Angelina Jolie Charity Work
UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador Angelina Jolie travels throughout the world to assist UNHCR in its work with refugees and displaced people. Recently she has released her journals from the Russian Federation and Jordan, where she visited in late 2003. The journals capture the hope and despair of the refugees and other displaced persons that Ms. Jolie met while on mission to these post-conflict societies.
At the camp's pre-school, the children sang and performed for Goodwill Ambassador Jolie. One boy recalled, "We were living in Baghdad in peace. Then the first day of war we were very frightened with bombs and missiles." The children agreed, when asked by Ms. Jolie, that the most difficult part of living in a refugee camp was the cold weather and the sandstorms.
Aged between four and twelve, the children told her "their dream is to see their homeland," Jolie wrote. "To live as citizens of a country they belong to." Most of them aspired to be teachers and doctors, though there was one boy who chose to be a lawyer. He told Ms. Jolie the reason: "To make justice for people, there needs to be more justice."
Summing up the despair in the camp, a man took the floor, hands shaking as he spoke: "We have lost our families. We now go from country to country to find a way to live as human beings. We are beginning to lose hope."
In August, the Goodwill Ambassador traveled
to the Russian Federation, where she met with refugees from Chechnya
and elsewhere. During her four day trip, she travelled to the republic
of Ingushetia, where she met with the Ingush president and visited Bella
and Sputnik camps. When she visited North Ossetia, which borders the
neighboring country of Georgia, she visited a transit center and refugee
settlement, welcomed by a traditional dance and refugees grateful for
their new homes. Finally, she visited Moscow, where she was invited
into the homes of African refugees.
She reflects on the seeming indifference
of the developed world to the crisis in Chechnya: "Is it old news?
Are they too many? Or is it that they have nothing we feel to give to
us in return?" she asks. "Which is of course wrong because
they have everything to offer."
In the past the Goodwill Ambassador has traveled to refugee camps in Tanzania, Sierra Leone, Pakistan, and Ecuador. Her past journals can now be found in a new paperback book, "Notes from My Travels" (Simon and Schuster) in a bookstore near you.
Angelina Jolie was appointed UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador in August 2001. To raise awareness and support for refugees she has traveled to Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Balkans and the North Caucasus. Jolie has also been a generous contributor to UNHCRs programs around the world.
To read the UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador's journals you must have Adobe Acrobat. To view the journals please visit the UNHCR website here.
The following is a breakdown of how the UNHCR helps those in need..