Ben Affleck to Testify Before Senate on Peace in the Democratic Republic of Congo
Ben Affleck is certainly no stranger to politics and foreign affairs, as we’ve seen both on- and off-camera. We’ve seen him take on the Iranian Revolution in the Oscar-winning film Argo. And the do-gooder is the founder of the Eastern Congo Initiative, an organization working to improve economy and development in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Next week, Affleck will officially speak to the U.S. Senate on behalf of his venture. The writer, director, producer, and soon-to-be Batman landed a speaking role with the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs to discuss Congo on behalf of his Eastern Congo Initiative. The hearing will take place Wednesday, February 26.
Affleck will appear on the second panel alongside the Honorable Roger Meece, former U.S. Ambassador to the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Dr. Raymond Gilpin, Academic Dean at the Africa Center for Strategic Studies. This will be Affleck’s second time going to Washington to testify before Congress. In December 2012, he appeared before the House Armed Services Committee, also to address conflict in the DRC.
Even in the face of violence and upheaval, the Congolese remain resilient and entirely determined to rebuild their country. The 70 million Congolese deserve a better tomorrow, and they haven’t given up trying to build a better future. With support from Congress, and leadership from the president, the United States can help them get there. We can help, and we should. [AP]
Since 2008 when he traveled to speak with warlords and refugees, Affleck has remained involved in helping with developmental issues in Africa. In 2010, he established the Eastern Congo Initiative after working with the United Nations to create a short film focused on refugees in the DRC. Last year, he also pledged to live on $1.50 a day for Live Below the Line, a campaign fighting against extreme poverty. He has even teamed up with his Boston bro Matt Damon to help both the Eastern Congo Initiative and Damon’s Water.org by participating in a double-date contest.
The hearing for peace in the Democratic Republic of Congo will start on Wednesday, February 26 at 2:15 p.m. Viewers can live-stream the hearing online.