Eastern Congo Initiative

Founded by Ben Affleck, the Eastern Congo Initiative (ECI) is the first U.S. based advocacy and grant-making initiative wholly focused on working with and for the people of eastern Congo. We envision an eastern Congo vibrant with abundant opportunities for economic and social development, where a robust civil society can flourish. ECI believes that local, community-based approaches are essential to creating a sustainable and successful society in eastern Congo.

We believe public and private partnerships, combined with advocacy that drives increased attention and public policy change, will create new opportunities for the people of eastern Congo.

To achieve this vision we will be advocates with and on behalf of the people of eastern Congo to:

  • Increase the quantity and quality of public and private funding that supports the communities and citizens of eastern Congo, providing local organizations and leaders with the necessary resources to heal and sustain their communities
  • Raise public awareness about the tremendous need in the region through highly targeted media and advocacy activities
  • Drive policy change that increases United States government engagement in Congo

Eastern Congo Initiative works with Congolese organizations and partners in five primary areas:

  • Support for survivors of rape and sexual violence 
  • Support for vulnerable children including returning and reintegrating child soldiers into their communities 
  • Community-level peace and reconciliation programs 
  • Increasing access to health care 
  • Promoting economic opportunity

Learn More

Founded by Ben Affleck in 2009, Eastern Congo Initiative is a project of the New Venture Fund, a 501(c)(3) organization registered in the United States. ECI investors include the Howard G. Buffett Foundation, Humanity United, the Bridgeway Foundation, Cindy Hensley McCain, Google, Laurene Powell Jobs of Emerson Collective, williamsworks and others.

3417 Fremont Ave N
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Taking a Stand on Security Sector Reform: The View from North Kivu

There has been some limited success in reforming individual units within the Democratic Republic of Congo's (DRC) security forces. With the right political w...


Taking a Stand on Security Sector Reform

In this video, the founder of the Eastern Congo Initiative, Ben Affleck, gives his perspective on taking a stand on security sector reform in Democratic Republic of Congo.

The video is part of a release of ECI's 22-page 2012 report 'The Democratic Republic of Congo: Taking a Stand on Security Sector Reform', available in English and in French.

"In partnership with an international coalition of civil society organizations, Eastern Congo Initiative (ECI) is launching a joint report on security sector reform in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The report discusses the opportunity that now exists for the international community to partner with the Government of the DRC to reform the security sector and make a real impact on the long-term future of the country. At ECI we see the hope and inspiration in the Congolese people in our everyday work. This report describes a path towards more security if reform of the military, police and judicial sector is supported by firm commitments from the government of the DRC and the international community."

See original article and related video.