Matt Damon Has Helped Over 16 Million Poor People Get Clean Drinking Water

Matt Damon Has Helped Over 16 Million Poor People Get Clean Drinking Water

"I did get to see extreme poverty up close as a teenager and that had a profound effect on me,” the award-winning actor said.

Matt Damon attends the "Ford v Ferrari" premiere during the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival at Roy Thomson Hall on September 09, 2019 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

Matt Damon has put his name and fame to good use. Being someone who didn't grow up with great privilege, Damon is doing everything he can to raise awareness about the water crisis that's affecting people across the globe, as per CNBC. Damon teamed up with Gary White to launch Water.org, a charity dedicated to delivering safe water and sanitation to everyone, back in 2009. Even though the project is a work in progress, the organization has delivered clean water to 16 million people. During the interview, Damon mentioned how it was his childhood that inspired him to do something good for the less fortunate. 


“I think a lot of it came from my parents. My mother did take me to Mexico and to Guatemala and I did get to see extreme poverty up close as a teenager and that had a profound effect on me,” the award-winning actor said. Damon explained how much of an impact traveling had on him, as he got to experience how other people and nations lived. Now, Damon wants his children to experience the world just like he did. "My wife and I are trying to do that with our kids, because it's very hard as a child to understand the world outside of your own little neighborhood. So, that's a real privilege that we have — to share that with them."


Damon strongly believes in putting his fame to good use. He wants nothing more than to utilize his privilege to raise greater awareness about key issues that may not directly impact the Western world. "I chose this issue because it's massively complex. It's interesting. It's hugely important. It undergirds all of these issues of extreme poverty and nobody in the West is really talking about it and so it felt like the right (thing to do)." Damon makes it a point to attend events like the WEF Forum and uses his voice to raise awareness. He says it's helped, as more and more companies are reaching out to help. 


"It's different from four years ago. These companies, they really are (caring about social responsibility) — and that's about the consumers moving them in that direction. It matters to consumers. It matters to millennials — like the partnership we have with Stella Artois, they are putting very real money behind this, because it matters to the people, it matters to their consumers," said Damon. He added that this has become a “wonderful thing” as everyone can have “a voice in this conversation.” On his website, Damon shares a personal experience with a girl in Haiti. “When I was in Haiti I remember having this conversation with this little girl. She was like 13. And my oldest [daughter] at the time was 13.


And I asked her - now that she had access to water, because she had been spending hours every day collecting water - I asked, well, what are you going to do with all this free time? Are you going to do the homework? And she looked at me disdainfully and said, 'I don't need more time to do homework. I'm the smartest in my class.' And I said, 'so what are you going to do with all this extra time you have?' She looked me right in the eyes and she said, 'I'm going to play.' And it just buckled my knees because this idea that this kid hadn't had time to play. She hadn't had time to be a 13-year-old girl. It's these incalculable kinds of impact that this can have when you bring somebody access [to water and sanitation] like that.”


Matt Damon believes access to water paves the way to a lot more in life, as he says “Access to water is access to education, access to work, access above all to the kind of future we want for our own families and all the members of our human family.” All over the world, there are about two billion people without proper access to sanitation and more than785 million people without access to safe drinking water. As it's been rightly said, Water is the best investment the world can make to reduce disease, increase family income, keep girls in school, and change lives. If you wish to donate towards this good cause, click here


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