Until recently, Angelina Jolie was one half of one of the most glamorous couples to ever walk the face of the earth, for more than a decade. And she made a name as an actor for her edgy demeanour, and to put it quite bluntly, her drop dead gorgeous looks .
She sizzled through unconventional roles like in Girl, Interrupted (which won her an Oscar at the tender age of 22) and even whole-heartedly participated in mainstream films like the Lara Croft series and Gone In 60 Seconds, before she soaked herself in super-stardom.
Along came Brad Pitt to add the ‘Br’ to her ‘Angelina’ and that’s how Mr. And Mrs. Smith became one of the most famous movies, even before its release. The couple became headline material for nearly all publications around the world, and Jolie began using a lot of her celebrity influence to draw attention to the less-fortunate corners of the world.
Having been appointed a UN Goodwill Ambassador in 2001, the actor began travelling more extensively to countries like Sierra Leone, Afghanistan, Iraq, Bosnia and Haiti among many others. It’s a little-discussed part of her personality, her work as a Humanitarian activist. Let’s look at some of her achievements in this line of work.
In 2006, a visibly pregnant Jolie and former husband Brad Pitt made perfect use of their fame by making an appearence for Wyclef Jean’s foundation, Yele Haiti. By selling those exclusive pictures for reportedly half a million dollars, Jolie contributed the proceeds to the foundation and helped the country recuperate from the devastating earthquake which rocked Port Au Prince that year. The duo even reportedly donated close to $8 million according to the year’s tax declarations.
She donated the necessary funds to build The National Centre for Refugee And Immigrant Children in 2005, whose mission was to provide aid and to advocate for children migrating away from their homeland, either by choice or by force.
In 2007, she visited Chad to raise awareness about the tens of thousands of refugees fleeing the genocide in Darfur. She voiced her sadness over the international community’s lack of empathy for the African nation’s turmoil, in several publications.
She visited Afghanistan in 2008, to make a plea for international assistance for the millions of refugees returning from Pakistan after the defeat of the Taliban. A migration of this scale had led to widespread poverty and famine, endangering the lives of millions.
In 2008, Jolie announced her plans to open an AIDS and Tuberculosis clinic in Ethiopia, which was also the birthplace of her adopted daughter Zahara. She reportedly contributed $2 million of her own, to fight the deadly diseases ravaging the country.
Her son Maddox, who hails from Cambodia, has lent his name for her mother’s foundation Maddox Jolie-Pitt Foundation which is HQ’ed in his home country. The mission of this foundation is protect the national forests, establish healthcare and educational opportunities and ending poverty.
Angelina Jolie has forever been the living, breathing example of compassion. She has proved to the world time and again, that all we need is a little empathy for those in the world who haven’t been dealt the same cards of fortune like we have.
She even voiced her reasons to undergo a double mastectomy in her fight against breast cancer, using her celebrity influence once again to reach out to the other women facing the problem of losing their ‘femininity’ after the surgical procedures.
She even made her directorial debut with In The Land of Blood & Honey which was centered around the Balkan wars of the early 90s. The film was Jolie’s way to raise awareness about the military rule in Bosnia, and the kind of barbarism that underwent.
In 2014, she was even appointed as the Honorary Dame Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George for her campaign to end sexual violence in war zones.
Angelina Jolie has slowly built up to so much more than a celebrity movie star. She has used her influence to seek attention for the right issues, and that has only strengthened her activism with each passing year. More power to her!