawa Treaty to Ban Landmines, with the goal of raising worldwide awareness and funds.
Global dignitaries will gather in a series of panel discussions to raise global awareness regarding the 60 million landmines that remain in the soil of 60 countries worldwide– over 25 years after 162 countries signed the Ottawa Treaty. Confirmed speakers include Ambassador Kenneth Quinn, President Emeritus, The World Food Prize; Ambassador Khazar Ibrahim of Azerbaijan; Dmytro Kushneruk, SF Consul General of Ukraine and others. This panel discussion will be LIVE streamed. Media/Press invited to attend at Grgich Hills Estate, 1829 St. Helena Highway, Rutherford, California.
On December 3, 2022 (3:00pm—6:00pm) ‘The Festival of the Bells’ will ring in the Season of Peace at Grgich Hills Estate with performances by the San Francisco Opera, Music in the Vineyards, activities for children and the lighting of the Christmas Tree as a benefit for Roots of Peace, and their goal to turn MINES TO VINES in Ukraine. Tickets to this event can be purchased at https://www.grgich.com/.
Grgich Hills Estate and other Napa Valley wineries have supported and promoted the work of Roots of Peace over the past 25 years. As farmers these groups stand in solidarity with the global farming family and the dignity of their work that is rooted in care for the land and its communities. These values are aligned with Roots of Peace’s values of Peace through Agriculture.
In May 2000, Miljenko ‘Mike’ Grgich, age 99, joined Heidi Kuhn, CEO, Roots of Peace, on a U.S. Department of State delegation to visit his beloved homeland where there were an estimated 1.2 million landmines/UXO due to the ravages of The Balkan War. Through their leadership, bountiful vineyards on former war-torn lands were revived. Today, Croatia is one of the top tourist destinations in the world.
In December 1997, three California vintners joined Heidi Kuhn to witness the signing of the Ottawa Treaty to Ban Landmines—Robert Mondavi (Canada), Tor Kenward (Beringer) and Eric Wente (Wente Vineyards). This humanitarian delegation traveled as ‘farmers’ respecting the plight of farmers worldwide who suffer the perils of landmines beneath their plow. Today, there are an estimated 60 million landmines in 60 countries.
Today, over a quarter of a century later, landmines are actively being laid in Ukraine which was once dubbed the ‘Breadbasket of Europe’ obstructing food security in the region.
As Roots of Peace celebrates its 25th Anniversary this year, it looks back on the successful facilitation of the removal of millions of landmines worldwide. It has planted over six (6) million fruit trees, providing food security in war-torn lands. Millions of farmers and families have benefited from the dream of turning MINES TO VINES. This December 2022 event will reaffirm its commitment to cultivating a sustainable peace through agriculture across all borders.
For media inquiries about this event and momentous partnership, 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 GRGICH HILLS ESTATE WINERY
Family-owned and operated since 1977, Grgich Hills Estate is devoted to the art of winemaking and organic and regenerative farming. Today, we pursue the same vision of winemaking, cultivation, and hospitality passed down for generations. Visit our Rutherford winery, home to award-winning wines, renowned for their elegance, balance, and food-friendliness, for a seated tasting of our current releases. For more information, please visit www.grgich.com.
ABOUT ROTARY E-CLUB Of UKRAINE
We are the first web based Ukrainian Rotary club with operations supported by web technologies and electronic communications. Our Club is just like any traditional Rotary club. The only difference is that members meet online to coordinate service projects and enjoy fellowship with like minded Rotarians. The mission of Rotary e-Club Ukraine is to connect, inform, inspire and involve members in Service Above Self from around the world. More information can be found at http://rotaryeclubukraine.org/.