She is one of Hollywood’s most-famous faces, but there is more to Angelina Jolie than her on-screen skills and good looks. As most of us know, the 40-year-old actress is also a well-rounded and extremely active philanthropist.
Angie works closely with the United Nations along with 27 other organizations that assist people around the globe.
Our team hears about her incredible work in the celebrity news circuit on a regular basis, so we decided to dive deep into her charitable history and find out exactly how she is using her celebrity for good. We went all the way back to 2001 to discover just when and how Angie started giving back. Here is what we found.
The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees is the United Nations organization aimed help refugees around the world, and it’s the organization that Angelina invests the largest amount of her time.
Angelina linked up with UNHCR after filming Laura Croft: Tomb Raider in Cambodia in 2001. Over that past 14 years, she traveled to more than 30 countries as a Goodwill Ambassador, meeting with refugees and displaced people.
The UNHCR allowed Jolie to help people from all walks of life. She took on missions by visiting countries including Sierra Leone, Jordan, Thailand, Haiti, Kenya, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Jordan, Egypt, Costa Rica, Chad, Syria and Iraq.
In 2003, Jolie received the the first-ever Citizen of the World Award from the United Nations Correspondents Association for her contributions to helping refugees. Two years later, Angie received the Global Humanitarian Award from the United Nations Association of the USA for her work with UNHCR.
If the awards weren’t enough – she also received Cambodian citizenship from Cambodia’s King Norodom Sihamoni for her conservation work in the country.
Her continued involvement naturally led to work as a political activist. Jolie started lobbying humanitarian interests in the U.S. Capitol. Over the course of the past 15 years, she’s met with members of Congress at least 20 times.
The UNHCR didn’t take Angie’s amazing work for granted and in 2010, the United Nations promoted Angie from Goodwill Ambassador to a diplomat. She is now a special envoy and represents the UN Refugee Agency to other diplomats, governments, and officials around the world.
Three years ago, Angie used her diplomatic status to step up her political activism and testified at the Security Council. She spoke out against sexual violence in armed conflict.
“I understand there are many things that it is difficult for the Security Council to agree on, but sexual violence in conflict should not be one of them.That it is a crime to rape young children is not something anyone in this room would not be able to agree on,” Jolie said.
“That young Syrian rape victim is here because you represent her. That five-year-old child in the Congo must count because you represent her. And in her eyes, if her attacker gets away with his crimes, it is because you have allowed it. You set the bar. If the United Nations Security Council sets rape and sexual violence in conflict as a priority, it will become one and progress will be made. If you do not, this horror will continue.”
Last year, she continued supporting refugees’ rights and women’s rights on World Refugee Day.
During her trip to the Midyat Refugee Camp in Mardin in Turkey, she released a statement, which read, “We are here for a simple reason: This region is at the epicenter of a global crisis. Nearly 60 million people are displaced from their homes. That is one in every 122 people on our planet. Our world has never been richer or healthier or more advanced. Yet never before have so many people been dispossessed and stripped of their basic human rights. We should call this what it is: not just a ‘refugee crisis,’ but a crisis of global security and governance, that is manifesting itself in the worst refugee crisis ever recorded – and a time of mass displacement.”
She went on to discuss the media’s coverage of refugees makes it look like them dying at sea is the new normal, and it’s not. Angie calls for a change in not only support but also legislation so refugees can work and make new lives in their sought after country. Read her full statement here.
Angelina’s Children Get Involved with Charity
Earlier this year, Angelina and Brad’s oldest daughters followed in their parents’ footsteps by helping an underprivileged family in Cambodia. This family has 13 children and they all live together in a tin shack.
Shiloh and Zahara spent time in South East Asia with their mother and were approached by Leida Shoun while in the village. After seeing the state of Shoun and her 12 siblings, Shiloh and Zahara wanted to help. They began by donating $200 worth of new clothes, which is very valuable in the poverty-stricken district of Mundal Bai. The Jolie-Pitts also donated two new bikes to the family.
