Angelina Jolie also sent the boys a note, thanking them for helping the humanitarian crisis in Yemen

By Claudia Harmata
September 13, 2020 03:30 PM
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Angelina Jolie is supporting two young boys from London and their fundraising efforts to help the humanitarian crisis in war-torn Yemen.

Last week, the actress, 45, made an "extremely generous" donation to the 6-year-old best friends' lemonade stand after hearing about their sweet fundraiser.

"Dear Ayaan and Mikaeel, Thank you for what you and your friends are doing to help children in Yemen," Jolie wrote in a signed note to Ayaan Moosa and Mikaeel Ishaaq. "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."

A source tells PEOPLE that after the mother of six learned about Ayaan and Mikaee's story, Jolie reached out to the family through her office and made the donation because of her concern for the situation in Yemen as it is the world's worst humanitarian crisis.

Angelina Jolie
Karwai Tang/WireImage

The children created their lemonade stand with the help of their parents and served freshly squeezed lemonade for $3 a cup. Their fundraising idea was born over the summer after their parents showed the boys videos of Yemen and they decided they wanted to help, according to NBC News.

"They have nothing, like, the things you need to survive. They have no water, food, oil. And we have all of those things and that's why we help them," Moosa told NBC News.

The boys shared a sweet video on their joint Instagram account (LemonAid Boys) thanking Jolie for the donation, and said they would have a glass of lemonade ready for her next time she visits London.

Jolie plans to meet the boys next time she is in the United Kingdom, the source tells PEOPLE.

Ayaan, Mikaeel and their families did not disclose the exact amount that Jolie donated, but their fundraiser has reportedly raised over $76,000 to date. They collect and distribute donations to One Nation, a U.K.-based relief and development charity that — through their Yemen Appeal — provide essential food packs, water supplies and critical medical care to the citizens of Yemen.

According to the United Nations, Yemen has experienced nearly four years of "conflict and severe economic decline" eve since the Yemeni Civil War broke out in 2015. The ongoing conflict is "driving the country to the brink of famine and exacerbating needs in all sectors."

Over 80 percent of the population — about 24 million people — struggle to find food and water to survive each day.

In response to the crisis, the United Nations expanded its Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in the country in 2015. OCHA was first created in Yemen in 2010 when widespread flooding caused a humanitarian crisis.

"OCHA's overall goal in Yemen is to ensure the delivery of effective and principled humanitarian action that meets the needs of the most vulnerable people," the UN said.

The organization has four main offices throughout the country which work on "de-confliction support to all humanitarian operations in Yemen," as well as manage "flights and shipping of humanitarian goods" among other things.

Anyone looking to support the LemonAid Boys in their effort to help Yemen can donate through this link. OCHA also asks for donations to help fund its work in Yemen.