The guardian angel of the refugees - Angelina Jolie
June 20th is observed as World Refugee Day across the globe and one beautiful and talented actress has been tirelessly working in support of this cause, even after going through personal medical trauma. This actress is well known for her humanitarian work and her pledge to help raise the downtrodden from their plight. Yes, we are talking about the one and only Angelina Jolie, who is perhaps the only actress who is as well known for her humanitarian work as she is for her towering presence on the silver screen. Angelina has been named the Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), which supports approximately 20 million refugees across 120 countries. She has been a part of this agency since 2001 when she joined a mission to a small West African country – Sierra Leone, that had been ravaged by many years of brutal civil war. Once she was there, she was extremely moved by the plight of the refugees there and she generously decided to use her fame as a tool to help them in some way. That year after she was made the Goodwill Ambassador for the agency she went to the Balkans, to Tanzania, Kenya, Pakistan, Thailand, Ecuador etc. as part of refugee operations teams. After a trip to the Ecuador refugee camps Jolie penned the following lines: "What was really shocking was that every individual person you meet will tell you that their immediate family was [affected]. Somebody's child was killed, somebody's husband. Someone was beaten." - which showed just how deeply affected she was by the situation of the people there. She says that as an active supporter of refugee rights and someone who works closely with them, she is extremely surprised by the imbalance of wealth and resources in the world and is extremely saddened by the conditions the refugees have to live in even if they are in camps and shelters. Even though they live in camps, in most of them they are still living in squalor without the reassurance of daily rations of food, because food rations can be arbitrarily cut thanks to lack of funds. Even though the UNHCR camps do their best to help the refugees they have given shelter to, there have been reports of outbreaks of fighting in places like Liberia forcing the refugees to flee the camps and go into hiding. She is also aghast at how governments try and force refugees to go back to their homeland and therefore deny them of basic amenities such as clean water, food and a roof above their heads. Even though she has recently undergone a significant surgery – a double mastectomy as a preventive measure against breast and ovarian cancer, Jolie recently travelled to Jordan to the Refugees António Guterres to Za'atri camp which is overpopulated thanks to the never ending crisis in Syria. This is the second largest refugee camp in the world with a population of over 120000. Post this visit she has appealed to world leaders to come forward and unite their resources to overcome this problem and stop the bloodshed. It remains to be seen if she is heard.