Fast Company Examines Matt Damon’s Efforts To Expand Clean Water Access In Africa

Fast Company reports on actor Matt Damon’s work to promote development and access to clean water in Africa.

“For all his star power, though, Damon is more than just the pretty face of Water.org. He has turned himself into a development expert. … Whether talking microfinance strategy with rural bankers, giving detailed reports from the field at the annual Clinton Global Initiative, or personally thanking donors like PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi, Damon has quietly developed the cred of a program geek,” the magazine writes.

Fast Company notes that Damon’s Water.org charity “is on track to raise $10 million in 2011, up from $4 million in 2010.” The magazine adds: “The primary use of that money is not as a handout to well drillers. Rather, Water.org tends to negotiate deals between microfinance institutions and communities. It might help a village get access to a local banker, who will then lend money to build systems that tap into a well, or a previously inaccessible water or sanitation grid. Water.org may guarantee the loan, but repayment falls to the villagers, who work together to manage the water supply and organize credit payments” (McGirt, 6/20).