Matt Damon is much more than an actor.
His charity, Water.org, has provided access to safe water and sanitation to as many as 4.3 million people across 12 countries.
When the Good Will Hunting star was traveling with U2 frontman Bono’s DATA charity in 2006, Damon was walking with a girl aged 14 years carrying empty cans to fill water from a well. When Damon asked the girl about what she wanted to do when she grew up, “She said, ‘I’m going to go to (the capital city of) Lusaka, I’m going to go to the big city and I’m going to be a nurse.’”
“And as I was driving away, I realized that I connected with her because I remember being that age and saying to Ben Affleck, ‘We’re going to go to the big city of New York and we’re going to be actors,’” Damon recalled, as reported by the New York Daily News.
Partnering with Gary White, an expert in the field, Damon founded Water.org, which provides grants and WaterCredit micro-loans allowing families to finance taps and toilets in their own family.
“I realized that if someone had not had the foresight to sink a borewell a mile from this girl’s house, she wouldn’t be in school, she would be responsible for scavenging for water for her family – and the prospects of her life would be utterly grim,” Damon said.
Also read: Matt Damon to Play Arkham Villain in Ben Affleck’s Batman Movie, Umberto Gonzalez leaks on Periscope
According to the website of Strike With Me, some of the other notable celebrities from the world of entertainment who are supporting Damon in his cause include Richard Branson, Olivia Wilde, Jessica Biel and Jason Bateman.
“I just felt like it undergirded everything because it was such a massive problem,” Damon said. “Just the needless death and suffering that people were going through based on a lack of clean water and sanitation – it was staggering.”
Liked this story? Subscribe to our newsletter or follow us on Twitter and Facebook for more stories.
Have good news to share? Email the editor.