SEATTLE — Matt Damon, actor and co-founder of Water.org, recently announced a four-year extension of the Water.org partnership with Stella Artois, which will continue to raise money through its Buy a Lady a Drink campaign.
The campaign, established in 2015, works to provide clean water for impoverished countries through sale proceeds. Fundraising efforts include limited-edition chalices which have been specially designed to represent countries supported by Water.org including Cambodia, Brazil and Uganda. Since the campaign began, Stella Artois has sold 225,000 chalices that have helped provide 800,000 people in developing communities with five years’ worth of clean water.
Other sale initiatives accompanying this year’s campaign include twelve months of clean water for every Stella Artois purchased at participating bars and restaurants and other measures for every six or 12 pack of Stella Artois sold. By 2020, Water.org aims to provide clean water for 3.5 million people.
A recent panel discussion at the World Economic Forum in Switzerland examined the ongoing global water crisis and hosted organization directors and executives from around the world. Hosts and members of the panel included Matt Damon and Arianna Huffington, along with representatives of Water.org and Stella Artois.
The Buy a Lady a Drink campaign is a response to the 663 million people living without access to safe water. So why buy a lady a drink? The campaign has made an emphasis on how women are directly affected by unclean water sources stating that “the sanitation crisis for women can be summed up in one word: dignity.”
With little access to a toilet, many women in underdeveloped countries are forced to wait until the end of the day to relieve themselves for the sake of privacy. Schools in impoverished countries do not have toilets, forcing young girls to forego schooling upon reaching puberty. As a result of such systems, health, safety and education are compromised.
Poor water quality directly correlates with conditions of poverty. Through the Buy a Lady a Drink campaign, educational, health and socioeconomic improvements and opportunities have been provided for women. By Water.org’s contributions toward clean water efforts, communities have been supplied with small loans needed to purchase a water well.
Matt Damon has expressed his interest in expanding Water.org’s efforts to alleviate the global water crisis by reaching out to President Trump. During an interview at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, the actor said, “there’s a really good argument that engaging in issues like this is good for America.” Sustaining the welfare of America includes working to implement sustainability abroad.
– Amy Williams