Angelina Talks Refugees' Plight: "This Fight Is a Very Personal Fight for All of Us"

    Angelina Jolie's mighty heart is showing.

    "I usually just explain to [my kids] that there are other families in the world that aren't as fortunate as ours and other kids'...And so I tell them that it's important for all of us to do what we can and then go to these places and understand what's happening," the powerhouse actress said Thursday while taping Anderson Cooper 360 as part of a round of appearances to discuss World Refugee Day.

    "Hopefully I'll take them to as many countries as I can and raise them with an education of the world."

    Just yesterday, the United Nations Refugee Agency announced a $1 million donation made by the Jolie-Pitt Foundation to aid displaced people in Pakistan.

    "I'm not a political person," Jolie said. "But I think it doesn't take much to understand that this is the frontline of us fighting against extremists where...all that we hold dear and all that we value is really on the line. This fight is a very personal fight for all of us."

    Jolie told Cooper about a 15-year-old orphan she met during her visit to a refugee camp in war-torn Afghanistan who had plenty to teach her about strength in the face of tragedy.

    "He had this really remarkable, unbreakable spirit, a spirit beyond anything I can imagine having—the things we complain about on a daily basis," an emotional Jolie said of the boy, who had been paralyzed by a gunshot wound. "He had lost everything. And he was just so full of laughter and kindness.

    "He passed away a few months after I was there. And so I always wondered...young people that you meet and you just think, in any other situation, if this person had been given a chance, what an extraordinary adult he would have been."

    So in the meantime, Jolie is working on making sure her kids—all six of 'em, at last count—understand that not everyone has what they have.

    "And I think by...meeting them, by making friends with these type of people and these type of children, it will make my children better people as they get older," she said.

    Jolie also said in an interview airing Friday on Today that she hopes to be doing the exact same thing—traveling all over the world, extending herself and her money to the cause—when she's an old woman.

    "I'm lucky to be in this," the 34-year-old said.

    "There's been refugees since the dawn of time and I'm sure, you know, my children will be visiting and learning from refugees in the future."

    (Originally published June 18, 2009, at 4:10 p.m. PT)


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