In addition to a successful career as an actor, writer, and director, Ben Affleck is also a passionate advocate and philanthropist. In March 2010, after multiple trips seeing firsthand the inspiring work of citizens making progress against all odds in the conflict-torn Democratic Republic of Congo, he founded the Eastern Congo Initiative (ECI), the first US-based advocacy and grant-making initiative wholly focused on working with and for the people of eastern Congo. ECI grants directly support innovative Congolese-led community-based organizations that are working to create a vibrant, sustainable civil society in this long-troubled region.
Mr. Affleck has been an active advocate in and an outspoken educator on Congo issues to media, philanthropists, leaders in the Administration and Members of Congress. Since ECI’s launch, Mr. Affleck’s work has garnered media coverage for the region reaching over 500 million viewers worldwide.
Serving the most urgent needs of the Congolese people, ECI focuses on support for survivors of rape and sexual violence, support for vulnerable children including reintegrating child soldiers into their communities, expanding access to health care in rural areas, community-level peace and reconciliation programs, and promoting economic opportunities.
ECI investors include the Howard G. Buffett Foundation, Humanity United, the Bridgeway Foundation, Cindy Hensley McCain, Google, Laurene Powell Jobs of Emerson Collective, The Paul G. Allen Family Foundation, williamsworks and others.