Matt Damon opens spigots in India with KC pal

Water.org, a nonprofit organization based in Kansas City, works to provide access to safe water and sanitation in the developing world. Gary White, Water.org’s co-founder and executive director, is the subject of this week’s Martin column.

White is as skillful as he is conscientious. In 2008, he met actor Matt Damon, who was involved in water-relief efforts through a foundation called H2O Africa. White’s record of success impressed the movie star, and he agreed to merge H2O Africa with WaterPartners, an organization White founded in 1990. The new endeavor took the name Water.org.

Last summer, White and Damon traveled to sites in southern India. There they saw firsthand the reach of an initiative called WaterCredit. The program applies the principles of microfinancing to the challenge of dirty water and poor sanitation. “It works so well, it’s a little bit scary,” Damon says in this video.

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