Copyright 2002

[ May 20th 2002 ]

Hollywood actress Angelina Jolie, shooting in Thailand for her latest film, has donated $100,000 to help train refugees from Myanmar for new jobs, the U.N. refugee agency said Monday. Jolie, who is goodwill ambassador for the United Nations High Commission for Refugees, visited the Tham Hin refugee camp on Thailand's border with Myanmar, 112 miles west of Bangkok, Sunday.

Most inmates of the camp are Myanmar ethnic minorities who have fled fighting and oppression by the country's military government. "Living in a camp is a horrible situation. They need educational and vocational training to help them prepare for when they might go home," Jolie told reporters at the camp on Sunday.

Thailand is home to more than 120,000 refugees in camps, mainly from Myanmar's ethnic Karen minority. Jolie, who won an Oscar for her role as an unhinged teen-ager in "Girl, Interrupted," forged strong ties to the region when she adopted a young Cambodian boy after shooting the action film "Tomb Raider" there.

She is now shooting Beyond Borders, a love story about aid workers in refugee camps in Cambodia and Africa. Jolie said she was impressed by how the refugees coped with the cramped conditions. "She has a strong personal commitment to refugees and it has given this humanitarian issue the profile it should have," said Indrika Ratwatte, a UNHCR spokesman Monday.

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