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Angelina Jolie: Her Mission and Motherhood

Aired June 23, 2006 - 23:00   ET


In the next hour, Angelina Jolie talks about the children she's met in refugee camps around the world and how she feared her own adopted daughter might be HIV-positive.


ANNOUNCER: The world she knew best was this, a world-famous Hollywood superstar -- tonight, the journey that would open her eyes and change her forever.

ANGELINA JOLIE, ACTRESS: I was just shocked. I thought, how is that possible, that I have known nothing about this, and I'm 20- something years old, and there are this many people displaced in the world?

ANNOUNCER: Millions of people who cannot go home, some right here in the U.S., children.

JOLIE: I felt it was this crazy thing that we had all just missed somehow, that we couldn't possibly feel that that was right.

ANNOUNCER: A world-famous-actor-turned-crusader, and the most famous mom on the planet, building a family that spans the globe.

JOLIE: Because you're there for the birth, which I wasn't for my first two kids, you're just suddenly terrified that they're not going to take a first breath.

She's healthy. And it was amazing.


ANNOUNCER: This is a special edition of ANDERSON COOPER 360: "Angelina Jolie: Her Mission and Motherhood."

From New York, here's Anderson Cooper.

COOPER: And good evening again to our viewers here in the United States and watching on CNN International in some 200 countries and territories around the world tonight.

We're dedicating the program tonight to the 15 million people around the world who cannot go home. They have fled wars and hunger, persecution and poverty, 15 million people without homes, some displaced even within their own countries, many without countries at all.

Tonight, how Angelina Jolie, the very picture of Hollywood glamour, has come to embrace their cause and devote so much of herself to it, how their lives have touched her, and how motherhood plays a part.

I sat down with Angelina Jolie in Los Angeles last week. She and Brad Pitt had only returned from Namibia four days earlier, where she had given birth to a healthy baby girl, Shiloh Nouvel Jolie-Pitt. We talked about the birth and also about the burden of seeing what she's seen in the places she goes, a burden, by the way, that she welcomes.


COOPER: At a certain point, it's -- some people need to block it out. I mean, how do you -- you go repeatedly and you see this repeatedly. And that -- I mean, takes a toll. How do you get to a place where you can function in that environment?

JOLIE: It does, but, I mean -- and you know this -- it's that you get -- I am so inspired by these people. And they are the greatest strength.

So, it's not -- you have that memory. You have that moment -- I have had it -- where, even just today, I was, you know, breast- feeding, and tired, and thinking, God, I really don't know how I'm going to get myself together to be thinking for this interview.

But you think, Jesus, the things these people go through. I owe it to all of them to get myself together, to stop whining about being tired, and get there and get focused, and, because God, it's the least I can do, with what they live with and what they can -- you know, they pull themselves out of the most horrible despair. And they're able to smile and get on with it and survive. And, so, you don't -- it's that same thing. You don't -- you don't think, poor me, what I have seen. You just think, like, Jesus, thank God I -- I'm not experiencing it.

COOPER: Right.

The first time you went to a refugee camp, what was that like?

JOLIE: God, it was -- it was Sierra Leone. So, it was a different kind of a camp. It was -- they were still having civil war. And it was kind of just this area of people who had been -- who had had their limbs cut off from the violence. And it was an amputee camp. And it was probably to this day the worst camp I have ever seen.

And I knew I was changing as a person. I was learning so much about life. And I was -- so, in some ways, it was the best moment of my life, because it...

COOPER: Right.

JOLIE: ... changed me for the better. And I was never going to be never going to be -- going to want for more in my life or be... (CROSSTALK)

COOPER: I mean, how did it change you?

JOLIE: I was very focused on myself, on my career, on my life, on this -- you know, we have so much and we want for other things, and we don't realize how grateful we should be about things. I had been -- done things, you know, like most teenagers, hurting myself, or doing things...

COOPER: Right.

JOLIE: I mean, all those things. You take your own life for granted.

And then, suddenly, you see these people who are really fighting something, who are really surviving, who have so much pain and loss and things that you have no idea.

And, as soon as I got to a phone, I called my mom and just told her how much I loved her. And I was so grateful I knew where she was and so grateful I knew where my brother was, that -- that it just changed everything.

COOPER: Right.

And, then, how do you come back? I mean, it's got to be -- it's always -- I have found it always a hard thing, once you're there and you see that, and your eyes are open and your heart is open and your mind is open. And then you come back, and especially in this world that you live in, it's got to be such a strange -- it's got to be surreal.


JOLIE: By the time I got on the plane and on the way home, I didn't -- I knew that I would somehow commit to doing something with these people in my life. And I knew that would be the only way to settle it in myself.

