Angelina Jolie Pitt

Angelina Jolie Pitt

I find Angelina Jolie Pitt completely fascinating, not only is she an award winning actress but she’s also known for her extensive list of humanitarian work throughout the world. When I was younger I’m ashamed to say that the only thing I knew about her was her role in the 2001 film Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, which while incredibly cheesy in parts, is still a role portraying female independence. However, it was during the filming of this role in Cambodia that Jolie Pitt first encountered the devastating effects of a war-torn country on its refugees that sparked her into devoting herself to a variety of causes which ultimately has led to her 2012 promotion to Special Envoy for the UN Refugee Agency following over a decade of humanitarian service.

Upon returning home from Cambodia in 2001, she liaised with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and after receiving information on international troubled areas, she personally travelled at her own cost to each of the refugee camps and talked to the refugees to identify the problems they were facing. Since 2001 she’s made countless more field missions to troubled areas throughout the world, making her name synonymous with fighting to visit dangerous war-stricken areas to identify ways that their refugees can be protected. In 2004 she began flying lessons and is now a licensed pilot with her own small aircraft solely for if she can help with the ferrying of aid workers to hard to reach areas as well as the transportation of supplies. She’s also heavily involved with the education of young children, particularly girls in African and Asian countries starting with the opening and funding of a school and boarding house for girls in the Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya in 2005. By the end of the year, she’d built over 10 further schools in Cambodia as well as two primary schools for girls in refugee camps in Afghanistan among many others that are too exhaustive to list.

In January 2011 she began a more administrative involvement by creating the Jolie Legal Fellowship which is a worldwide network of legal professionals who are sponsored to advocate for the development of human rights in their own countries through the passing of legislation. Without this legislation, no amount of aid work will unfortunately lead a country to change and protect those in need.

Her recent appointment as a Visiting Professor for the Masters programme at the London School of Economics is her next step in the fight against human rights violations, by educating the next wave of humanitarians and imparting her extensive first-hand knowledge of at-risk areas and the trouble that the people there face, which will aid them in their later work. The 2016/17 Women’s Rights and Gender Equality course is the first of its kind in the world and will be held at the LSE Centre for Women, Peace and Security which she co-founded in 2015 with William Hague, the former Secretary of State for the United Kingdom. The creation of this course is fantastic as it shows the dedication that is being made by organisations outside of humanitarian charities to tackle these problems and make a worldwide change for the better.

I am completely in awe of Angelina and her truly extensive work in the fight for equality for all throughout the world that she’s achieved from her own resources, hard work and determination as well as using her influence in the media to continuously make reference to the work that is still to be done. I’m sure this next stage is only the beginning in bringing education to everyone of how to help the fight against inequality.

-Devon Allen
Junior Girl
Girl Museum Inc.

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