Hollywood actress Angelina Jolie has made “an extremely generous” donation to two young boys who have been selling lemonade to raise money for people affected by the ongoing crisis in Yemen, an Instagram account for the appeal has said.
Six-year-old best friends, Ayaan Moosa and Mikaeel Ishaaq, from east London set up the stall more than nine weeks ago after learning about the crisis in Yemen.
Together, the pair have managed to raise over £67,000 after a boost from Jolie, according to a BBC report.
Jolie, who is a special envoy to the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), reportedly reached out to the young duo and their families via a representative in the UK after hearing about their campaign on the BBC News website.
The Hollywood actress wrote to the pair, thanking the boys for their efforts, saying: “Dear Ayaan and Mikaeel. Thank you for what you and your friends are doing to help children in Yemen. I’m sorry I’m not able to buy a lemonade from you, but I’d still like to make a donation to your stand. Love, Angelina.”
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9 weeks on from the initial fundraiser .. the lemonaid boys have received an extremely generous donation from Angelina Jolie along with this amazing card! We are blown away!! One of the biggest stars in the world 🌍 The boys return to school tomorrow but intend to carry on the good work they’ve been doing to raise awareness and money. Watch this space. This is only the beginning 💙💙💙 #angelinajolie #yemen #yemencrisis #lemonaidboys
The boys, who did not initially know who Jolie was, responded in a video posted on Instagram thanking the 45-year-old actress for her donation and inviting her “to buy a fresh glass of lemonade” next time she visits London.
Social media users were quick to praise the fundraising efforts by the boys as well as Jolie’s donation, with one Instagram user commenting, “what wonderful young men we have in society. They chose to make a different not just complain. Angelina you chose them for all the right reasons, I respect you immensely”.
Another user termed the young duo a “credit to humanity”, while others praised the Jolie’s decision to donate calling the actress a “beautiful soul” and “Hollywood queen”.
The Hollywood star has spoken out about the civil war in Yemen before and called for an urgent ceasefire and lasting settlement to the conflict in November 2018.
At the time, Jolie said the international community had been “shamefully slow to act to end the crisis in Yemen”, which has left the country gripped by disease and pushed an estimated 50 per cent of the population to the brink of famine.
“When conflict develops to this extent, many people have no choice but to flee if that are to have any chance of survival,” Jolie said in 2018. “The only way to enable refugees to return home, and to bring down the overall numbers worldwide, is to end conflicts themselves”