COOPER: And why refugees? Of all the things -- I mean, there are so many causes around the world. There are so many problems. Why is it -- you're focusing on a problem which is almost intractable. I mean, there have always been refugees, internally displaced people. There almost, likely, will always be.

JOLIE: One, I went to Cambodia, and I learned a lot about the situation there and the refugees there.

But I got this book on the U.N., because I really liked the idea of the U.N. I know it's not perfect.


JOLIE: But loved what it stood for. And, so, I got a book on the U.N. And I was reading about it. And then I got to this chapter on refugees. And it said almost 20 million people are displaced. And it showed pictures of Rwanda and pictures of all these -- and I was kind of -- and I was just shocked.

I thought, how is that possible, that I have known nothing about this, and I'm 20-something years old, and there are this many people displaced in the world?

So, I knew it was something that had to be discussed, and wasn't being discussed. And, then, the more I read about it, the more I just thought, they really are the most vulnerable people in the world. They really don't have an option for -- it's not just that they're poor. It's not just that they're hungry. It's not just that -- it's that they are in fear of -- for their lives. They are going to be persecuted for their race, their religion, their nationality.

They don't have the protection of their own country. They're somewhere uprooted, without any protection, with their families, relying on somebody to open their doors for someplace for them to lay their head down or get some food or something.


JOLIE: And they may not be able to return home for decades.

COOPER: And it's totally out of their control.

I mean, I have always found that when you -- it's almost that term, refugees. You kind of make assumptions about who they are. But, in fact, they -- I mean, they are everyone. We all could be refugees at one point or another in our lives. And, all of a sudden, to have that lack of control, I always just find such a sad thing.


And I think that happened with the Balkans. I think a lot of people suddenly saw refugees that looked like them. And it was a different thing. It was a -- it was a new thing.

COOPER: Do you go through phases?

I mean, when I first went to Somalia in the early '90s during the famine, I remember being overwhelmed. And then I felt like I was going through phases, the more wars I would go to, of anger, and then confusion...


COOPER: ... and then outrage, and then sort of resignation, then sort of an open feeling that allows me to continue doing it. But do...


COOPER: Do you go through those phases? JOLIE: I did. Yes. I don't know which phase I'm in now.


JOLIE: But I did. I went through -- I went through a definite phase of being, I think, just shocked at first. And then I wanted to save the world.



JOLIE: And I was sure I could save the world.


JOLIE: And then I was -- and then I did feel helpless and just angry.

COOPER: A doctor in Niger said to me who was with this group Doctors Without Borders, which I'm a big fan of, said, you know, he tells the nurses not to cry in front of the mothers. He said, that's not your job, that you're -- you know, if you want to cry, go cry somewhere in a corner, but don't -- you can't do it in front of the mothers, because it's not fair to them, because then they will worry about, what's going to happen to my kid, which I just found -- I don't know. It's always sort of stayed with me.


I kept a journal for the -- I still do when I go into the field. And I think part of it was just me being able to do this and not look at the...


COOPER: Yes. It helps.


JOLIE: Not cry. Yes.


COOPER: It makes it easier sometimes.

JOLIE: I'm working.


COOPER: Yes. Believe me, I know that feeling.

I also read the statistic, which I know you know, is that -- that a child is orphaned every 14 seconds, which is just, again, it just -- it's hard to wrap your mind around, you know?

JOLIE: Yes. No, it's unbelievable.

And that's another thing that they have been -- we have been recently fighting for, you know, all the AIDS orphans and all the kids that are out there, because...


You were very supportive of a bill that -- actually passed and got signed by the president...


COOPER: ... but then wasn't funded for a long time.

JOLIE: Yes. It was...

COOPER: Is -- has it been funded?

JOLIE: It was one of my first lessons in Washington. It was like, oh, a bill. I'm pushing for a bill.


JOLIE: The bill passed. Success. And then somebody said, and now the funding. And I thought, and now the funding? I thought was that was the whole...

COOPER: And it's still not funded.

JOLIE: But you realize that, no, that that's -- you know, first, they make it a priority to do it. And then -- and I don't -- you know, there are a lot of people that are going to come together.

And I will spend more time in Washington, try to raise this funding, and hope that the funding doesn't come from somewhere else.


COOPER: Well, there are battles won in her fight. But, frankly, there are some battles where political differences or ethnic and religious grievances are so entrenched, or international influences so weak or unwilling, that the effort seems almost unwinnable.

One such example is Darfur, in western Sudan, where the slaughter of Africans by Muslim militias, the janjaweed, they're called, has created one of the worst refugee catastrophes on the planet today. And it's happening right now.


COOPER: Sudan, you have been there. What is that like?

