Angelina Jolie visits Nairobi to condemn sexual violence

Angelina Jolie
UNHCR Special Envoy Angelina Jolie spoke to training stuff in Kenya about sexual violence prevention for World Refugee Day.

The Actress visited the International Peace Support Training Centre in Nairobi, Kenya, to address the peacekeepers on preventing sexual violence.

Jolie is the founder of the Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative, which she launched in 2012 alongside former Foreign Secretary Lord William Hague of Richmond. Since its launch, the initiative has provided training to 17,000 police and military on sexual violence issues.

£40m in UK funding has also been committed to the program.

According to UNHCR reports, Kenya is home to 491,000 refugees from several regions. This visit marks Jolie’s third trip to the capital.

She also met with adolescent sexual assault survivors in Nairobi, mentioning in her speech a girl who was the “same age as my eldest son, who is already a mother to a child born of rape.”

A statement from the UNHCR, explains that the young women Angelina met with are now all part of the Heshima Kenya’s Girls’ Empowerment Programme.

The scheme works to provide the girls with education and skills to become self-reliant, as most of the girls are pregnant or have children from being raped.

Ms Jolie also participated in training delivered to the military involved in African Peacekeeping Missions and gave a speech about preventing and responding to sexual and gender-based violence.

She addressed the military: ”The reality is that women and girls, as well as men and boys, can still be raped with near-total impunity in conflict zones around the world”

“Not only have they had to flee extreme violence or persecution, lost everything and witnessed the death of family members, but they have also had to face so much abuse and intolerance and hardship.”

“They are doing their best to carry on with minimal support, trying to live lives of dignity against impossible odds,”

She concluded:

“On behalf of victims of sexual violence, I want to plead with all of you to take this issue seriously and personally, to use your position and your influence to spread this message within your armed forces and on all the missions on which you serve”

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