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Trinity34
1st Mar 2005, 01:19
In Samlaut with Angelina

http://www.cambodianvision.com/images/ajread1b.jpg

Angelina Jolie is a generous supporter of refugee programmes, reportedly donating several million dollars following tours of relief operations in Africa, Asia and South America. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) was so impressed she was introduced to Secretary General Kofi Annan and appointed in August 2001 as one of the UNHCR's Goodwill Ambassadors.

The American actress fell in love with Cambodia while filming "Tomb Raider".

In July 2001, she visited health centres, schools and a swag of vital programmes operated by the UN and non-government groups in the Cambodia's north and west. At the end of the year she returned to Cambodia to visit the historic temples at Angkor and to inspect aid projects she funds in Samlaut, an isolated former rebel zone in the country's far west.
For Angelina the two-day trip through the picturesque Cardamom mountains was a journey with some very unforgettable moments. She arrived at the tiny O'Snoet, one of the Samlaut region's most impoverished villages.
Here the heads of most of the nine families are disabled; three have no legs and three are blind. Here there was an outpouring of joy from villagers utterly delighted by Angelina's extraordinary support.

News came which people in the former Khmer Rouge zone have become accustomed to hearing - further tragedy and death. Not far away, the country's strife-torn past reared its ugly head yet again. In one horrific moment three parents were killed when an ox cart they were on was blown apart in a huge anti-tank mine explosion, and 10 children left orphaned. Decades of sporadic fighting have left Samlaut - near the border town of Pailin, where many former "KR" bosses now live in retirement, strewn with landmines.


But, as Margot Grant, an Aussie aid worker witnessed firsthand, the actress was an inspiration in this - and several other - troubled corners of the globe. Grant said: "Angelina was very concerned when she heard that the 10 children had been left orphaned by the mine explosion and immediately asked Sarath to look into it and indicated that she would give assistance to them through CVD".
Grant is an advisor to the Cambodian Vision in Development (CVD) group in Battambang, set up by Mounh Sarath, a former refugee who used to work as her translator in the huge Site 2 refugee camp in the mid 80's. Margot has gradually got used to the poverty and occasional horrors of war - the sound of incoming shells and horrific mine injuries - and grew to love the Cambodians who had fled their strife-torn land.

A few months before CVD had secured funding from Angelina Jolie, who was so moved by the desperate poverty in the village of O'Snoet during her first tour of the former Khmer Rouge area, she felt compelled to respond.

Sarath, the CVD chief, said Samlaut had the most severely handicapped residents of any province in the country - 817, and rising. About 80% of the people aged from 18 to 35 years had only one or two years' education and were virtually illiterate, he said. With huge needs all around, his group encourages self-help and focuses on cheap, sustainable assistance for "EVI's" - especially vulnerable individuals.

Read More... (http://www.cambodianvision.com/angelina.html)


Isn't it great to see the difference one person can make? :)

johnbegone
1st Mar 2005, 06:28
I really love what she's doing also. first read of it in readers digest.

Trinity34
1st Mar 2005, 23:53
The Readers Digest interview was one of the best interviews I have read. Its too bad that she gets so much negative press from Hollywoood..... she does a lot of good but people just want to believe the bad rumors. :(