JOLIE: You know, it's a really difficult situation. It's one of those situations -- I know you were in Rwanda. You know, it's -- you -- you're in a situation where you know -- it's frustrating for me now. I hear people talking about Darfur on the news now. And they're talking about, what are we going to do? And they're starting to discuss solutions. And you're starting -- the solutions that you heard field officers begging to be addressed three years ago, you know?

And you just, God, feel like, you know, how many times are we going to let these things go on this long? Or when are we going to finally be united internationally to be able to handle these things immediately and...


COOPER: It's interesting, because, in Rwanda, the U.S. government never -- wouldn't call it a genocide. But they have. This administration has called what's happened in Sudan a genocide. And, yet, it continues.

JOLIE: And, then, you think they were going to lead the charge, kind of, and it -- but then they didn't.

And, so, it -- you know, and my feelings -- people have said, why hasn't the U.N. called it a genocide or what -- and part of me just, at the end of the day, feels, well, I don't understand why we have to call it one thing or another. If it's a gross human rights violation, and people are dying, does -- does it have to have a name that's, you know, for us to act?

So, it shouldn't matter if this person's calling it or this person isn't. We shouldn't even be arguing about that. We all know something needs to be addressed.


COOPER: Well, U.N. troops are there, but it's not enough to stop the killing and rape in Darfur. It's hard to imagine, hard enough to get really humanitarian supplies into the region. As you will hear one aid worker say, it's like squeezing a watermelon through a keyhole. Fortunately, they keep trying.

Reporting for us tonight, CNN's Christiane Amanpour.


CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A little boy waits, as though expecting manna from heaven, which is what this might just as well be, sacks of Sudanese sorghum, U.S. wheat, Canadian split peas and pulses falling from the sky and providing the villagers of Habila their first food aid in three months.

The U.N. World Food Program was bringing in aid by air until October last year, a drop in the desert, but a much-needed one.

PETER SMERDON, U.N. WORLD FOOD PROGRAM: Getting food into west Darfur is trying to squeeze a watermelon through a keyhole, because the infrastructure is so small. The airport is small. It's difficult to get food in there, especially during the rainy season.

AMANPOUR: This year, the U.N. managed to preposition food in these remote locations, so they don't plan any more airdrops, which are, in any case, a costly last resort -- but, from the air, evidence of a war that, three years on, is just getting worse, straw roofs burned off huts, millions of people turned into refugees, and frantic efforts by the U.N. to reach those in Darfur who are cut off from food supplies.

Across Sudan, more than six million people depend on outside aid. International relief workers are trying to save lives in a desperate battle against malnutrition.

Today, the U.N. warns a food and hunger disaster stalks the refugee camps in Darfur, because the world is falling short on its funding. It's come up with only half the money needed, so the World Food Program has had to make what it calls one of the hardest decisions ever, to cut desperately needed food rations in half.

Meantime, the violence continues, as it has done for the past three years.

(on camera): The U.N. is accusing the Sudanese government of resuming raids against rebels in Darfur. And it also says that displaced villagers like these are still being attacked by janjaweed militia.

(voice-over): In fact, most people tell us they won't go back home until there is proper security.

In the meantime, this is their fate, a desperate rush to retrieve whatever aid comes their way. And each family treasures the strict rations that are carefully doled out. After all, they don't know when they will get their next delivery.

Christiane Amanpour, CNN, Habila, western Darfur.


COOPER: And that's how simple it is. When the donations don't get there, the food aid gets cut.

Of course, Darfur is not the only place where refugees suffer. Believe it or not, some are hurting here in the U.S. Angelina Jolie has worked to give children caught in a legal limbo here in America a chance of hope. She talks about that coming up.

And we will head back to Africa, to Congo, where the brutality women and children are facing right now as we speak is unimaginable. Angelina tells us what she has seen there with her own eyes.

And we also talked about her new life with a newborn baby -- when this special edition of 360 continues, "Angelina Jolie: Her Mission and Motherhood."


COOPER (voice-over): Ethiopia has been out of the headlines since the famine of the early 1980s. A drought in 1981 wiped out the harvest. And, by 1985, nearly one million Ethiopians had died of starvation.

Live Aid raised more than $60 million. But, today, AIDS is killing the people of Ethiopia; 1.5 million there, almost 5 percent of the adult population, are HIV-positive. At least one million children are already orphans, because their parents have died of AIDS. In 2005, Angelina Jolie adopted an AIDS orphan, a little girl named Zahara, who's now 16 months old.

JOLIE: There was a fear that she had HIV. And the upsetting thing was that I was sat down and it was explained to me that, don't worry, because, in this country, it's not a death sentence.

