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Celebrity Voluntourism

Eastern Congo Initiative: Ben Affleck

Eastern Congo Initiative
February 4, 2013
By , Celebrity Contributor

VIP power: Ben Affleck, actor, writer, director, dad, and husband to actress Jennifer Garner.

Toubled terrain: Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), with a focus on the eastern part.

The project: Founded in 2009 by Affleck and other influential philanthropists, the Eastern Congo Initiative (ECI) is the first U.S.-based advocacy and grantmaking action plan that supports and assists the Congolese as they progress to peace and stability.

Trial to triumph: Extreme violence, rape, poverty, disease, child soldier recruitment, and overall conflict have dominated this part of Africa and killed over 5 million since 1998. ECI has been helping community-based organizations (CBOs), which are working for a healthy, safe, and successful future for the Congolese people.

Doing the congo: When he’s not writing, directing, and acting in blockbuster flicks like Argo and The Town, Affleck is creating public awareness of this humanitarian crisis, as well as raising funds for economic and social development in eastern Congo. 

Congo cocoa: ECI and Seattle-based Theo Chocolate teamed up to create one-of-a-kind chocolate bars consisting of only Congolese cocoa. This investment is significant for Congolese farmers who can now export to the U.S., providing economic opportunities for the afflicted areas.

Get involved: EasternCongo.org

(Photo courtesy of ECI)