In all her years as an Academy Award–winning actress and director, Angelina Jolie—the most glamorous woman on the planet—never went to a fashion show. “I hadn’t been to one before,” the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Special Envoy says of the experience of finding herself seated front row during a visit to a refugee shelter in Nairobi, Kenya, last June. “But it was my kind of runway: the most beautiful girls, survivors with their heads held high, bringing forward their own designs and culture; showing how it’s possible to find your femininity again after it has been brutally attacked.”
The shelter Jolie visited on World Refugee Day is run by RefuSHE, an NGO that seeks to fill a crucial gap in care for girls and young women between the ages of 13 and 23 fleeing Somalia, South Sudan, and other war-torn countries in the region. “All the girls I met had been separated from their families or had seen their parents killed,” says Jolie. “Almost all had suffered sexual violence, and many had given birth after being raped.” RefuSHE provides counseling and shelter and conducts a multidisciplinary education program.