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Ben Affleck is honored for his work in the Congo, plus more news

Wonderwall Logo By Wonderwall.com Editors of Wonderwall | Slide 1 of 10: <p>In recent months, headlines about <a href="http://www.wonderwall.com/celebrity/profiles/overview/ben-affleck-241.article">Ben Affleck</a> have centered around <a href="http://www.wonderwall.com/entertainment/ben-affleck-and-jennifer-garner-have-split-1877137.article">his split</a> from <a href="http://www.wonderwall.com/celebrity/profiles/overview/jennifer-garner-306.article">Jennifer Garner</a> and his <a href="http://www.wonderwall.com/celebrity/did-ben-affleck-date-his-new-girlfriend-lindsay-shookus-jennifer-garner-plus-more-news-3007745.gallery">new romance</a> with Lindsay Shookus. On Sunday, July 16, public attention shifted to the actor's humanitarian work with the Eastern Congo Initiative when he was honored at the Starkey Hearing Foundation awards gala in St. Paul, Minnesota . As he told his Instagram followers recently, Ben helped found the Eastern Congo Initiative seven years ago "to help provide the Congolese people with economic opportunities and a stable civil society." The work he's done there, including getting hearing aids to people who need them in the Congo via the Starkey Hearing Foundation, has been "one of the greatest, most awe-inspiring experiences of my life," he told <a href="http://people.com/movies/ben-affleck-honored-at-starkey-hearing-foundation-gala/">People</a> ahead of the gala. Ben also opened up about why he wants his kids, Violet, 11, Seraphina, 8, and Samuel, 5, to learn about what's happening in the African country. "I think helping my children expand their consciousness of other cultures, struggles, and issues outside of their own and outside of our country is one of the most important responsibilities I have as a parent and as a citizen - now more than ever," he said. "With each trip I take, I always try to keep in mind that I not only have a chance to encourage positive change in Congo when I go, but to also raise a level of appreciation, awareness, empathy and reciprocity from within my own home. For their part, my kids are amazing - always asking a million questions, wanting to see photos and hear stories. I can't wait for them to be old enough to experience Congo for themselves."</p>

Ben Affleck honored for humantiarian work at the Starkey Hearing Foundation awards gala

In recent months, headlines about Ben Affleck have centered around his split from Jennifer Garner and his new romance with Lindsay Shookus. On Sunday, July 16, public attention shifted to the actor's humanitarian work with the Eastern Congo Initiative when he was honored at the Starkey Hearing Foundation awards gala in St. Paul, Minnesota. As he told his Instagram followers recently, Ben helped found the Eastern Congo Initiative seven years ago "to help provide the Congolese people with economic opportunities and a stable civil society." The work he's done there, including getting hearing aids to people who need them in the Congo via the Starkey Hearing Foundation, has been "one of the greatest, most awe-inspiring experiences of my life," he told People ahead of the gala. Affleck, who attended the event sans Shookus, did mention his estranged wife during his emotional speech, joking, "When I told my oldest daughter that I was getting this award, she said, 'Yeah, Dad. Mom already has that one." Ben also opened up about why he wants his kids, Violet, 11, Seraphina, 8, and Samuel, 5, to learn about what's happening in the African country. "I think helping my children expand their consciousness of other cultures, struggles, and issues outside of their own and outside of our country is one of the most important responsibilities I have as a parent and as a citizen - now more than ever," he said. "With each trip I take, I always try to keep in mind that I not only have a chance to encourage positive change in Congo when I go, but to also raise a level of appreciation, awareness, empathy and reciprocity from within my own home. For their part, my kids are amazing - always asking a million questions, wanting to see photos and hear stories. I can't wait for them to be old enough to experience Congo for themselves."

© Adam Bettcher/Getty Images for Starkey Hearing Foundation/Getty Images

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