While Jolie, 34, and Brad Pitt, 45, were “on a trip to Kenya with their children, Angelina stopped in Dabaab Refugee Camp, and also flew to Ethiopia with Zahara and Shiloh for two days,” a close family friend tells PEOPLE.
The girls’ trip was “the first time Zahara had been back home since her adoption,” according to the friend. Zahara, 4, was adopted from Ethiopia in 2005. “The trip was about keeping up that culture for her.”
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One priority for them on the trip was looking for a place to build a TB and AIDS clinic in Zahara’s name, which would be similar to the Maddox Chivan Children’s Center in Cambodia, an organization that helps impoverished and ill children.
While the girls were away, Pitt and the rest of the family – Madddox, 8, Pax, 5, and 1-year-old twins Knox and Vivienne – stayed behind in Kenya. “The family has been having a wonderful time,” on this trip,” says a pal. “The children are having so much fun.”
Earlier in the trip, Jolie visited Dabaab Refugee Camp, home to nearly 300,000 Somali refugees, with nearly 7,000 more arriving every month due to the food crisis in Somalia where nearly 3.6 million people are starving.