COOPER: Zahara tested negative. She was lucky. Back in Ethiopia, few have access to medicine that would keep them alive. More than 100,000 Ethiopians die from the disease each year.


COOPER: Well, unfortunately, the story of Ethiopia is not unique. The U.N. estimates that more than 24 million people are living with HIV in sub-Saharan Africa alone.

Angelina Jolie has seen firsthand a lot of the suffering from HIV, as well as other afflictions, as she travels around the world, visiting refugee camps. Not all of her work, however, is in faraway places. As she's learned, there are refugees here in the United States, unaccompanied minors, who remain just as invisible as some of those refugees in Africa.


COOPER: A lot of the problems which often seem like they're far away, but you have also been focusing a lot on problems right here in the United States of children who are coming into America unaccompanied, unaccompanied minors, and basically find themselves in the legal system without representation.

JOLIE: Yes. They have none here.

And, a few years ago, they would end up in more of a jail-like situation as well, which now things have been transferred to the Office of Refugee Resettlement. And it's become better. They're -- it's more like a foster care house for these kids. But that's just been in the last few years that's changed. That was the first step.

And now the thing that is that they don't have any legal representation. So, basically, you have got a kid that was maybe, you know, a Chinese kid or -- that was trafficked, had things happen to her sexually. Maybe even a boy, things happened to him sexually. He doesn't speak English. And he's supposed to represent himself in court and talk about those things.

And he's got no assistance to be able to do that. And that's just -- when I learned about that, I just felt that that was un- American. I felt it wasn't just. I felt it was this crazy thing that we had all just missed somehow, that we couldn't possibly feel that that was right. We just somehow missed this in our justice system.

We have got to get these kids some kind of legal assistance or representation, so we can hear...

COOPER: I think a lot of people would be surprised to know that that even happens here, that...


COOPER: ... that a kid can go through that system without legal representation.


And we are not saying -- I'm not saying, you know, let all these kids in; trust them all.

You know, it's not about that. It's about, you have to -- you have to listen to them. You have to hear what they're saying, and then make a decision as to whether or not you should send them back to a situation that could be very, very dangerous for them.

And, so, many of them, because of the way the courts -- they're in there for years.


COOPER: Well, Angelina Jolie learned about these children here in the U.S. the same way she's learned about other refugees. She visited them herself. The children she met were waiting in limbo in Arizona.

CNN's Rick Sanchez visited the same shelter. And here's what he found.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I would like to take...

UNIDENTIFIED IMMIGRANTS: I would like to take...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ... a week off.,


RICK SANCHEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's a strange irony. These children are learning English, but most will soon be deported. They're some of the 6,000 immigrant or refugee children humanitarian officials say are caught each year trying to cross the U.S. border all alone, and have no legal guardians to speak for them. What little English they learn, they will hardly get to practice. Their average stay here at the Southwest Key shelter in Phoenix is about seven weeks, just long enough to get through immigration removal proceedings that could send them packing back to their countries.

SANCHEZ (on camera): Are you guys happy here? (SPEAKING SPANISH)


SANCHEZ: If you could stay here? (SPEAKING SPANISH)



SANCHEZ (voice-over): In cramped offices, social workers struggle to find loopholes in the law, like family members living in the United States who will sponsor the children.


SANCHEZ: But even a sponsorship doesn't guarantee them a green card.

Take the case of 15-year-old Juana (ph) and 13-year-old Pepe (ph). Beating me at foosball is far easier than beating the Arizona desert. That's where they spent eight days recently on a journey to reach their parents in Boston, until they were apprehended, that is, by Border Patrol agents.

The cactus scars on her legs illustrate the difficulty of the journey.

(on camera): When was the last time you saw your mom and dad?



(voice-over): The cruel reality is that, even if Juana and Pepe reunite with their parents, they will likely still be deported. That's because their parents have work permits, but are not legal residents.

What Angelina Jolie, along with the National Center For Refugee and Immigrant Children, have fought for is a chance to provide Juana, Pepe, and others like them a fighting chance, with free legal representation to help them stay in the U.S.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And they're seeking assistance, or they're fleeing violence or conflict. It's often very difficult for them to explain their circumstances. There's a lot of fear.

SANCHEZ: Alone and with no English, the children would be lost in the complex maze of immigration court proceedings. Fourteen-year- old Pedro (ph) is getting help from a lawyer for his deportation hearing.

But his chances are not good. His only relative in the U.S. is his brother.

(on camera): Will he come get you?


SANCHEZ: He doesn't -- he's not legal. He doesn't have his papers. He's undocumented. (SPEAKING SPANISH) So, he can't come and get you.

