The Remarkable Humanitarian Journey of Angelina Jolie: Over a Decade of Giving Back

On June 4, one of the well-known faces of Hollywood officially entered her 40s. As we celebrate this milestone, let’s take a moment to reminisce on the stunning photographs captured during her 14-year tenure as the Special Envoy of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

Actress Angelina Jolie holds a certificate from the United Nations High Commission for Refugees confirming her appointment as a goodwill ambassador for the UNHCR on Aug. 27, 2001, in Geneva, Switzerland.

Angelina Jolie’s life took a turn when she was named a Goodwill Ambassador by the United Nations High Commissioner (UNHCR) on August 27, 2001. This prestigious title was bestowed upon her in Geneva, Switzerland and she was overjoyed with pride. Ever since then, she has traveled to over 30 different countries as a UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador, even putting her own safety at risk.

Actress and United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) goodwill ambassador Angelina Jolie talks with refugees in Severny refugee camp on the border between Ingushetia and Chechnya on Aug. 22, 2003.

Jolie started her journey of exploring various refugee camps globally. It’s quite unbelievable to envision a well-known actress, who graces the big screens, donning a UNHCR uniform and conversing with refugees at the border of the Republic of Ingushetia and Republic of Chechnya back in August 2003.


In June 2004, a woman who was a mother of six kids assisted refugees in Sudan with their luggage by loading it onto a truck.


During her four-day trip to Pakistan, Jolie visited an Afghan refugee camp. As the United Nations Goodwill Ambassador, she expressed gratitude towards Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz for providing a safe haven to around 3 million Afghan refugees in Pakistan.

Actress and UNHCR goodwill ambassador Angelina Jolie, left, speaks with the Indian Minister of State for External Affairs, Anand Sharma, at Hyderabad House in New Delhi on Nov. 5, 2006. Jolie, who was in New Delhi for two days to work with the UN refugee agency, met with refugee women and children from Myanmar and also the Khalsa Diwan Welfare Society, an organization run by and for Sikh Afghan refugees in India.

In November 2006, Angelina had a discussion with Anand Sharma, the Indian Deputy Foreign Minister. She shared her happiness regarding the Indian government’s efforts towards creating better living conditions for refugees. Angelina admired the attention given to the lives of refugees and felt grateful for their well-being.


Under the scorching heat of August 2007, Angie attentively heard the tale of a senior woman who sought refuge in Al Waleed, Iraq.


The warm grin on Angelina’s face as she interacts with a young Iraqi refugee.

Actress and UNHCR goodwill ambassador Angelina Jolie, right, meets with 64-year-old flood victim Zenul Hawa in the village of Mohib Bandi, on the outskirts of Nowshera, Pakistan, on Sept. 7, 2010. Jolie visited Pakistan's northwest to draw the world's attention towards the plight of 21 million people affected by the country's worst-ever floods.

Upon her arrival in Northern Pakistan, she made an appeal to the global community to provide assistance to the 21 million individuals affected by the catastrophic flood that occurred back in July 2010.

UNHCR goodwill ambassador Angelina Jolie presents education materials to teacher Gul Rahman and young schoolgirls in the village of Qala Gudar in February 2011, outside Kabul, Afghanistan. Jolie was visiting the site where she will fund a new girls' primary school.

In early 2011, the Goodwill Ambassador of the United Nations made a trip to Qala Gudar village, situated on the outskirts of Kabul in Afghanistan, with the aim of planning and organizing the construction of a school specifically for girls.


During her visit to the Shousha camp near the Tunis-Libya border in Ras Djir, Tunisia in April 2011, Jolie appealed to the global community to provide more aid and assistance to the hundreds of thousands of refugees taking shelter in Tunisia, who were forced to flee from Libya.

Actress Angelina Jolie, center, looks on next to United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres, left, during a visit to the Italian island of Lampedusa on June 19, 2011. Jolie made a surprise visit to Lampedusa, thanking residents for hosting thousands of refugees who have fled unrest in north Africa in recent months. She traveled from Malta with Guterres to the Mediterranean island that has been flooded with more than 40,000 asylum-seekers since the start of 2011, the UN refugee agency said.

In June 2011, Angelina Jolie and UN High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres paid a visit to refugees on the island of Lampedusa in Italy. The famous actress and the UN representative met with refugees and urged countries’ authorities to welcome people fleeing from conflict zones. This visit took place just before World Refugee Day.

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