Ben Affleck Urges Hope in Eastern Congo

Ben Affleck Urges Hope in Eastern Congo
Ben Affleck in eastern Congo
Karel Prinsloo/AP

02/16/2009 01:00PM

Ben Affleck wants us to keep a "glimmer of hope" for the Congo.

The actor, 36, continues his ardent activism with an essay for the current issue of Time about his personal experiences and the ongoing war and displacement in eastern Congo.

Affleck has been traveling to the African country since 2007 to learn firsthand about the devastation and has also made a documentary about the war-torn country's urgent crisis.

In the essay, "A Glimmer of Hope in Africa," Affleck, citing the decades of instability and violence caused by rebel fighters, extremists, and outlaw militia, writes: "In the past 10 years alone, millions have died here, and more die each day as a result of the conflict.

"Most die not from war wounds but from starvation or disease … one in five children in Congo will die before reaching the age of 5."

What he hopes to prevent, Affleck writes, is a feeling of hopelessness or being overwhelmed by the country's problems.

"The nation most in need of investment gets the least by the cruel logic that it is the most broken," he writes. "It is a self-fulfilling prophecy that ultimately fosters indifference in the guise of wisdom."

Starry Event

This Wednesday, Affleck is slated to attend an event to the International Medical Corps, a group that works to help those in the eastern regions of Congo, the Los Angeles Times reports.

The event, which will be held at the House of Blues in West Hollywood, is expected to draw other celebrities as well, including Diane Keaton, Joel Madden, Felicity Huffman, Nicole Richie, Forest Whitaker, Kevin Spacey and Kate Walsh.
MORE ON: Ben Affleck

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