(voice-over): Lawyers will argue Pedro is abandoned, has no one to turn to, even in his homeland of Guatemala, and should therefore be granted a humanitarian exception. It's a long shot, as it is for many of the almost 100 lost and lonely children who reside at this Arizona shelter. They live in an open setting that gives no appearance of a detention center. They're offered a soccer field, a public swimming pool, a full day of schooling, medical facilities.

They may not get to stay in the United States, but, while they're here, they're protected, treated with dignity, and given a fighting legal chance.

Rick Sanchez, CNN, Phoenix.


COOPER: Coming up: Angelina Jolie's greatest anguish and anger, cruelty towards kids, the brutality that she has seen with her own eyes -- also, the youngest victimized in the Congo by the unthinkable, the unimaginable -- when this special edition of 360, "Angelina Jolie: Her Mission and Motherhood," continues.



COOPER (voice-over): On empty roads, children and parents, refugees, carried what they could, homes and loved ones left behind.

(on camera): Well, these officials say that this may be one of the largest mass movements of people in history. The fear is that, if the camp isn't organized soon enough, disease could spread among the refugees.

(voice-over): There are no toilets. Human waste mixes with drinking water. Relief workers struggle to catch up, little food, no clean water, no shelter.

(on camera): People fled with whatever possessions they could bring. For some people, it was their cattle, for others, a bicycle.

(voice-over): At Gihini (ph) Hospital, about 100 survivors of the carnage find refuge. (on camera): Those who are still in Rwanda and still alive often are malnourished or injured. These kids over here are severely malnourished.

And in this room over here is kids who have been hit by machetes.

(voice-over): The children's ward is crowded with members of the Tutsi minority, victims of attacking Hutus. They cut fingers from a child too young to walk.


COOPER: That was me reporting back in 1994 in the genocide in Rwanda for Channel One News.

Last year, more than 100,000 Rwandans were refugees. They're just a fraction of the 15 million refugees and internally displaced persons worldwide. And what strikes you when you visit a refugee camp is the will to survive.

The people who, you know, by all rights should be hopeless and wake up without hope, they try to wake up every day determined to live, determined to get home and find a new life, and create a life for their families.

That's where my exclusive interview with Angelina Jolie picks up.


JOLIE: You hear so much about the famine. You hear so much about the wars and how much it's being broken down. And, then, you go to a place like Congo, and you expect it to just be barren and empty and soulless.

COOPER: Right.

JOLIE: And you see it's -- that the Congo is bigger than any war that's ever hit the Congo.

COOPER: Right.

JOLIE: The Congo is lush, and it's amazing, and...

COOPER: It's throbbing with life.

JOLIE: All the people, and they're so different. And they're passionate. And they're tough. And they're vibrant. And ready to live.

And the Congo itself is just magnificent.


JOLIE: So, you see that and you realize, you know, that it does have -- there is that hope. You suddenly get kind of inspired that, God, it just hasn't even taken a piece out of it, you know, even though it's such -- it's been going on how many years?

COOPER: Yes, I mean, since the late '90s. I mean, more than three million people have died. A thousand, they say, die a day from war-related conditions, malnutrition, so often, women and children who are the ones bearing the brunt of all this.

I mean, in the Congo, it's women being raped, tens of thousands of women. And I mean, I read that you saw children who had been macheted. What is that like, to see that? To see that being done to kids?

JOLIE: I just wonder how do you -- how could you possibly explain that? It's like being in Sierra Leone, and seeing -- I saw a 3-year-old who had her arms cut off. And you just think, what kind of a human being? You try to imagine, it must be drugs, it must be -- but what kind of a person could do that?

And the rapes in the Congo are so brutal. For the people that don't know about it, there's so much -- and even that we recently had a baby in Africa, and people talking about the surgeries and the different types of surgeries. But they talk so much about Congo and having to sew the kids back together. Because they've been just ripped completely open.

And you know, that's -- how do you make sense of any of that? It doesn't make any sense. It's disgusting and it's horrible. It needs -- you start to wonder, with all of these things, you know, when does it take us as an international community to just get together and say, OK, that just has to stop? Joseph Kony has to stop. You know, how long does it take for us to start to enforce an international law on these kind of situations and deal with it immediately?

Because that's what you start to just get angry about. You can get angry about the situation in one country or the people doing it. But then there's that broader picture of, we need to do something stronger.


COOPER: Well, it's easy to feel that way once you've been to a place like the Congo and seen the unimaginable. Brutality so horrific that, well, it's unthinkable.

While the civil wars ended in Congo, the violence there continues and so does the struggle to heal.

CNN's Jeff Koinange reports.


KOINANGE (voice-over): They have nothing to sing about, and yet, they sing. They sing to comfort each other and to find strength. These mothers and daughters, grandmothers and granddaughters all say they've been raped again and again by men in uniform.

