Thursday, May 12, 2016


Angelina Jolie's big heart extends to her own youngsters, who have helped their famous mom to 'adopt' a family of Cambodian children and put them through private school.
The charity-minded actress was struck by the friendship her children built up with Leida Shoun, 16, and her siblings, after they met in Cambodia - where the star has been shooting her latest directorial effort First They Killed My Father.
Angelina's children were first approached by the young Cambodians when they were asking tourists for dollars in their hometown of Siem Reap.
Brad Pitt offered to buy them ice cream, but over the course of a few weeks last year, Angelina’s daughters Shiloh, nine, and Zahara, 11, showed their own charitable side to their Cambodian friends.
They are 12 brothers and sisters, who are aged between 19 years old and 16 months, and they live in a shack with their parents in one of the city’s slums.
Like many in the city, the family were living on food provided by charities and the government, but Angelina’s daughters helped them out.
Angelina's girls took the children for meals, bought them clothes and new bicycles while learning first-hand what life is like for some of the poorest people in the world.
At the time Leida said she wasn’t going to class.
'The school for me is too far away, I cannot walk there, so I do not go,' the 16-year-old told
'I have to pay to go to government school, but we cannot afford it. It is five dollars per subject per month per child - too much for us.
'But I want to study hard. I want to help other people and be a good example for my family.'
Now the Jolie-Pitts have taken things a step further and fulfilled Leida’s dream of sending her and her siblings to school, enrolling them in the New York International School Cambodia, one of the best in the area.
Every day at 6:45 in the morning, Leida and seven of her siblings who are of school age – including brothers and sisters Dyna, Ploy, Lan, Do and Darn - sport proud smiles as they catch the bus in pristine white and blue uniforms.
The bus takes them to the school, where they have class five days a week until five o'clock and are given an afternoon meal.
The children were enrolled in December and study hard. Soon it won’t just be Leida and six-year-old Ploy in the family who are able to speak English, as the school conducts lessons in both Khmer [the Cambodian language] and English.
More importantly the children aren’t on the streets of Siem Reap until late at night, asking tourists for change.
A source who knows the family and used to help them out from time to time said: 'Going to school is the best thing that has happened to them. It gives them hope for the future and much more of a purpose in life, huge changes for them.
'Leida has always been smart and had been picking up English, but as she’s 16 she has a lot of catching up to do with some of the other kids in her class, only because she’s not had the same access to education as they have.
'All of them are really happy to be going to school and to be given this chance. Most of them are too young to appreciate fully what has happened, but Angelina and her family have already given them more than any cheque could – they’ve helped give them the means to learn and work and prosper for themselves.'

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