Angelina Jolie turns 47 today! To celebrate the feminist’s generous work, we’ve compiled a list of seven times she used her platform to make a positive difference in this chaotic world.
Hollywood icon Angelina Jolie is known for more than her on-screen work! She began to embrace philanthropic work in the early 2000s and continues to this day. The accomplished actress has donated to countless causes and charities, started a foundation, and spent decades traveling the world to help those in need. To celebrate her birthday this year, here are seven times Angelina Jolie became an activist.
Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)
The UNHCR is an organization that Jolie has invested much of her time in as a goodwill ambassador. She was promoted to diplomat in 2010 when she traveled to Peru and Colombia toh visit venezuelan refugees and carried out nearly 60 field missions. She quickly became an influential spokesperson for refugee advocacy and even met the Colombian president Ivan Duque in 2019 to discuss his concerns about 20,000 Venezuelan children who were at risk of being left without a nationality. Also in 2019, she spent three days in Bangladesh hoping to raise $920 million for Rohingya refugees in the country for the largest refugee camp. If you would like to find out more or help raise awareness, please visit the official UNHCR website below.
Help for Afghan refugees
In 2001, Jolie donated $1 million to UN refugee relief in Afghanistan, then traveled to the country for the first time in October 2008 to better understand some of the family’s living situations and to ensure that basic human needs were being met, particularly as the crisis approached. ‘winter. Jolie also took note of the limited space in the villages due to a high population rate and lack of economic opportunities. Ten years later, in 2011, Jolie offered a large donation to build a school for girls in Qalai Gudar, a village in the Shomali plain, after more refugees began returning to Afghanistan. She used earnings from her jewelry line, Styled by Jolie, to fund the school and in 2012 the school was completed north of Kabul, the country’s capital. The girls’ school has approximately 450 students as well as nine teachers and the location was chosen specifically because it is in an area where female education has not always been a priority. Visit the UNHCR website for more ways to help.
The Maddox Jolie-Pitt Foundation
Jolie adopted her son, Maddox, from Cambodia in 2002 after filming her action movie, grave robber. Taking inspiration from the country, Jolie started the Maddox Jolie-Pitt Foundation in 2003, which specifically focuses on improving poor rural villages in Cambodia, in addition to preserving wildlife and protecting the environment. By 2006, the foundation had expanded to focus on other social causes related to education, gender equality, and health care. According to Maddox Jolie-Pitt Foundation site, at-risk families can access basic health and education necessities with the help of the MJP. Jolie also received Cambodian citizenship in 2003, bestowed on her by King Norodom Sihamoni for her conservation work.
Council on Foreign Relations
In 2007, Jolie joined the Council on Foreign Relations as a member to give people a better understanding of the world’s foreign policies and international relations. The purpose of this independent, non-partisan organization is to discuss, research and analyze foreign policy and start conversations about these important decisions. In 2008 she spoke in New York on international law and justice, see part of her speech below.
Stand up against sexual violence in war zones
Jolie has spent years discussing warzone rape and how to stop it. In 2013, she appeared before the United Nations Security Council at UN Headquarters in New York to explain why sexual violence is a top priority around the world. Jolie was also co-chair of the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict in 2014, an event hosted in London by the UK government. She opened the four-day event with a speech which can be found below. In addition to this, Jolie spoke out against war zone sexual violence during a press conference at Kutupalong refugee camp in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh on February 5, 2019. She addressed the intergovernmental organization, the United Nations, on why we need to protect people, especially women. and young girls against sexual violence. She mentioned how important it is to her that these perpetrators are held accountable and how there needs to be better monitoring procedures in place to prevent these happenings.
Speeches from the 2014 World Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict:
Shiloh Wildlife Sanctuary
In 2017 Jolie opened the Shiloh Wildlife Sanctuary in Namibia. His daughter Shiloh, was born in Namibia, which inspired the location of the sanctuary. The sanctuary was started by the Maddox Jolie-Pitt Foundation with the help of the Naankuse Foundation and the Ministry of Environment and Tourism Namibia. The sanctuary was designed to help and care for injured and orphaned rhinos and elephants who were victims of poaching. The sanctuary includes enclosures, crates and veterinary equipment as well as veterinarians on site at all times. The animals in this sanctuary will be seen until they are ready to return to their original place of origin. As well as helping rhinos and elephants, the sanctuary currently cares for baboons, monkeys, meerkats, lions, leopards, caracals and wild dogs. To learn more or find ways to help, check out the official Naankuse website below.
Women for bees
The Women for Bees program was developed by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, otherwise known as the UNESCO at promote female entrepreneurship. The organization has created a five-year program to build 2,500 hives and repopulate 125 million bees by 2025 in addition to training and support 50 women beekeepers. According to the UNESCO website, ‘50 participants from 25 biosphere reserves of the World Network of Biosphere Reserves will share their knowledge within this new network of beekeepers and learn the theoretical and practical bases of sustainable beekeeping. Participants will have the opportunity to become fully professional beekeeper-entrepreneurs and become members of an international network of women beekeepers. A key part of why UNESCO has partnered with Jolie and the French cosmetics brand, Guerlain is to improve the incomes of disadvantaged communities that cannot produce crops. In doing so, it will generate a continuous flow of income to rural areas where agricultural production is minimized and improve food security by using sustainable harvesting techniques.
Jolie has mentioned in numerous interviews that she didn’t want to be remembered for her acting, but for the philanthropic work she did instead. She has used her fame for good by positively impacting so many in need, and has consistently proven herself as a humanitarian. We hope Jolie has a fantastic birthday; she deserves it!