Wednesday, July 13, 2011
Can Matt Damon Bring Clean Water To Africa? | Fast Company: "The walk came toward the end of a 10-day African journey, a systematic primer on the complexities of the continent's extreme poverty that had been organized for Damon by staffers from his friend Bono's ONE campaign. Damon was on a quest to understand what it meant to be really, really poor. 'It was like a mini course in college,' he says. Every day brought a different subject: urban AIDS, microfinance, education, and, finally, water. While walking with the young teen on her hour-long trudge to collect water for her family, something clicked. 'We talked the whole time [through a translator]. When I asked her what she wanted to do when she grew up -- 'Do you want to stay here?' ' he says, pointing to the memory of the dusty village -- 'she got shy all of a sudden.' As they returned, both toting 5-gallon jugs of water filled at the well, she finally confessed her dream: to go to the big city, Lusaka, and become a nurse. Damon recalled his dreams at the same age, when he and best friend Ben Affleck were plotting their way from Boston to casting agents in New York. That connection opened the door for Damon. 'I remembered so well the feeling of being young, when that whole world of possibility was open to you.'"