We all know what an arguably amazing job Ben Affleck did in “The Town”, the film he both directed and starred in last year. We’ve recently heard he’s rolling his sleeves up to dive into another film project (called “Tell No One”) as Director. We also know he is half of a Hollywood couple (with A-Lister Jennifer Garner) with serious star power. But, behind the flashing lightbulbs of the red carpet madness and the intrusive images of the paparazzi lies a deeper side of Ben Affleck’s attachment to the human experience that starkly contrasts the superficiality that can come with fame. It’s no secret that countries in Africa have faced colonialism, war, pain, poverty, rape, and often times, neglect. The general health of the continent is unstable.
Ben Affleck’s attention to charity hits close to home for me. He is the founder of an organization called the Eastern Congo Initiative (ECI).
The ECI was born in 2010 and is the “first U.S. based advocacy and grant-making initiative wholly focused on working with and for the people of eastern Congo.”
(Source: original video source: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bwJ7snTLoqU&feature=channel_video_title)
Their initiatives include the following (from website):
- Increase the quantity and quality of public and private funding that supports the communities and citizens of eastern Congo, providing local organizations and leaders with the necessary resources to heal and sustain their communities
- Raise public awareness about the tremendous need in the region through highly targeted media and advocacy activities
- Drive policy change that increases United States government engagement in Congo
Ben Affleck and the ECI work with Congolese organizations with the mission to make positive changes in the areas of support for victims of rape and sexual violence, support for vulnerable children involved in war-related activities, community, health care and economic opportunity.