Angelina Jolie Engages With Displaced Venezuelan Refugees: ‘They Want To Help Themselves’

Angelina Jolie may have made her name as an actress, but she is quickly becoming the face of humanitarian efforts around the world.

The “Salt” actress recently travelled to Peru to work with Venezuelan refugees seeking an escape from the economic depression ravaging their country.

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UNHCR Handout via REUTERS
UNHCR Handout via REUTERS

“I spent the last two days in Lima and at the border in Tumbes, where thousands of Venezuelans are entering on a daily basis,” Jolie said in a statement published by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. “This region is facing one of the largest mass migrations in its history. The crisis is all the more shocking for being predictable and preventable.”

“Every Venezuelan I met described the situation in their country as desperate… None of the Venezuelans I met want charity,” she added. “They want an opportunity to help themselves. The message that I heard consistently was, ‘We didn’t want to leave, we had to leave.’ After having spoken to so many people, it is clear to me that this is not movement by choice.”

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Peruvian Government Palace/Andres Valle/Handout via REUTERS
Peruvian Government Palace/Andres Valle/Handout via REUTERS

The actress and humanitarian met with countless struggling refugees doing everything in their power to make ends meet. Jolie shared the story of one Venezuelan lawyer who is now working in a t-shirt factory to support his family.

“The countries that have fewer resources are being asked to do the most,” Jolie said. “I want to thank the people of Peru for their generous and resilient response to this difficult situation.”

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