Angelina Jolie's daughter, Zahara, was born in the African country

By Alexia Fernandez
December 31, 2019 09:40 AM
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Angelina Jolie is returning to a place close to her heart.

The actress, 44, visited Ethiopia with four of her kids — Shiloh, 13, and Zahara, 14, who was born in the African country, as well as 11-year-old twins Knox and Vivienne. The family will stay in the region for New Year’s Eve.

While there, Jolie brought Shiloh and Zahara to meet with Sahle-Work Zewde, the president of Ethiopia and the first woman to hold the office. It was a special treat for Zahara, who turns 15 on Jan. 8.

Their talks covered education, sanitary pad solutions to help girls continue their schooling (girls often stay home from class while menstruating due to lack of supplies), and Ethiopian culture and history. The group also discussed Jolie’s ongoing efforts to treat drug-resistant tuberculosis.

The actress and activist has funded efforts for over a decade through the Zahara Program, named after her daughter. The Jolie Pitt Foundation partnered with the Global Health Committee and the Ethiopian Federal Ministry of Health in 2009 to create an initiative to treat drug-resistant TB.

Their work has led to continuing success in treating people with TB in the region.

The work was born out of the Maddox Chivan Children’s Centre in Cambodia, named after her oldest son.

Angelina Jolie, Zahara and Shiloh in a meeting with The President of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, H.E. Sahle-Work Zewde
Office of the President, Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia

In October, Jolie opened up to PEOPLE about her children, Maddox, 18, Pax, 15, Zahara, 14, Shiloh, 13, and 11-year-old twins Knox and Vivienne, when asked if any of them made cameos in her film Maleficent: Mistress of Evil.

“I tried,” she said. “Nobody was interested!”

Instead, Jolie said her children have other ambitions.

None of my kids want to be actors,” she revealed. “[They’re into] business, humanitarian affairs, things like that.”

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Zahara has already explored the business world. In late September, the teenager debuted her Zahara Collection jewelry line in collaboration with jeweler Robert Procop at the Los Angeles premiere of Maleficent: Mistress of Evil.

“All proceeds from the Collection will benefit the Los Angeles-based House of Ruth Shelters, which provided transitional housing for battered women and children,” a press release stated.

Her other children have also expressed interest in other ventures. Jolie’s oldest child, Maddox, is studying biochemistry in South Korea where he started his freshman year earlier this year.

In July 2017, Jolie and Shiloh traveled to Namibia to open the latter’s namesake Shiloh Wildlife Sanctuary. The sanctuary, which cares for elephants and rhinos that have fallen victim to poaching or abuse, is located at the N/a’an ku sê Foundation in the African country.