NBC's Ann Curry traveled to Namibia, Africa, for an exclusive interview with Angelina Jolie, who has taken on a new cause — calling for all the world's children to be given the opportunity to get an education.
Excerpt of interview:
In recent months, the movie star and humanitarian has tried to stay out of the public eye, as she awaits the birth of her baby with fellow actor Brad Pitt. But just a few days ago, we sat down for an interview on her new life at their hideaway on the coast of the southern African nation of Namibia.
Jolie has a new cause: spokeswoman for Global Education Week, and she called on all the world's nations to help all the world's children go to school.
In what seems to be the middle of nowhere, on the coast of Namibia, in southern Africa, a very pregnant Angelina Jolie emerged from her private family vacation to speak on behalf of children in poor countries who don't get to go to school.
Ann Curry: What is the worst, in your mind, of that?
Angelina Jolie: God, I mean, there's just so many things. It's really ... it's really that of those ... of the potential of a human being ... lack of education causes death. You know, more children die under the age of five when the parents are not educated. More people get AIDS when they haven't had an education. There are statistics that prove that if every child was in school every year, 700,000 less people would get AIDS.
Curry: It seems also, for you, kind of a personal thing. You have two children you've adopted, both of whom might have been in this same circumstance of not being able to get educated. And when you look at them and you realize that ...
Jolie: I look at, especially my daughter, and how many million kids are out of school in her country, and especially girls. And I know families with AIDS ... when parents die of AIDS ... how there's no possible way the children can make a school fee.
Maddox ... the amount of street children in his country, the chances of him ... in all probability, what would have happened to Maddox ... he would have probably been one of the kids doing the garbage picking in the streets. And he would have been on his own.
Curry: It must mean so much to you as a human being to be able to give them an opportunity that they would never have gotten.
Jolie: You know, I'm happy for them that they're gonna have all this education. And I hope with it they do some good things and they [laughter] they're good people. But when I'd visit Cambodia and I'd see all those other moms. It's the worst thing in the world not to be able to give your kids everything you know they deserve.
Curry: Why should the American people push this when there are so many issues at home, including educational problems, at home? Why should they call their Congressman on this one?
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Jolie: Because if we just fix home and the neighborhoods around us fall apart, I mean, what kind of a place are we gonna live in? That doesn't make any sense. It doesn't make any sense to just fix your own house when your neighbors are falling into chaos.
Curry: There is another very famous person who talks a lot about education. And you sound a lot like her. Laura Bush, [laughter] actually. She talks a lot about this issue, specifically educating girls.
Jolie: Well, she should nudge her husband. [laughter]
Curry: Well, I think she does.
Curry: And I think that it also could be said that the U.S. does spend ...
Jolie: They do.
Curry: ... a considerable amount of money ...
Jolie: They do.
Curry: ... helping poor people get educated. So what's your message?
Jolie: They do. But no child left behind means no child left behind. And that isn't with what we feel we can give right now, but with whatever it takes. And Britain gives three times more than us right now. They're not richer than us. So I don't know what the great excuse is.
Tune in to “Dateline,” Sunday, April 30 for more all-new details from this exclusive interview.
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