Matt Damon was stunned by the ambition of a Zambian teenager who "reminded him" of himself.
The 46-year-old actor – who is the co-founder of charity Water.org – attended an event with Stella Artois at The Oculus at the World Trade Centre in New York on Wednesday, March 22, to celebrate Word Water Day, and told attendees the story of a 14-year-old girl from Zambia whose dream of moving to the "big city of Lusaka" reminded him of himself when he was her age.
Speaking at the event – which he attended with his charity co-founder Gary White – 'The Martian' actor said: "I love this story because I remember this girl. This was over 10 years ago, but she was 14 years old and we walked about a mile together and as I was kind of grilling her through this interpreter, I asked if she was going to stay in this village. And she said 'No, no, no. I'm going to the big city. I'm going to be a nurse in the big city of Lusaka.'
"She had this twinkle in her eye and it just reminded me of Ben Affleck and I saying when we were 14, 'We're going to go to the big city of New York, and we're going to be actors and we're going to make it.'"
The 'Good Will Hunting' star said the experience sunk in when he realised the girl wouldn't have been able to live out her dream if his charity – which aims to bring clean water and sanitation to the millions of people around the world who don't have access to it – hadn't decided to drill a well near her home.
He added: "She would be out scavenging for water. She wouldn't be coming home from school."