Actor, director and advocate Ben Affleck announced the launch of the Eastern Congo Initiative (ECI) Wednesday, the first-ever advocacy and grant-making initiative with the mission of helping the long-troubled Congolese people create a sustainable and successful society.
ECI will help those community-based organizations who are working towards solving problems such as returning and reintegrating child soldiers into their communities, increasing access to health care and education and supporting community-level peace and reconciliation programs.
In founding ECI, Affleck brings together a unique coalition of partners from across the public and private sectors, including Howard G. Buffett, Humanity United, the Bridgeway Foundation, Jewish World Watch and others.
"The situation in eastern Congo has been neglected for far too long -- it is one of the worst humanitarian tragedies in the world," said Affleck, who returned Wednesday from a five-day trip to the region. "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."
More information, including images and videos about ECI, and background on the crisis and the people and organizations making a difference in the region can be found at www.easterncongo.org.