Angelina Jolie was the first recipient of the Citizen of the World Award by the United Nations Correspondents Association, in 2003, for her humanitarian work.
Angelina Jolie first discovered about the incredible plight of the refugees when she was filming the movie, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider in Cambodia. After filming she called UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees) to know more about them and started to visit the refugee camps all over the world, including Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Afghanistan and Cambodia. She was named a UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador in 2001 for her compassion and advocacy to help the refugees, especially the children in the camps. She donated $1 Million for this cause.
In 2012, she was promoted to the rank of Special Envoy to High Commissioner (Antonio Guterres) of UNHCR. She also became active in conservation being the patron of the Harnas Wildlife Foundation, a wildlife orphanage and medical center in Namibia. She bought a 60,000-hectare land in Cambodia (of which she was awarded a citizenship by King Norodom Sihamoni in 2005) and turned the area into wildlife reserve as a great force against the poachers. This was named after her son Maddox Jolie Foundation which was later expanded to Maddox Jolie-Pitt Foundation to create Asia’s first Millennium Village, in line with one of United Nations’ development goals, the Millennium Promise. In 2015, Angelina Jolie, along with the British Foreign Secretary William Hague, launched the first UK academic Center on Women, Peace and Security which aims to contribute to global women’s rights issues.
We really do not need a position title to be able to serve the people. All we need to have is the will to help. She recognized that life lived for others, is a life lived with meaning and purpose. In many interviews, she’s spoken about the dark things she’s done but acknowledged that change when she became a mother herself. To her, being a mother defines who she is. She led herself into doing what some wealthy people have overlooked. She led herself into choosing the best thing to do in life, like using her resources or her money to sustain the many humanitarian causes she’s tipped. She could just spend her money to buy as many luxurious mansions as she could afford but she chose to share her wealth. She chose to make a difference and influence many to join in her advocacy.
Attributes: Commitment, Compassionate, Authentic