With news that Ben Affleck is about to undertake his 7th trip to the Democratic Republic of Congo, I’m easily convinced that this guy is in the same league as George Clooney and Angelina Jolie in terms of on-the-ground activism.
We’ve covered Ben’s trips before, as well as the launch a couple years back of his Eastern Congo Initiative (which supports local solutions to make sustainable communities in the nation), and every time he draws awareness to the country, it’s clear that he’s fully vested in making a difference.
“I saw terrible things,” he recently told The Hollywood Reporter. “You know: the amount of sexual-based violence against women; people suffering from preventable disease; child soldiers who needed to be integrated into society; children without schooling at all. So we started to get involved in those areas.”
While talking with CBS News about “Argo”, the new film he both directed and starred in (which has serious buzz as a potential Best Picture nominee), Affleck expanded upon the role of his organization in the Congo; saying that it’s not about providing aid, but opportunity.
“We hooked up them up with Theo chocolate, who does a great job and we now have our first Congo bar,” he said. “It’s not aid, it’s not giving somebody money, it’s we’re going to get you to a place where you can manufacture on the open market so that you can sell your market…so you have an ongoing business where people can make money through their own work.”
CBS also had a recent opportunity to travel with Ben to the Congo to see his charity work first hand. Not that it matters, but they says it’s his ninth trip to the country, which conflicts with THR’s story. Either way, we can all agree, he’s been there a lot.
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