Proof That Every Penny Counts
Nov. 29 - KGO (KGO) -- I have an update for you from my trip to Afghanistan last year with a non-profit group in San Rafael that raises money to remove landmines in wartorn countries. The founder of Roots of Peace, Heidi Kuhn, returned to Afghanistan this fall to see the progress made during the past year.
A private meeting with the president of Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai -- this was one of the high points of a return trip to Afghanistan by Roots of Peace founder Heidi Kuhn. She was joined by Shamim Jawad, wife of the Afghanistan Ambassador to the United States.
This video was shot by a photographer hired by Roots of Peace with a grant from the Skoll Foundation. They showed him some of the produce grown by Afghan farmers, trained by the Roots of Peace staff, with help from U.C. Davis, led by Zack Lea. The fields were de-mined with money raised by the Roots of Peace organization in San Rafael.
Shamin Jawad, wife of Afghanistan Ambassador to the U.S.: "They want to support our farmers, they want to build more schools, they want to build more soccer fields, and that's how everybody should be, nobody should be scared off. They should continue their support, so they can rebuild Afghanistan. We need that help so we can stand on our own feet."
We showed you some of the terrible conditions for school children last year during my visit to Afghanistan with Heidi and her daughter Kyleigh, the co-founder of the children's penny campaign.
Heidi Kuhn, Roots of Peace: "These children were learning under a gigantic grapevine. It was blazing heat. They didn't even have tents. So our first step through the pennies campaign was to establish tents."
And then the penny campaign raised enough money following this visit to build a schoolhouse. That led to another high point of the trip this year for Heidi and Mrs. Jawad. They were there for the groundbreaking this past August. The Afghan school is named after Kyleigh.
Kyleigh Kuhn, co-founder, penny campaign: "It was really inspiring, 'cause it was kids from the Bay Area and the national level that did this."
Heidi Kuhn: "That school is not only going to be a center of learning, but a center of example to children all over Afghanistan of what American children can do to plant peace."
For more information on Roots of Peace, visit www.rootsofpeace.org.
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