Posts Tagged ‘Eastern Congo Initiative’

Good Causes, Good People, Good Opportunity. Hang Out With Damon and Affleck for Charity.

SO there are just some celebrities who do it right. They are political in ways that cross party aisles. They use their amplified voices to get the world to listen. They throw their celebu-weight behind causes that truly change the world. Ben Affleck and Matt Damon are two at the highest level of this category. The buddies have long been advocates for a world of fairness and peace, and grew into philanthropic and activist powerhouses with their charitable organizations. Affleck’s Eastern Congo Initiative is a true leader in elevating awareness and action in this devastated region of Africa, and Damon’s puts millions of eyeballs on the issue of world water access and inequality (not to mention quality). Of course these organizations are not one-man-bands, and are run day-to-day by incredible teams of tireless staff and volunteers, but the fact that they are passion projects for a couple of famous dudes gets a great level of attention, recognition, and, ideally, our action.

Omaze is hosting a charity fundraiser, where for a ten buck donation, you can enter to win an evening in Hollywood hanging out with Damon and Affleck…or Affleck and Damon…

Your flight plus one guest’s, as well as hotel, are covered, and together with Ben and Matt you’ll attend a fancy schmancy Hollywood event, and hang out. Proceeds go to support their two organizations, so everybody wins. Check out their goofy, fun video after the jump, and if you want to learn more about pitching in and getting more deeply involved with their outstanding organizations, click and go: Eastern Congo Initiative and Continue reading

Ben Affleck: Batman AND a Real Life Hero (plus other charitable Batmen)

batsignalThe news today about Ben Affleck being cast as Batman in the new film with that hero and Superman certainly has the interwebs in a tizzy. The new Dark Knight seems to eclipse all other news, cuz, really, nothing else is really going on in the world, right?

Well, regardless of the roles he plays, Ben is a true hero in his civilian life. Because his voice has the amplification of his career status, he is our nation’s number one shouter to the rooftops about the atrocities occurring every day in the  Democratic Republic of the Congo. His huge efforts on behalf of the Eastern Congo Initiative help the organization in their efforts to increase international investment, boost awareness of the war-torn region’s immense challenges, and affect changes in governmental policy on behalf of the African nation. In addition, Affleck smoothly moves into philanthropist roles with many other charities, quick to lend his name, clout, and direct effort to an array of causes here and abroad.

Let’s have a gander at the charitable work of others who have portrayed the Caped Crusader…

Adam West gave us the super-campy version of Batman that set the bar (either nosebleed high or subterranean low, depending on your preferences). He has, through the years, given his support to numerous charities, lending his name and talents to events, and occasional memorabilia to auctions to raise bucks for causes.

Michael Keaton also shows up at events as a celeb to raise the profile and raise funds for various causes. He has given particular weight to charities devoted to education opportunities and kids pursuing academic excellence.

Val Kilmer has spent many years in the philanthropic world, and directly supported, among others: First Star, shining a light on child abuse and neglect; Global Green, working toward green buildings and cities, food and water scarcity issues, and eco-causes; LIFEbeat, which is a music industry charity focused on youth and HIV/AIDS prevention; V-Day and its global work to halt violence against women and girls.

George Clooney is kind of the Grand Poobah of charitable famous folks, often putting more energy toward making the world a better place than he does toward movie-making. His Not on Our Watch charity—founded with Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Don Cheadle, Jerry Weintraub, and David Pressman—works to end mass atrocities around the world. It is because of Clooney that many first heard of Darfur and Sudan and their outrageous situations. Clooney is also involved with dozens of other charities and philanthropic pursuits, and is well known for dropping giant chunks of change for causes and people he believes in, as well as the occasional stranger in need.

Christian Bale has a terrific focus on global ecology and animals, with his support of Greenpeace, Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, WWF/World Wildlife Fund, and others.


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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