Ben Affleck is playing a role that you may not know about; yet to Ben himself, it is one of the most important roles of his lifetime. Some may call this a superhero role of sorts.
He would not call himself a superhero, but at the end of the day, when the batman suit is put away and a fictitious world has been saved, Ben Affleck is doing something that indeed does have power to bring much-needed rescue to those in a very hard, very real world.
What is this lesser known work of Mr. Affleck's?
This important role is Founder of Eastern Congo Initiative.
After reading about the overwhelming number of deaths in the DR Congo, the actor/director was both appalled at the lack of action being taken, and motivated to take it upon himself to do something. With a commitment to bring opportunity for change, in 2010, the Eastern Congo Initiative (ECI) was born. ECI did a thorough investigation into the best ways to help rebuild communities in DR Congo,and found out something that we have seen first hand: that the Congolese people have the determination, innovation and character to do amazing things for their country.
If DR Congo is a vehicle that is already able to run, then Mr. Affleck and the ECI are providing fuel and resources to keep it going.
ECI works in two major ways: providing grants to local Congolese organizations and advocating for the people of Congo and their many needs.
From funding schools, to teaching skills like mechanics, to partnering with major organizations like Starbucks to provide fair trade and better quality of life for farmers in Congo, ECI is an organization whose response to an overwhelming crisis is strategic and well-executed. The work they do allows the Congolese to take ownership of their lives and their land; to cultivate every corner of potential, and to ultimately pass on a hopeful and healed Congo as the next generation's inheritance.
Although Mr.Affleck may have the spotlight as a well-known actor, every chance he gets he uses that platform to acknowledge and affirm the Congolese and their work, giving a voice to millions who have remained voiceless.
Check out Eastern Congo Initiative and how you can support their efforts. It can be as simple as buying a chocolate bar or a coffee!