The incidents are not isolated incidents, the violence widespread. To survive, women and children flee their homes.

21-year-old Tintsi says was attacked by 15 men wearing uniforms of the Congolese army. She says they raped her for eight days and eight nights. She was brought here on a stretcher. Now she needs a cane to walk.

"They can take away my womanhood," she says, "but they will never be able to break my spirit."

Officials say there were more than 4,000 rape cases reported this past year in this one province of the eastern Congo alone.

An average of 12 women arrive here at this rehab center for treatment each day.

So who's doing it and why? As part of the peace deal that ended the civil war here nearly three years ago, the country's various militias were welcomed into the army. Men in uniform who can now rape with impunity.

Dr. Denis Mukwege Mukengere is the only physician at this hospital that specializes in the treatment of rape victims. He says he performs about six complex operations a day to repair damaged tissue in cases of mutilation. And even when he successfully treats their wounds, he wonders can their spirits ever truly heal. In his 23 years practicing in this region, he says he's never seen such brutality.

"When we hear stories of how some of them have knives thrust into them after being raped," he says, "and some suffer gunshot wounds after a pistol is fired between their legs, it's the cruelest and most barbaric thing I have ever seen."

The doctor takes us to one of several wards filled with victims of sexual violence, colostomy bags hanging below their beds. The more frightening scenario, the chance they could be HIV positive, a medical finding that could cause them to be rejected by family members after they leave the hospital.

Aid money designated by international charitable organizations for victims of sexual violence is always scarce and may soon be running out.

Here in the democratic republic of Congo it's easy to find the victims mutilated, raped, without homes.

But Amnesty International and private donors say there seems to be no effort to find the rapists. And so, the women of this country must try to heal without justice. It makes the words of their song all the more powerful. "We will never be broken," they sing. "We will never be broken."

Jeff Koinange, CNN, Bukavu in eastern Congo.


COOPER: It is hard to imagine, but you have seen it with your even eyes.

Coming up, more of my conversation with Angelina Jolie. We talked about stunning facts and numbers. Imagine a society where one out of four children die before reaching the age of 5. A reality that she and many others are fighting to change.

And 360 M.D. Sanjay Gupta, on the challenge of providing health care to refugees created by natural and manmade disasters when the special edition of 360 continues, "Angelina Jolie: Her Mission and Motherhood."




COOPER: Angelina Jolie was filming the hit "Lara Croft Tomb Raider" in Cambodia in 2001 when she first became aware of the desperate poverty in that country.

Cambodia's history is one of violence, genocide, and war. It's taken its toll. Cambodia is one of the poorest countries in Asia. About half the children are malnourished, and one out of every eight kids dies before the age of 5.

This is where Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt's son, Maddox, was born. He was 7 months old when he was adopted. Too young to remember the poverty, too young to truly understand the impact he's had on his mother's life.


JOLIE: He's just such a pure reminder of everything that really is important in life. And he's -- children are just wonderful. They're just so honest and they're so loving and they're so -- and I want a better world for him. So I'm kind of focused on things that maybe I wasn't before. And I'm more patient. All those things. He's brought out a really -- he's made me a woman. And I've become more nurturing.


COOPER: Well, no one can deny that Angelina's sense of nurturing has developed over the years. It benefits her adopted children certainly, and now Shiloh, the child she conceived with Brad Pitt. As well as the countless desperate children who she'll never see, but who she says are always on her mind.


COOPER: One in four children in Niger dies before the age 5, which to me, I still cannot wrap my mind around. It's hard -- I always try to figure out, how do you make that real for people here? You know, how do you make that a reality? Is it something you have figured out a way to make real for people? JOLIE: No. I don't think so. I mean, I'd like to -- I certainly know with my children, maybe -- I mean, people -- a lot of people ask me about my daughter Zahara who is an AIDS orphan, and she -- because we couldn't hide her from the press. People knew how sick she was when she came home. And so maybe in some way, she's been hopefully a positive example of what just basic care and food can do to a child.

COOPER: Her mother died of AIDS?

JOLIE: Her mother died of AIDS, yes.

COOPER: Did you -- I read that you thought -- you didn't know if she was HIV positive or not when you got her?

JOLIE: No, we didn't. We didn't. And it was a good -- it was a strong realization. We brought her in and they thought maybe she did, that it was something you can deal with now. And you know, that you shouldn't be scared of having a child with AIDS or having a friend or husband or, you know, obviously there's new treatments and there's new -- you can take it on, which was nice to know when we got to the hospital, it wasn't...

COOPER: And you made that decision...

JOLIE: ... it wasn't going to be a death sentence for her, it was going to be something that was a difficult life, but we could...

COOPER: So even if she had been HIV positive, you would have adopted her?

