The 'Maleficent' star reached out to the young boys via an agent and donated an undisclosed amount. The young boys now hope to raise even more money.
Angelina Jolie recently donated an undisclosed amount to a lemonade stand run by two British schoolchildren. Six-year-olds Ayaan Moosa and Mikaeel Ishaa from east London, better known as the LemonAid boys, run the lemonade stand in order to raise funds to help those affected by the crisis in Yemen. They set up the charity in July when the crisis took a turn for the worse. Ever since they first started, the duo has been able to raise £70,000 (about $90,944) in addition to joint fundraising efforts from friends and family. They hope to double that amount soon enough, CNN reports.
According to Ayaan Moosa's father, 37-year-old Shakil Moosa, Jolie reached out to the family through an agent three weeks ago. She offered to make a donation to the boys' lemonade stand, which was finally transferred this week. Along with the donation, the Maleficent star also sent the 6-year-olds a letter. She thanked them for all their efforts and apologized to the children for not being able to purchase their lemonade in person. "She's been so amazing," Ayaan's father stated. "It's surreal, she's not just a random star, you're talking about one of the top names on the planet so it's a bit overwhelming. She's phenomenal."
Ayaan and Mikaeel took to Instagram to proudly show off their letter and thank the actress for her charitable donation. The pair additionally announced they would be happy to sell her a glass of lemonade whenever she was able to make it to London. They said in the Instagram video, "Hi Angelina, I'm Ayaan. And I'm Mikaeel. And we're the LemonAid boys. We just wanted to say thank you for donating to our cause." As a Special Envoy for UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, Jolie has been actively vocal about the ongoing conflict in Yemen, which has lead to immense poverty and hunger in the region.
Beginning in 2015, Houthi rebels have been embroiled in a civil war against the country's internationally recognized government, formally backed by the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia. So far, an estimated 112,000 people have died as a result of the continuing civil war. Further to this, it has been approximated that about half of Yemen's population is at risk of famine; millions will be hungry, starving, or malnourished. To make matters worse, the Middle Eastern nation has been gripped by disease. Not only are there concerns that Yemen could suffer one of the worst coronavirus outbreaks in the world, but tens of thousands of people have contracted cholera as well.
When Ayaan and Mikaeel heard about the plight of Yemenis, they wanted to do something to help. "They were gobsmacked that people were living like that. It's the first time in their lives they realized not everybody is living like them," Ayaan's father explained. "They were keen to do something and decided whatever couple of hundred pounds we made, we would give to a charity." The LemonAid boys have already raised £70,000 in donations and aim to reach £150,000 soon. If you would like to make a donation, you can click here.