SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Marin County-based humanitarian nonprofit, Roots of Peace credits celebrated diplomat, Kofi Annan as the first person to believe in their cause. Annan died Saturday. He was 80.
"Because of his belief in my dream it gave me confidence to take that footstep after footstep," said Heidi Kuhn, Roots of Peace founder.
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Kuhn calls Annan a friend, she is now mourning his loss.
Roots of Peace assists war torn regions around the world safely remove landmines then replacing the earth with thriving vineyards and orchards, helping communities become more sustainable.
Annan has long supported the group's efforts.
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"Today I thank you Kofi Annan and for the millions of farmers benefiting by turning mines into vines, he was a very special man," Kuhn added.
Kuhn wears a treasured pin in the shape of a conch shell, a gift from Annan.
"He presented it to me and said thank you for listening to the earth," said Kuhn.
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