January 13 2011

SOS Children's Villages alumna named Haiti's first Jolie Legal Fellow

Attorney returns home to help strengthen judicial system

13/01/2010 - SOS Children's Villages USA announced that Nathalie Nozile, an alumna of the SOS Children's Villages in Santo, Haiti, has been selected as the first Jolie Legal Fellow. Ms. Nozile was selected after graduating from the University of Florida's Levin College of Law in spring 2009.

Photo: Courtesy of Chris Polk, Getty Images. All Rights Reserved
Angelina Jolie meets with Nathalie Nozile (in the middle) and Heather Paul, CEO of SOS Children's Villages USA - Photo: Courtesy of Chris Polk, Getty Images. All Rights Reserved
The Jolie Legal Fellowship, created and funded by the Jolie-Pitt Foundation, supports the Government of Haiti’s ongoing efforts to strengthen the Haitian judicial system in the challenging post-earthquake environment. Jolie Legal Fellows are attorneys who will concentrate on the protection of Haiti’s most vulnerable children in the judicial system, by serving as special assistants to key Government of Haiti officials. Ms. Nozile leaves for Haiti later this month to begin her work.

“I am thrilled that Nathalie Nozile will be our first legal fellow in Haiti - where the need to enhance child protection is so great,” said Angelina Jolie. “Nathalie has a heartfelt commitment to improve conditions in her homeland, and brings to her work the unique perspective of growing up in an SOS Children’s Village. There, she learned firsthand the importance to a childhood of a stable and nurturing environment. Now, as a promising attorney, she will draw on her personal experience as she returns to help strengthen the Haitian judicial system. Nathalie will be working to help ensure equal access to justice and the protection of children’s rights in Haiti.”

Dr. Heather Paul, CEO of SOS Children’s Villages USA, added: “The Jolie-Pitt Foundation has been a long time supporter of SOS Children’s Villages worldwide. Nathalie is an excellent example of SOS young people who are educated and imbued with a sense of responsibility to give back to their community and their country. We are so proud that a former SOS child will work within the Haitian judicial system with an eye to protecting those who are most vulnerable. Nathalie’s devotion to her country and demonstrated willingness to support its justice system echoes Ms. Jolie’s long-term commitment to ensuring legal equality and protecting the rights of children in Haiti and across the globe.”

Ms. Nozile, who made it a priority to volunteer in Haiti in the aftermath of the earthquake in the SOS Emergency Relief Programmes, expressed her gratitude for this opportunity: “It is a great privilege and honour to become the first Jolie Legal Fellow. I made a decision to obtain a law degree long ago so that I could return to Haiti to serve my country, now in such a critical state. I hope my commitment will inspire more young professionals to return to Haiti, because Haiti needs us all.”

Ms. Jolie concluded: "Nathalie Nozile is a force…just wait and see. She will be doing many great things. She represents the best of Haiti. She is an extraordinary example. I am proud to know her and extremely grateful to have the opportunity to work with her."

Angelina Jolie has been an outspoken and loyal supporter of SOS Children's Villages for years and has visited both the trauma therapy centre run by SOS Children's Villages within one of the refugee camps in Chad for people fleeing Darfur and an SOS Children's Village in Amman, Jordan. The Jolie/Pitt Foundation she created together with her partner Brad Pitt has donated funds to the organisation on more than one occasion.

In her role as UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador, Angelina Jolie visited also the SOS Children's Village in Port-au-Prince in Haiti just four weeks after the earthquake.