Angelina Jolie Video

Loading...

Friday, October 5, 2007

Humanitarian work

Jolie first became personally aware of worldwide humanitarian crises while filming Tomb Raider in poverty-stricken and widely mined Cambodia. Deeply affected by these experiences, she eventually turned to UNHCR for more information on international trouble spots. In the following months she agreed to visit different refugee camps around the world to learn more about the situation and the conditions in these areas. In February 2001, Jolie went on her first field visit, an 18-day mission to Sierra Leone and Tanzania; she later expressed her shock at what she had witnessed.[43] In the coming months she returned to Cambodia for two weeks and later met with Afghan refugees in Pakistan where she donated $1 million for Afghan refugees in response to an international UNHCR emergency appeal.[44] She insisted on covering all costs related to her missions and shared the same rudimentary working and living conditions as UNHCR field staff on all of her visits.[43] Impressed by her interest and devotion in the subject, UNHCR named her a Goodwill Ambassador on August 27, 2001 at UNHCR headquarters in Geneva.[45] In a press conference Jolie explained her motives for joining the refugee agency:

“ We cannot close ourselves off to information and ignore the fact that millions of people are out there suffering. I honestly want to help. I don't believe I feel differently from other people. I think we all want justice and equality, a chance for a life with meaning. All of us would like to believe that if we were in a bad situation someone would help us.[43] ”

During her first three years as Goodwill Ambassador Jolie concentrated her efforts on field missions, visiting refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) all around the world. Asked what she hoped to accomplish, she stated, “Awareness of the plight of these people. I think they should be commended for what they have survived, not looked down upon.”[46] In 2002, Jolie visited Tham Hin refugee camp in Thailand and Colombian refugees in Ecuador to take a closer look at the “Western Hemisphere's most severe humanitarian crisis”.[47] Jolie later went to various UNHCR facilities in Kosovo and paid a visit to Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya with refugees mainly from Sudan. She also met with Angolan refugees while filming Beyond Borders in Namibia.


Jolie with Colin Powell in Washington, D.C., June 2004.In 2003, Jolie embarked on a six-day mission to Tanzania where she traveled to western border camps, hosting Congolese refugees and she paid a week-long visit to Sri Lanka. She later concluded a four-day mission to Russia as she traveled to North Caucasus. Concurrently with the release of her movie Beyond Borders in October 2003 she published Notes from My Travels, a collection of journal entries that chronicle her early field missions (2001-2002). During a private stay in Jordan in December 2003 she asked to visit Iraqi refugees in Jordan's remote eastern desert and later that month she went to Egypt to meet Sudanese refugees.

On her first U.N. trip within the United States, Jolie went to Arizona in 2004, visiting detained asylum seekers at three facilities and the Southwest Key Program, a facility for unaccompanied children in Phoenix. With the humanitarian situation in Sudan worsening, she flew to Chad in June 2004, paying a visit to border sites and camps for refugees who had fled fighting in western Sudan's Darfur region. Four months later she returned to the region, this time going directly into West Darfur. Also in 2004, Jolie met with Afghan refugees in Thailand and on a private stay to Lebanon during the Christmas holidays, she visited UNHCR's regional office in Beirut, as well as some young refugees and cancer patients in the Lebanese capital.

In 2005, Jolie visited Pakistani camps containing Afghan refugees, and she also met with Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf and Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz; she returned to Pakistan with Brad Pitt during the Thanksgiving weekend in November to see the impact of the October 8 Kashmir earthquake. In 2006, Jolie and Pitt flew to Haiti and visited a school supported by Yéle Haïti, a charity founded by Haitian-born hip hop musician Wyclef Jean, and while filming A Mighty Heart in India, Jolie met with Afghan and Burmese refugees in New Delhi. She spent Christmas Day 2006 with Colombian refugees in San José, Costa Rica where she handed out presents. In 2007, Jolie returned to Chad for a two-day mission to assess the deteriorating security situation for refugees from Darfur; Jolie and Pitt subsequently donated $1 million to three relief organizations in Chad and Darfur.[48] Jolie also made her first visit to Syria and Iraq, where she met with Iraqi refugees as well as multi-national forces and U.S. troops.


Jolie and Condoleezza Rice at World Refugee Day 2005.With increasing experience, Jolie became more involved in promoting humanitarian causes on a political level. She regularly attends World Refugee Day in Washington, D.C., and she was an invited speaker at the World Economic Forum in Davos in 2005 and 2006. Jolie also began lobbying humanitarian interests in the U.S. capital, where she met with congressmen and senators at least 20 times from 2003.[45] She explained in Forbes:

“ As much as I would love to never have to visit Washington, that's the way to move the ball.[45] ”

In 2005, Jolie took part at a National Press Club luncheon, where she announced the founding of the National Center for Refugee and Immigrant Children, an organization that provides free legal-aid to asylum-seeking children with no legal representation which Jolie personally funded with a donation of $500,000 for its first two years.[49] Jolie also pushed for several bills to aid refugees and vulnerable children in the Third World.[45] In addition to her political involvement, Jolie began using the public’s interest in her to promote humanitarian causes through the mass media. She filmed a MTV special, The Diary Of Angelina Jolie & Dr. Jeffrey Sachs in Africa, portraying her and noted economist Dr. Jeffrey Sachs on a trip to a remote group of villages in Western Kenya. There, Sachs's United Nations Millennium Project team is working with locals to end poverty, hunger and disease. In 2006, Jolie announced the founding of the Jolie/Pitt Foundation which made initial donations to Global Action for Children and Doctors Without Borders of $1 million each.[50] Jolie also co-chairs the Education Partnership for Children of Conflict, founded at the Clinton Global Initiative in 2006, which helps fund education programs for children affected by conflict.

Jolie has received wide recognition for her humanitarian work. On October 24, 2003 she was the first recipient of the new created Citizen of the World Award by the United Nations Correspondents Association. Cambodia's King Norodom Sihamoni awarded Jolie Cambodian citizenship for her conservation work in the country on August 12, 2005; she has pledged $5 million to set up a wildlife sanctuary in the north-western province of Battambang and owns property there.[51] On October 12, 2005, Jolie was awarded the Global Humanitarian Award by the UNA-USA.[52] In June 2007, Jolie joined the Council on Foreign Relations, when the bipartisan think tank officially approved her membership nomination.[53]

No comments:

eXTReMe Tracker