By Morgan Phelps
Angelina Jolie, actress and daughter of Marcheline Bertrand and Jon Voight, isn’t just another superstar singing “Give Peace a Chance.” Instead she responds to worldwide cries for help as a Goodwill Ambassador and mother to international orphans.
At just 25 years old, Jolie’s eyes were opened to worldwide struggles while filming Lara Croft: Tomb Raider in poverty-stricken Cambodia. Shortly after, her mission trips to Sierra Leone and Tanzania shocked her into further involvement.
In 2001, she was appointed a United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Goodwill Ambassador and has since concentrated her official efforts on awareness and visiting refugees and internally displaced persons around the world. When she does, reporters and photographers follow. Even if their focus is on her personally, the plight of others in dire straits shares the spotlight.
And her commitment goes deeper than being window dressing for needy causes. She digs into her own wallet as well. According to an interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper in 2006, Jolie gives away one-third of her earnings.
Even more, she has opened the door to her home and her heart, offering herself as a mother.
In March 2002, she adopted son Maddox Chivan from a Cambodian orphanage. In 2005 and 2007, respectively, she adopted orphaned Ethopian Zahara Marley and Vietnamese Pax Thien. Between those enduring embraces, Jolie gave birth to daughter Shiloh Nouvel in Namibia in 2006.
In an interview with NBC’s Ann Curry in May 2007, Jolie explained her commitment to those in need around the world. Instead of professing the typical American attitude that “you should because you have,” Jolie offered a more basic explanation.
“Because it’s the right thing to do,” she said.
To Learn more about Jolie’s efforts, visit http://www.unhcr.org/cgi-bin/texis/vtx/help?id=3f94ff664
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