JOLIE: Yes. But because of the other children, just because it would have been so -- it's a life-changing decision, to adopt a child with that. And so to be honest, it was a relief when she wasn't.

COOPER: Do you feel like at times, man, I wish I could take 10 kids from here?

JOLIE: Yes. You do. And you feel guilty. I felt guilty with her. Because she was sick and because you had that -- I have that thought of -- because when they got there, they said you could adopt her, but you could also adopt this other child who had just shown up. And we adopted her. But, you know, we don't know exactly if that other child is one of the ones who passed away. And you have that feeling of, oh, if I took two out.

But you know, again, you can drive yourself crazy with those kind of thoughts. You just have to...

COOPER: Do what you can.

JOLIE: Do what you can.

COOPER: Do you think about what her life, what Maddox's life must have -- would have been like, had you not found each other? JOLIE: Yes. Well, she had -- she, the other kids in the orphanage, a few of them, because we found out she had salmonella poisoning and a few of the kids in the same orphanage passed away while she was in the hospital. And they would have been the same size, but she got to the hospital in time.

And my son, he's in a country where they traffic the children and they have them beg in the streets and they just collect all these street kids.

COOPER: From Cambodia?

JOLIE: From Cambodia. So, there's a high chance that that would have been him.

COOPER: How do you make the decision, I'm going to adopt a child from Ethiopia? Or is it just, I met this child and we have this connection?

JOLIE: I just -- I love -- I've always felt that my kids are around the world and I love -- I went to Cambodia and I fell in love with the kids and the country. And I knew -- I don't know. It's just -- I suppose it's like somebody realizing they're going to have a baby one day. It suddenly becomes very clear.

And I loved Ethiopia, Brad loved Ethiopia, we'd both been individually. And so it just felt like a natural place to adopt.

COOPER: What was the like actually giving birth? I mean, you had two children through adoption. What was it like?

JOLIE: Well, we ended up having -- she was in breech. So I ended up having a cesarean. So it was very quick. It was -- and...

COOPER: Brad was in the operating room?

JOLIE: He was in the operating room, yes. Yes. And we had amazing doctors and everybody was so lovely. And you know, you're just -- because you're there for the birth, which I wasn't for my first two kids, you're just suddenly terrified they're not going to take a first breath. That was my whole focus. I just wanted to hear her cry. I was sure everything would go -- at the last minute I became the mother that was sure everything was going to go wrong. And she's healthy and it was amazing.

But I was also really relieved I didn't feel differently. I was sure...

COOPER: Oh really? You mean between your biological child and adopted children?

JOLIE: Yes. I was kind of prepared to defend my other children. I was prepared to kind of give them extra love and attention because something was going to be different about this new one.

COOPER: How did Maddox respond? Did he like... JOLIE: Mad loves her. Mad -- well, because when Z came home, she was already older. She was 7 months old. So Mad, it's like having this tiny little pet that he can just like hold and look at. He's great. Z's a little jealous because she's still a little girl.

COOPER: Do you want to adopt more kids?

JOLIE: Yes. Yes. Next we'll adopt.

COOPER: Do you know -- really, next? That will be the next? You're actually planning it?


COOPER: Wow. Do you know where from?

JOLIE: No, no, we don't know which country, but we're looking at different countries. And we're just -- it's going to be the balance of what would be the best for Mad and for Z right now. If, you know, another boy, another girl, which country, which race would fit best with the kids.


COOPER: Coming up, a medical crisis in the making. Unfolding around the world after a disaster strikes. 360 M.D. Sanjay Gupta investigates.

And later, what you can do to help. We'll break down the information you need that can save lives around the world and here at home, when this special edition of 360 continues.


COOPER: Well, those countries are just a fraction of the more than 160 nations where 15 million displaced people come from. Many get by without even the most basic health care, a problem that's really getting worse by the day.

Angelina Jolie says that stopping it can be simple. She came to the realization, she says, when she was about to give birth.


COOPER: You released a statement with Brad Pitt after you had Shiloh in Namibia and you said, while we celebrate the joy of the birth of our daughter, we recognize that 2 million babies born every year in the developing world die in the first day of their lives. These children can be saved, but only if governments around the world make it a priority. What do you think can be done?

JOLIE: Well, we were in -- when we were in Namibia, there's a local little clinic which we ended up having the baby in. What we learned and what I learned in being there is -- we did bring a doctor just in case. And he ended up working with the local people and they were great. But he went to the state hospital. And this is back to the point of what can be done and what governments can do.

