Catholic peacemaker receives Mother Teresa award

This year’s Mother Teresa Memorial Award for Social Justice has been conferred on a US-based Catholic global peacemaker working to replace the scourge of landmines with sustainable agricultural farmland for more than 25 years.

Dec 08, 2023


By Michael Gonsalves
This year’s Mother Teresa Memorial Award for Social Justice has been conferred on a US-based Catholic global peacemaker working to replace the scourge of landmines with sustainable agricultural farmland for more than 25 years.

“Heidi Kuhn’s work through [her non-profit] Roots of Peace perfectly embodies the spirit of the Mother Teresa Memorial Awards,” said Abraham Mathai, founder-chairman of Harmony Foundation.

Kuhn, also the recipient of this year’s World Food Prize, received the award instituted by the voluntary group based in Mumbai, western India, on November 26.

“Her [Kuhn’s] commitment to replacing the scars of war with the seeds of hope is a remarkable example of ‘humanity in action,’” said Mathai.

Accepting the award, Kuhn said Roots of Peace was “cultivating peace through agriculture – leading with the ‘shovel’ not the ‘sword.’”

Quoting St Mother Teresa, who founded the Missionaries of Charity congregation in India, Kuhn said, “Not all of us can do great things, but we may do small things with great love.”

Kuhn said removing a landmine and planting a fruit tree “is an act of peace.”

The activist said that “to plant a seed we fall to our knees, touch the ground, and nurture both the soil and the soul.”

“As bombs fall from the sky in so many nations, we as humans must fall to our knees, kiss the ground, and plant a flower, a tree, or even an orchard, in an act of solidarity to heal the wounds of war.”

Founded in 1997, Roots of Peace has turned “mines into vines” in over 10 countries and reached out to over 1 million farmers in Afghanistan, Angola, Azerbaijan, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Cambodia, Croatia, Guatemala, Iraq, Israel, Palestine and Vietnam. -- ucanews.com

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