Oscar-winning actress and a mother to six children she needs no introduction as humanitarian spokes person to the world.
Jolie first became personally aware of worldwide humanitarian crises while filming Tomb Raider in Cambodia. She eventually turned to The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the agency mandated to lead and co-ordinate international action to protect refugees and resolve refugee problems worldwide, for more information on international trouble spots. Since 2001, Jolie has been on field missions around the world and met with refugees and internally displaced persons in more than 20 countries, including Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Cambodia, Pakistan, Thailand, Ecuador, Kosovo, Kenya, Namibia, Sri Lanka, North Caucasus, Jordan, Egypt, New Delhi, Costa Rica, Chad, Syria, and Iraq, to name a few.
The Jolie-Pitt Foundation, dedicated to eradicating extreme rural poverty, protecting natural resources and conserving wildlife, donated $1 million to Doctors Without Borders, an international medical humanitarian organization created by doctors and journalists in France in 1971. The organization provides aid in nearly 60 countries to people whose survival is threatened by violence, neglect, or catastrophe, primarily due to armed conflict, epidemics, malnutrition, exclusion from health care, or natural disasters. Asked what she hoped to accomplish meeting with refugees and internally displaced persons in more than 20 countries, she stated, “Awareness of the plight of these people. I think they should be commended for what they have survived, not looked down upon.”
Over time, Jolie has become more involved in promoting humanitarian causes on a political level. She has regularly attended World Refugee Day in Washington, D.C., dedicated to raising awareness of the situation of refugees throughout the world, and she was an invited speaker at the World Economic Forum, an annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland which brings together top business leaders, international political leaders, selected intellectuals and journalists to discuss the most pressing issues facing the world including health and the environment in 2005 and 2006.
Jolie began lobbying humanitarian interests in the U.S. capital, where she met with members of Congress at least 20 times from 2003. Jolie also co-chairs the Education Partnership for Children of Conflict, which helps fund education programs for children affected by conflict.