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Ben Affleck Says Successes in Africa Inspire Him to Do More

I checked out a panel on combating global poverty this week, filled with a diverse set of people ready to talk about their experiences surrounding the issue. I was super excited to see panel members like ex-Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, and the bearded and articulate Ben Affleck.

A humble Ben noted that he felt a bit out of place, but then shared what he's learned from his time in Africa. Ben thinks poverty activists need to re-package their message so it's not so doom and gloom. He argued that it's "more effective to talk about what people are doing successfully. [The successes] gave me added urgency to get involved."

Ben also highlighted how he and other Western folk are received in Africa. He said:

The countries that hold us in the highest esteem are in Africa. We don't carry colonial baggage. . . . [But] Western folks come in with a sense that "this is how it works." Imposing paradigm is much less effective than imposing solutions into social grooves. You hear people say, "If you teach a man to fish . . ." These people know how to fish, they need a pond to fish in.

Does Ben's insight impress you as much as it impressed me?

Join The Conversation
harmonyfrance harmonyfrance 8 years
Sept 26th. Yeah...I'm pretty tired. But it's good. Thanks for asking. :)
Great-Sommelier Great-Sommelier 8 years
One woman show!! Wow Harm. You must be a worn out lady. How much longer is it running?
Great-Sommelier Great-Sommelier 8 years
No problem Heidi. I got what you were saying!
Frank-y-Ava Frank-y-Ava 8 years
I'm so glad he's doing something with his life.
HeidiMD HeidiMD 8 years
Great Sommelier, I totally agree with you. I should have articulated more clearly, because I would consider a stable government to be one of the biggest resources.
harmonyfrance harmonyfrance 8 years
Well it's a one-woman show. So there are no breaks. It's fine. This kind of thing happens all the time. You just deal with it. I'm glad that you are doing what you love too!
Great-Sommelier Great-Sommelier 8 years
And that sucks about your mic. Couldn't they fix or replace it between scenes or acts?
Great-Sommelier Great-Sommelier 8 years
That's awesome. I too am lucky enough to get to do what I love. It is an amazing thing. Scary to branch off and try to start it up, but it beats working a 9 to 5 that you hate!
harmonyfrance harmonyfrance 8 years
Well my mic didn't work. So I had to belt my little heart out trying to be heard. BUT I'm not complaining. I'm doing what I love. I feel lucky....and poor...but mostly lucky. :)))))
Great-Sommelier Great-Sommelier 8 years
How'd the show go Harmony? Well I hope!
Great-Sommelier Great-Sommelier 8 years
lol, Rac, Org is just you from the other side.
harmonyfrance harmonyfrance 8 years
Yeah...we're not fooled. :sick:
raciccarone raciccarone 8 years
The dull thud of thinly veiled irony has landed.
organicsugr organicsugr 8 years
I agree. Most don't have a pond. And figuratively, that means that they have no skills and can acquire no skills to help themselves survive.
janneth janneth 8 years
I agree with him. Most don't have a pond.
organicsugr organicsugr 8 years
"Teach a man to fish..." Yeah, that logic is outdated.
Great-Sommelier Great-Sommelier 8 years
Heidi the biggest problem they have is their own corrupt governments.
HeidiMD HeidiMD 8 years
I completely agree with him. I think Western nations have an air of superiority that says, "Well, we figured it out; why can't you?" It's not that these countries' people are "too stupid" to figure out solutions to their problems; they absolutely do not have any of the resources to even begin trying.
raciccarone raciccarone 8 years
NOW maybe we can start to do something in Africa!
mnp mnp 8 years
I am just as impressed as you are, LibertySugar.
stephley stephley 8 years
Oh to be so smug I could happily ridicule anyone about anything! I think Affleck's message is great - less about charity, more about working with people and sharing ideas.
organicsugr organicsugr 8 years
This is wonderful, but I think that the government should handle affairs of charity.
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