Aleteia’s celebrity pick of the week is Mr Ben Affleck! Here’s why…
The 41 year old from Massachusetts is mostly known for his searingly good looks, big buck films like Argo and his marriage to blockbuster wife Jennifer Garner. What you might not know about this chap is that he has founded a charity called the Eastern Congo Initiative (ECI).
Surprised? good looking and generous: it’s the perfect cocktail.
His ECI which is the first US advocacy and grant-making initiative to work with and for the people of Eastern Congo, aims at generating a more stable economy and better standard of living for the people of this nation.
Founded in 2010, they strive towards “an eastern Congo vibrant with abundant opportunities for economic and social development, where a robust civil society can flourish. ECI believes that local, community-based approaches are essential to creating a sustainable and successful society in eastern Congo.”
They believe that “public and private partnerships, combined with advocacy that drives increased attention and public policy change, will create new opportunities for the people of eastern Congo.”
“I’ve been travelling to Eastern Congo for the past four years” says Affleck, “when I first came here I was stunned by the magnitude of the humanitarian crisis… millions have died over the past fifteen years. But I was also amazed by the power of the Congolese to rise above their circumstances, find solutions to their own problems; they formed small community based organisations and achieved amazing success.”
He continues “I set out to form an initiative designed not to give handouts or offer aid in the traditional sense, but rather to support these existing organisations who have already demonstrated effectiveness, efficiency and local support, and whose only impediment to greater success was a lack of resources.”
We also mustn't forget to mention the reasons which led Ben towards starting up this charity (which you can see in the video above).
“I’m a very fortunate person, I’ve been lucky and blessed enough to be very successful in the ways that I wanted….but I got to a point where I felt like I was leading this kind of vacuous life, living for myself…”
So what did he do? he did something about it! He took himself over the Eastern Congo and tried to do something for someone else.
This is a fundamental desire that should lie in every Christian heart…the desire to live for the other.
“Be a part of the solution” he tells us. “Get involved.”
If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.
Here are some numbers:
- 20 million users around the world read Aleteia.org every month
- Aleteia is published every day in eight languages: English, French, Arabic, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
- Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
- Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
- Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
- We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)
As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.
Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!