With his new film "Argo" receiving steady praise and strong Oscar buzz, Ben Affleck is once again the toast of Hollywood. But for the Congolese people, the 40-year-old has been a champion for several years now - and is one of the few big names making a gigantic push to help the country recover from decades of violent conflict, disease and poverty.
"I saw terrible things," he recently told The Hollywood Reporter of his first visit to the Democratic Republic of Congo. "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."
In 2009, Affleck launched the Eastern Congo Initiative aimed at raising awareness of the hurdles faced by Congolese - and the local actions that can be implemented to create social change. This November, he will make yet another trip to the country (he's already made nine) to continue his work.