SALT LAKE CITY, Aug. 29, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- "As the world mourns, we are on the advent of the Labor Day weekend, reflecting on the shocking news to the world of the tragic death of the late Princess Diana of Wales and Dodi Al-Fayed, in a tunnel in Paris. For the families, a metaphorical landmine went off because of that deadly car crash." Heidi Kuhn, founder and CEO of Roots of Peace and mother of four, was deeply inspired by the legacy of the Princess in her last year of her life walking the minefields of Angola and Bosnia-Herzegovina.
Three weeks later on September 21, Kuhn was asked by the Commonwealth Club of San Francisco to host an event on landmines.
"I lifted up my glass with what was to be a prophetic toast: May the world go from mines to vines."
22 years later, there are still an estimated 60 million landmines in 60 countries.
Since then, Roots of Peace, led by Kuhn, with support from the U.S. government and many other partners, has turned ideas into reality. Roots of Peace has planted five million fruit trees in Afghanistan, Angola, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Cambodia, Croatia, Iraq, Israel and the West Bank, creating economic stability and sustainable peace.
Kuhn and her daughter, Kyleigh Kuhn, delivered powerful speeches at a summit in Portugal and afterwards a young woman approached them and asked if she could sit with them. The young woman said, "I don't know how to tell you this, but my brother also died in that car crash with Diana. I'm Jasmine Al-Fayed. My brother was Dodi."
The late Princess had personally given her blue Versace dress to Jasmine when she was 16. 22 years later, Jasmine hand-carried that dress from London to Salt Lake City and delivered it to Heidi Kuhn.
Jasmine said: "It is my sincere wish that the symbolism that the dress represents, assists your noble efforts to raise global landmine awareness at the 'Mines to Vines' exhibit hosted at The Leonardo." She told Heidi that "I stand fully behind you in your mission."
Jasmine is inspired to support Kuhn's mission especially as two mothers who want to see this global effort accomplished.
Kuhn is issuing a battle cry for peace to end landmine violence. She is calling for the eradication of all landmines in Quang Tri Province in Vietnam, the former DMZ. It was home to some of the most deadly battles of the Vietnam war.
Kuhn said: "Let's go from mines to vines: from landmines in Vietnam to black pepper vines. May those former battlefields have a taste of pepper for peace, not bombs."
Kuhn was present at Kensington Palace April 4, 2017 when Prince Harry called for the eradication of all landmines worldwide by 2025.
Kuhn hopes this small effort in Vietnam helps Prince Harry achieve his dream and the legacy inspired by his mother.
Heidi Kuhn, Founder and CEO
SOURCE Roots of Peace