Brad Pitt’s partner Angelina Jolie is the star of several blockbuster movies. Among them Girl Interrupted and Mr. and Mrs. Smith, coincidentally where he met Pitt. But perhaps her best-known performance was that of the plump Lara Croft, in the Tomb Raider movies. During the filming of the first film, much of which was shot on location in Cambodia, Jolie went to witness the beautiful surroundings, immersive culture and rampant poverty of the nation. This, she says, opened her eyes and was her stepping stone to humanitarian work.
After Cambodia, Anglina Jolie made a trip to Sierra Leone and Tanzania in 2001, and it was there that she first became actively involved in humanitarian causes. The purpose of that fateful trip was to learn first-hand about the conditions that refugees must suffer. Angelina was so shocked that shortly thereafter, in August 2001, she was appointed Goodwill Ambassador to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, also known as UNHCR.
UNHCR helps more than 20 million refugees in 120 countries around the world. They were created to protect and safeguard the welfare and rights of refugees. They believe that refugees have the right to seek asylum in another country and will actively seek to engage nations to integrate and support those refugees. So far, in just 5 decades, they have helped more than 50 million people in the world.
Angelina’s contribution has greatly helped to generate more widespread attention to this worthy cause. As a goodwill ambassador, your role is to communicate with and focus on refugees by generating media attention. Although in the case of Jolie this is not merely superficial. In fact, she spends much of her time and is truly affected by her misery. On her trip to Ecuador, Jolie wrote about the suffering: “People’s lives are really in danger, not just in the sense that you feel like your city is unsafe, their lives are being threatened and their houses are being burned.”
To further increase public awareness, Jolie has published several personal diaries of her experiences during field visits. More information can be found at unhcr.org.
In addition to the physical effort that Jolie brings in, her foundation with partner Brad Pitt, called the Jolie-Pitt Foundation, recently donated $ 1 million to groups working in Darfur. Darfur is a war-torn region of Sudan, which Jolie has already visited three times.
Jolie now plans to spend most of her time in humanitarian endeavors, revealing that she divides her acting salary in three ways; one third for savings, one third for living expenses and one third for charity. Considering it has a high pay package for movies as well as product promotion, that equates to a hefty amount donated.
Jolie has two adopted children and is currently considering a third. Maddox, a Cambodian refugee boy he adopted in 2002, and Zahara, an Ethiopian refugee girl. She also has a son with Brad Pitt, named Shiloh.
Along with Pitt, Jolie has stated that she will continue to promote and actively participate in humanitarian causes, in addition to pursuing her acting ambitions.