EXCLUSIVE: Ryan Gosling 'Honored' to Continue Decade-Long Work With Enough Project to Bring Peace to Africa
By Jennifer Drysdale
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Ryan Gosling is all for toasting to a good cause.
ET's Nancy O'Dell caught up with the 36-year-old actor at the Golden Globes in Los Angeles on Sunday, where the two made a toast with Moet champagne to the charity of his choice, the Enough Project, an organization he's been involved with for over a decade.
"They work with conflicts in Africa," he said. "It's my friend, John Prendergast, it's a wonderful organization, and I'd be honored to toast to them."
ET teamed up with Moet & Chandon's Toast for a Cause at the awards show, as Moet donated $1,000 to stars' charities of choice.
Gosling has worked closely with Prendergast and the Enough Project for years, traveling with Prendergast on several trips to Africa, where they sought to build leverage for peace and justice in conflict zones.
"Ryan traveled to Africa twice with the Enough Project, which followed an earlier trip to the Darfurian refugee camps in Chad," Prendergast, Founding Director of the Enough Project, told ET. "During his first trip with us, we went to northern Uganda, the main region devastated by the war with Joseph Kony's Lord's Resistance Army. This was years before the Kony 2012 video, when nearly two million Ugandans had been made homeless by the conflict."
"Ryan visited camps for the displaced and heard the stories of children who were forced to become child soldiers for Kony. Upon his return, we visited the U.S. Congress and the United Nations to advocate for more attention to addressing the needs of the survivors of this conflict as well as policies that would end it," he continued, adding that Gosling also accompanied him on a trip to eastern Congo a couple of years later, after which they supported student efforts to raise awareness about the conflict, and promote action by the U.S. government and tech companies like Apple and Intel, which source raw materials from the area.
"Ryan contributed his voice to a campaign that led to a Congressional bill that required companies to be more transparent about where they source their raw materials, and to company actions that have made it very difficult to source 'conflict minerals' from eastern Congo anymore," he added. "Ryan's role in the efforts to end the crises in both northern Uganda and eastern Congo were hugely important and helped raise awareness and help galvanize action by governments and companies for lasting solutions."
While Gosling toasted to the Enough Project before the show, he paid special tribute to his "sweetheart," Eva Mendes, and her late brother, Juan Carlos Mendez, in a touching Golden Globes acceptance speech.