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Monday, 17 July 2017 08:14

Ben Affleck Honored for Charity Work, Talks 'Awe-Inspiring' Experience in Congo

Written by  Jodi Guglielmi

Ben Affleck took center stage at the Starkey Hearing Foundation awards gala in St. Paul, Minnesota, on Sunday night. The actor-director was honored at the annual star-studded charity gala for his longtime humanitarian work with Eastern Congo Initiative.

Affleck tells PEOPLE that working with the Congolese people has been “one of the greatest, most awe-inspiring experiences of my life.” (See more in his Q&A below.)

The Starkey Hearing Foundation, which brings hearing aids to people in need in the U.S. and around the world, raises millions of dollars with the annual event, where this year Steven Tyler and Darius Rucker performed.

In 2009, Affleck founded ECI, a grant-making and advocacy organization focused on investing in and working with the people of eastern Congo. One of the group’s many projects has been partnering with the Starkey Hearing Foundation to bring life-changing hearing aids to people in the war-torn area.

Affleck, 44, who recently went public with his romance with Saturday Night Live producer Lindsay Shookus, 37, appeared solo at the awards gala.

Before the event, the father of three answered some questions for PEOPLE about his work in Congo:

You visited Congo for the 10th time recently. Who were some of the most memorable people you met on that trip?

Read more at PeopleTVwatch

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