updated 06/16/2012 AT 12:00 PM ET
•originally published 06/16/2012 AT 5:30 PM ET
Ben Affleck teamed up with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Washington, D.C. this week to promote a cause close to both their hearts.
“We are here today with one vision: to make sure every child, everywhere, lives to see his or her fifth birthday, to eliminate preventable child death in a generation,” said Clinton. She, along with celebs like Mandy Moore and Andre Agassi and hundreds of everyday Americans, have posted personal snapshots from when they were 5-years-old to the USAID website to promote the child survival initiative.
“When I was 5, I was able to spend quality time with family and friends,” Agassi wrote with his photo. “Every child deserves the same opportunity.”
Affleck spoke at Thursday’s event at Georgetown University right after Clinton. “Now that’s what they call in Hollywood a tough act to follow,” he joked, after greeting Clinton with a long hug. The actor said that when heard that more than 7 million children across the globe will die before they turn 5, he says he thought of his own three children – Violet, 4; Seraphina, 3; and Samuel, 3 ½ months.
“I have three children who fall into the vulnerable age range,” said Affleck, whose son was born in February. “I cannot imagine what it would’ve been like driving my wife to the hospital pregnant, about to give birth and thinking to myself well there’s a 15 percent chance that each of these children won’t live to be five years old.”
To change that takes just a $30 donation per child for supplies that would fit in a backpack, like a net, nutritional supplements, rehydration solution and a bag mask to help a newborn baby breathe.
“Much of the time, saving a child’s life is as simple as ensuring kids sleep under bed nets to avoid malaria,” said Affleck, who runs a charity helping women and children in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
By all appearances, Clinton is an unabashed fan of Affleck and of his wife, Jennifer Garner. “I’ve known this young man for a long time and I have watched him start his own family with three beautiful children and a wife that makes it all work,” said Clinton. “I have enjoyed him in person, I have enjoyed him on the screen, but I particularly admire his commitment.”
Now that’s an endorsement!