Angelina Jolie donates to boys' lemonade stand for Yemen

  • Published
Media caption,

Ayaan, Mikaeel and their community have raised thousands for the Yemen crisis

Two best friends who set up a lemonade stand to raise money for the people of Yemen received a donation from a very unexpected source - Angelina Jolie.

Six-year-olds Ayaan Moosa and Mikaeel Ishaaq, from east London, created the stand after learning about the crisis.

The actress read about their campaign on the BBC News website and sent them a note saying she was sorry she could not buy any lemonade but wanted to donate.

Ayaan's mother said it had been "a bit bizarre but amazing" for the appeal.

Image caption,
Angelina Jolie is a UNHCR special envoy and has previously spoken about the Yemen crisis

Adeela Moosa explained the Hollywood star had first contacted her UK representative after finding out about Ayaan and Mikaeel's campaign, and they had then got in touch with the family.

At the weekend the boys, who live in Redbridge, received the "lovely note" from Ms Jolie along with "a very generous donation", Ms Moosa said.

Image source, Adeela Moosa
Image caption,
The actress and director apologised that she could not buy any of the boys' lemonade

Asked what the boys had first thought when they found out about it, Ms Moosa said they initially did not know who Ms Jolie was although "their dads were very excited".

They soon realised who the Tomb Raider and Maleficent star was after being shown various clips and films.

"Now they're getting the enormity of it all," she said.

The pair have sent a video message in response thanking Ms Jolie, telling her that: "If you ever come to London, feel free to buy a glass of fresh lemonade."

Image source, Adeela Moosa
Image caption,
Along with their community, Ayaan and Mikaeel have raised more than £67,000 for Yemen

Tens of thousands of people have been killed during the civil war in Yemen, while another 24 million are estimated to need humanitarian aid to survive.

Ms Jolie, who is a UNHCR special envoy, has previously spoken about the crisis in Yemen.

Ms Moosa said her donation had raised more awareness about the boys' efforts and they were being sent money from across the world for their ongoing online campaign, which has so far raised more than £67,000.

As for the best friends, they have both returned to school this week.

"It was much needed for all parties involved," Ms Moosa said.

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