It’s not just the citizens of Gotham that are in good hands with Ben Affleck!
During the People’s Choice Awards on Wednesday night, the Oscar winner was honored with the “Favorite Humanitarian” honor for his work with the Eastern Congo Initiative (ECI), an organization that works to support and advocate for the people of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
ECI provides healthcare to women and children in need, and gives grants to business owners to help both their companies and the national economy grow by supporting the cocoa and coffee industries. A long-time proponent of the cause, Affleck has even testified before congress to strengthen relations between the United States and Congo.
Affleck was introduced by friend Amy Adams, who explained that he “puts his heart and soul into everything he does, “a quality that makes him “not only a great actor, but a great humanitarian.” She led the audience in a round of applause for all of the amazing work that the ECI does, before explaining that his legacy will be helping this “country of survivors” to thrive.”
In a touching video that aired before Affleck received his trophy, the new Batman clarified that it’s the Congolese people who are rebuilding their society “brick by brick,” and that his goal is just to help them along. He also explained why working with the people of Congo was so important to him, saying “a life lived just for yourself is not much of a life.” He went on to say, that even if you aren’t successful in changing the world, working towards a better planet will result in your changing yourself.
He jokingly kicked off his speech by threatening any potential burglars with the hefty trophy. He then admitted that although he has been called many things throughout his life and career, “humanitarian” is a new title for him, before shifting the focus to the people of the ECI and all of their partners in the Democratic Republic of Congo, who he claimed were much more worthy of the award than him. But then again, if he weren’t so humble, he wouldn’t be able to do so much good.
Affleck, whose film Gone Girl also took home the award for "Favorite Thriller," concluded his touching speech by encouraging everyone in the audience to combat all of the darkness that we hear about "by trying to do just a little bit. [...] The one way to combat the sad things we see, the terrible things we see is to show a little kindness."
And thanks to his not so little acts of kindness, Affleck is helping to change the world.
Watch more highlights from People's Choice Awards 2015 below.
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