• Awarded: 2006
  • Issue Areas: Peace · Peace and Human Rights
  • Region: Central and Southern Asia · Europe · Middle East and North Africa · Southeast Asia
  • Web:
  • About the Organization

    Roots of Peace works to restore economic vitality by creating livelihood opportunities in post-conflict regions. They help some of the world’s most vulnerable local economies to recover after conflict.

    Roots of Peace supports individuals and communities to revitalize businesses and livelihoods by removing remnants of war, providing access to resources, building local capacity, and facilitating market linkages.

    Roots of Peace transforms minefields into thriving farmland. Landmines and other live munitions contaminate many areas of post-conflict developing countries and are often detonated by unsuspecting farmers or children. Roots of Peace works with local governments and other demining partners to safely remove leftover munitions and return the land to arability.

    But they don’t stop there. Landmines impede a country’s economic recovery and development, so Roots of Peace offers a comprehensive approach to restoring agricultural communities to self-sufficiency. They help stabilize the economy by giving people the means to produce, distribute, and sell products. Their programs grow economies and create food security for farmers, as well as the local and global economies.

    Landmines cause as many as 20,000 deaths and injuries each year.

    ROP's demine-replant-rebuild frameworkrestores land to productivity (“from mines to vines”), then engages rural communities in income-generating programs.

    Heidi Kühn's ambition is that areas ravaged by war and landmines become safe and fruitful homes for people and wildlife.

    ROP benefited more than a million farmers in the decade 2004-2014.

    Ambition for Change

    War-torn areas ravaged by landmines become safe zones for people, for wildlife, and for income-generating, self-sustaining agricultural.

    Path to Scale

    Program Growth

    Local programs are nurtured until they become self sufficient, at which point ROP moves on to launch programs in new areas.

    Business Model

    Partnerships with development agencies, supplemented by philanthropic support

    In the midst of a career in business and journalism, while raising three children, Heidi Kühn was diagnosed with cancer. Following treatment, she decided to express her appreciation for the gift of life by helping the less fortunate and living close to and nurturing the land. Inspired by the campaign to ban and remove land mines, she founded Roots of Peace (ROP) in 1997 in her family home. ROP developed a “demine-replant-rebuild” framework that begins with restoring the land to productivity (“from mines to vines”). ROP then creates income-generating programs for rural communities and guides them until they are sustainable, resilient, self-sufficient, and able to grow independently, building foundations for stability and peace. At the time of the Award, ROP had carried out its programs in Afghanistan, Croatia, and Angola, removing more than 100,000 landmines in Afghanistan alone. It reported that 80,000 Afghan farmers had increased their income by an equivalent of 0.7 percent of Afghanistan’s GDP.

    Impact & Accomplishments

    • New program development in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Cambodia, Iraq, the Kyrgyz Republic, Vietnam, and the West Bank.
    • ROP reports that it has benefited more than one million farmers in the decade 2004-2014.
    • In Afghanistan, 5,908 jobs were created and sales from increased exports of fruit exceeded $6,000,000 in 2014.
    • In Vietnam, 1,500 farmers are doubling their income in Quang Tri Province producing and marketing black pepper, cacao, and cashews.
    • Five schools have been built through worldwide “pennies for peace” campaigns.


    Heidi KuhnFounder and CEO, Roots of Peace
    Tucker KuhnDirector of Operations, Roots of Peace

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