Ben Affleck-Eastern Congo Initiative

I’ve just returned home from Boston–a city in which I’d never spent any time, and would genuinely like to spend more time there to get to know it better. Because of Good Will Hunting, Boston always puts me in mind of Matt Damon and Ben Affleck–they were so young then, and now are such leaders in philanthropic causes. Damon is, of course, the crown prince of clean water charitable work with his particularly present this week, during World Water Week.

Also this week, on March 22, Affleck has launched the Eastern Congo Initiative, “the first U.S. based advocacy and grant-making initiative wholly focused on working with and for the people of eastern Congo.”

ECI is working to create economic and social development projects that benefit the communities of the region, focusing specifically on: sexual violence victim support; assimilating child soldiers back into their communities; community-level peace programs; increasing access to health care and education; and promoting economic opportunity.

Returning from the Congo, Ben said, “The situation in eastern Congo has been neglected for far too long — it is one of the worst humanitarian tragedies in the world. I brought together this unique collection of partners in order to bring their experience in humanitarian relief and sustainable development to bear as we focus like never before on local solutions to challenges in this region. Right now, the attention paid to this crisis doesn’t match the needs of those affected by it. We will raise that attention level, and work with the extraordinary Congolese people who are making a positive difference in their own communities.”

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