We said we wanted to make a donation, could you go to the state hospital and see, as a doctor, what it is that they're missing, what it is that they're -- and he came back and said they have no ultrasound. They have no -- even the -- the things to listen to the baby's heart. There's a machine, you can listen to the baby's heart and the mom's heart at the same time. And they were just using this little piece of like, I don't know what it was, wood or something, to listen.

And you realize, my God, you know, for $100,000, maybe $150,000, you could get the equipment that could save lives immediately. And it's so simple. Because you're just present and you ask and you know what somebody's missing.

And it's -- you know, one of the hospitals had some equipment, but they didn't have the money to buy the paper. But somebody donated the equipment.

So it was, what, $1,000 to buy paper for 10 years and supply them with what they need, and they just needed the paper.

COOPER: And that's how change happens. Change happens by individuals just...

JOLIE: Just talking to them and figuring out what they need, and instead of just saying, that's a huge, horrible statistic that this many people die.

There are also some very simple solutions if you just ask and go hands-on. It's not that hard.


COOPER: Well, for Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, the solution was that simple. After giving birth to Shiloh, she and Mr. Pitt donated $300,000 to two state-run hospitals in Namibia so they could buy those ultrasound machines and the kind of medical equipment that, well, frankly, most of us here take for granted. It is that kind of aid that saves lives.

But when disaster strikes, keeping refugees alive is often a race against time. No matter how fast the aid pours in.

360 M.D. Dr. Sanjay Gupta experienced it firsthand last year.


DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Sri Lanka, January 2005. Just days after the tsunami washed away entire villages.

(on camera): The rising death toll shows no signs of slowing down.

(voice-over): All but non-existent sanitation, a crippled public health system, a drastic shortage of medications all threatened to claim thousands of more lives.

8-year-old Doneth Dishwala (ph) survives. An instant refugee. Just a boy with no way to truly understand just how bad his life had just become.

Along with hundreds of other displaced kids, a school. Now the last, best shelter. I've seen it time and time again. Refugees, internally displaced people. Tens of thousands converging at once. Camps forming overnight out of desperation, usually after some unimaginable atrocity. They remind us what it means to lose everything -- home, livelihood, family. Often with no food, no water, no shelter, and some say, no hope.

Even if you survive the initial calamity, you still have an even greater chance of dying because of deadly disease.

(on camera): We've just landed at one of the worst-hit areas in the Pakistan earthquake.

(voice-over): This is a remote region of northern Pakistan after last year's earthquake that killed 80,000 people in just minutes and left more than 3 million people homeless. It's in these cramped, squalid conditions that measles, cholera, pneumonia, meningitis, tuberculosis, polio, normally treatable diseases, spread quickly among the confines of the population.

In these places, the common hope is refuge and safety. But they are jam packed and it's often difficult to tell the sick from just the weary.

Health issues can spiral out of control in just a matter of days. Treating things like pneumonia is made harder still by the fact there's no clean water.

Here, the reality is freezing temperatures, no shoes. Even as I offer up a jacket, I fear he will freeze to death. But he scampers away.

In Rwanda, 12 years after its genocide, it's the women and the children hit hardest by an invisible virus -- HIV. These women are dying, many of them victims of rape as Rwanda was torn apart. Often left for dead. Truth is, they were, in fact, given a death sentence -- AIDS.

These women, sometimes with their infected children, are also refugees, labeled as unwanted.

Refugees live their lives assaulted by disease, plagued by the elements, and defined by uncertainty. Forget about planning for next year. They don't even know what tomorrow will bring.

Back in Sri Lanka, 8-year-old Doneth is a survivor, but now living with a gaping hole in his life. His crayons, now the way he communicates. Cars turned upside down in the water. That figure underneath a bamboo tree? His dead father, killed by the waves. Home would never be the same for him. I went with Doneth as he saw his home for the first time after the tsunami. As a doctor, I know that it's the emotional trauma that can last long afterwards and cause the deepest scars.

Sometimes the aid comes pouring in, as a venting of compassion occurs around the world. But the aid soon dries up, as disasters disappear from the headlines and the temporary refugee camps become permanent homes for those with nowhere else to go.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN, New York.


COOPER: Well, Angelina Jolie has been trying to bring more attention to all of these people so desperately in need.

After the break, we'll show you how you can help if you want.

You're watching a special edition of 360, "Angelina Jolie: Her Mission and Motherhood."


COOPER: Well, we've shown you some phone numbers over the last two hours, but we want to do it one more time in case you want to help.

You can go to the UNHCR Web site at You can also call USA for UNHCR at the toll-free number 1-800-770-1100. That's 1-800-770-1100.

Angelina Jolie, meanwhile, will continue her missions around the world for the U.N. We're glad she chose to talk to us about her work with refugees and about her growing family on this special edition of 360.

For everyone here at CNN, thanks for watching. Good night.


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