Children in Conflict: Angelina Jolie Announces New Coalition
Every time Angelina Jolie looked up from her remarks, hundreds of shutters clicked open and the noise was like a swarm of large, flying insects. The lights may have blinded the dozen or so partners in the Education Partnership for Children of Conflict standing behind her, but they also helped to add that movie star glamour to a new coalition that has a chance to make an impact on children, from New Orleans to the villages of Africa.
The new partnership, founded by Jolie and Gene Sperling, director of the Center for Universal Education on the Council on Foreign Relations, at last year’s Clinton Global Initiatve. The big news was the commitment to educate more than one million children affected by conflict around the world.
"Nothing wins more hearts and minds and nothing gives more freedom than
education and nothing is a better deterrent for conflict than an
educated child," Jolie said.
The partnership helps fund new education projects for children in conflict, post-conflict, refugee and emergency situations. Under today’s announced partnership, a total of 19 organizations have come together to make 18 commitments in 15 different countries – including a commitment to assist 200,000 Iraqi refugee children and more than 300,000 children affected by the Darfur genocide. Seed money over the past year came from the Novo Foundation, run by Warren Buffett’s son Peter and his wife Jennifer.
Among the partner organizations are Save the Children (whose CEO, Charles MacCormack, was effusive in his praise of Jolie and the program), UNICEF,the International Rescue Committee, Sesame Workshop and the Population Council.
Partnering with existing, successful organizations was a big part of the idea, said Jolie. "We knew we shouldn’t start from scratch because there were amazing organizations already doing incredible work."