During an interview with Vogue, Angelina said that she knew Shiloh had a desire to give back when the pair was together in Lebanon.
“When she was sitting on the floor with her UN cap writing her notes as she was talking to someone, I was flashing on myself 15 years ago and thinking, I know that moment,” Jolie said.
Despite their tumultuous split, which took over the latest celebrity news headlines this year, Brad Pitt and Angie established the Jolie Pitt Foundation in 2006 prior to their nuptials to further their philanthropy around the globe. To kick off the foundation of their organization, the now separated couple gave $1 million donations to Doctors Without Borders and Global Action for Children.
The foundation provided Pitt and Jolie with an opportunity to help charities around the world.
It came into play during Jolie’s first pregnancy with Shiloh Nouvel. Shiloh was born on May 27, 2006. Angelina gave People Magazine exclusive rights to publish the first picture of her with a baby bump in exchange for a $500,000 donation to the charities she and Brad support.
Complimentary Charity Work
Angelina donates her time to help those in need around the globe, but that’s not all – she also donates plenty of funds to make a greater impact. According to tax records, when Brad and Angie were still attached, they reportedly donated more than $8 million to charity in 2006.
As mentioned, Jolie is involved with more than 29 organizations that help people around the all around the world. In addition to the UNHCR and the Jolie Pitt Foundation, she works with the Afghanistan Relief Organization, Care to Learn and Women in the World Foundation, just to name a few.
In 2007, Angelina became a member of the CFR. Since joining, she funded many CFR special reports, including the “Intervention to Stop Mass Atrocities and Genocide.”
After several visits to Haiti, Jolie teamed up with the CFR and established the Jolie Legal Fellows Program in 2010 to enhance government capacity around the legal system. Jolie’s partnership with CFR helps amateur attorneys get involved with the existing structures in Haiti to support the government’s child protection efforts.
The Afghanistan Relief Organization started in the United States in 1998. Reliant on volunteer efforts, the ARO distributes food, medicine, hygiene supplies and relief supplies to Afghan citizens. It also provides free education to more than 800 children and adult students.
Angelina teamed up with fellow celebrities in 2007 for ARO’s Afghan Kites Project. Jolie signed a kite to auction off to raise funds for the organization.
Angelina is the primary supporter for the Alliance for the Lost Boys, which provides medical and dental coverage for the Lost Boys of Sudan and their families. They also provide education and school supplies.
Fran Drescher is the founder of the Cancer Schmancer Movement and she strives to diagnose all women’s cancer in stage one when they are most curable.
Jolie is a big supporter of Fran’s work and was inspired by the “Nanny” actress’ message two years ago.
Jolie’s mother, Marcheline Bertrand, lost her battle to ovarian cancer in 2007 at the age of 56. To prevent any further risk of cancer for herself, Angelina underwent a double mastectomy in 2013.
In an op-ed for the New York Times, she explained that the mutation in the BRCA1 gene gave her an estimated 87% risk of breast cancer and 50% risk of ovarian cancer.
Making for some breaking celebrity news, Jolie had her ovaries removed to prevent any further risk of developing breast or ovarian cancer. This also created a push for all women to focus on their personal health and talk to their doctors about options to prevent risks.
Along with inspiration from her mother and a long history of supporting women’s rights, Angelina said that the preventative care was also inspired by her six children. She told the media that she wanted to take the burden off her children and not let them worry about her developing cancer if it could be prevented.
To complete our exploration into Angelina’s charity work – let’s take a look at her honors. Her incredible philanthropic efforts are recognized with many recognitions and awards.
As mentioned above, she was the first recipient of the Citizen of the World Award in 2003, honored by the United Nations Correspondents Association. Two years later, Jolie received the Global Humanitarian Award from the United Nations Association of the USA and the Business Council for the United Nations for her work with refugees.
In 2007, Jolie received recognition from the International Rescue Committee with its Freedom Award. She was honored alongside High Commissioner Guterres for the partnership to assist refugees and promote human freedom.
In October 2011, the UNHCR honored Angelina for her ten years of service to the humanitarian cause as a UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador.