At the 2015 People’s Choice Awards, Ben Affleck received the award for favorite humanitarian. The actor accepted the award with an inspiring speech and a sense of humility. His award came for his work with the Eastern Congo Initiative (ECI), which is an organization that helps to advocate for and support the people of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The ECI acts to support the people by helping to provide healthcare to the women and children in need. They also help the local economy by providing support to the coffee and cocoa industry in the area. Moreover, the ECI even provides grants to business owners in an effort to promote growth.
At the People’s Choice Awards, Affleck was introduced by his friend Amy Adams. Adams spoke about the actor by discussing his ability to infuse his entire heart and soul into every single thing that he attempts. The actress said that this ability is what makes him not only an amazing actor, but also an amazing humanitarian. As she spoke about Affleck, she lead the audience in applauding the newly minted favorite humanitarian. She followed that up by saying that he will be leaving a legacy of helping a country to thrive.
Following Adams’ introduction, a video played with Affleck talking about his goals for working with the ECI. In the video, the actor says that he is only helping the people of the Congo, but that it is the people who are rebuilding their society. When he discussed why he was helping people, he said that living a life that is only for one’s self is not what one could consider much of a life. In the video that played prior to his receiving the humanitarian award, Affleck said that even if his work does not change the entire world, by working towards a better planet overall it will result in one changing themselves.
When Affleck went up to receive his award, he joked that he could use the trophy as a way to fend off any potential burglars. The actor then acknowledged that while he has been called many different things in his life, being called a humanitarian is definitely something new. Then, the actor shifted the focus of his speech away from himself, and instead, spoke of the people at the ECI and the other partners that they work with in the Democratic Republic of Congo. He said that they were the people who deserved this award more than he did. He finished out his speech by asking the audience members to make an effort to combat all of the darkness that everyone hears about every single day. Affleck asked that people do even something small in an effort to make a difference. He said that if people showed even a small amount of kindness, then not only would it combat the sad things, but also the terrible things the world sees on a continuous basis.
As Adams pointed out prior to Affleck receiving his award for Favorite Humanitarian, the actor did not just go out and write a check. Instead, he chose to get himself involved with charity. As Affleck said during the night, he wanted to practice philanthropy in an effort to show that he was not just someone who lived for himself.
By Kimberley Spinney