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Matt Damon News Column
Matt visits Zambia
  • Matt and his brother Kyle recently visited Zambia to lead a delegation from Debt, Aids, Trade, Africa (DATA). Information and photos below are from the website of the US Ambassador in Zambia, located here. The website for DATA is here. How did this get no media attention? (Probably because none was sought.)

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    Hollywood star Matt Damon (center - in blue cap) with Ambassador Martinez, her husband, Mr. Victor Reimer and RAPIDS Zambia staff members

    Hollywood Film Star Matt Damon Visits Zambia
    Lusaka, April 26, 2006

    This week Hollywood film star Matt Damon led a delegation from Debt, Aids, Trade, Africa (DATA) on a study tour through Zambia. Visiting a wide variety of activities—from microfinance projects to community-based HIV/AIDS programs-- Mr. Damon experienced the comprehensive, dynamic, and productive response that the U.S. government and civil society have supported to promote Zambia’s development challenges.

    U.S. Ambassador Carmen Martinez hosted Mr. Damon’s delegation in an evening focused on anti-corruption initiatives in Zambia. Mr. Damon heard from key Zambian civil society leaders of the daily corrupt practices faced by citizens. The recently approved MCA Threshold Program breathes additional energy into the fight against administrative corruption and was discussed extensively.

    During his time in the country, Mr. Damon and his entourage also visited the "Reaching HIV/AIDS Affected People with Integrated Development and Support." (RAPIDS). RAPIDS is an HIV/AIDS initiative funded under the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief in Zambia and is administered by USAID. The RAPIDS Project, totaling US$ 39 million over six years, is the single largest U.S. government funded project in Zambia for care and support of Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC) and People Living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA).

    Mr. Damon’s delegation included Mr. Kyle Damon, Erin Thornton (Policy Director, DATA), and a DATA communications team.
  • 9 comments or Leave a comment
    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: May 7th, 2006 11:00 am (UTC) (Link)

    Related news

    Hi all. I'm away until Wednesday, but if anybody has any news or information about this story, please leave it as a comment on the blog. I think Matt was also in Zimbabwe, but I have no other information at this stage.
    From: (Anonymous) Date: May 7th, 2006 04:51 pm (UTC) (Link)
    I wonder how Matt's wife is doing? When is she due?
    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: May 7th, 2006 06:52 pm (UTC) (Link)
    Her due date is unknown - most probably May or June.
    From: (Anonymous) Date: May 8th, 2006 03:26 am (UTC) (Link)
    I think it is great that he is getting involved in all these organizations. I know that he has always been a big supporter but I never really have heard him getting that invloved and I think it is great. He uses his celebrity for such good and that makes me happy.
    From: (Anonymous) Date: May 8th, 2006 03:35 am (UTC) (Link)
    i found this on cinema.com but i dont believe a word of it.. what do you think? i know its made up.

    Matt Damon had a near death experience when his helicopter plunged during a flight.

    Matt was in Norway filming his new film Factotum and hired the helicopter to travel to Sweden for a TV show, but the hydraulics failed just before landing.

    According to The Sun Matt said: "There was a lot of noise. It all happened quickly and was very scary. But the pilot managed to get us down. I'm very thankful."

    Matt is currently dating barmaid Luciana Barroso.
    From: (Anonymous) Date: May 8th, 2006 05:04 am (UTC) (Link)
    Thats Matt Dillon.
    From: (Anonymous) Date: May 8th, 2006 09:17 am (UTC) (Link)

    Hollywood Film Star Matt Damon visits Zambia

    Now this is what I like. A movie star working for a charity quietly. I like the fact that he's giving his time and money to a cause he obviously feels strongly about, but is doing so without generating tons of publicity for himself.

    Personally I'm not happy when I see a celebrity using their charitable works to promote themselves, restore their tarnished image, or to revive a flagging career. If I see one more picture of Angelina Jolie holding an orphan whilst living like a queen in Namibia I will be physically sick.
    From: (Anonymous) Date: May 8th, 2006 09:40 am (UTC) (Link)
    I personally perfer that actors do attract some attention during their charity work.

    It is a way to redirect the attention you get for being a movie star to more important issue.
    We may see a lot of Angelina pictues but at least at the same time everybody is talking about orphans and maybe even thinking about adopting a child and giving it a better life.

    I actually regret that Matt's charity work went unnoticed. It seems ok to avoid the attention when your personal life is involved but when it comes to charity work celebrities should, in my opnion, drag the newspapers and magazines along and indulge them. It should get as much attention as a premiere does.
    From: (Anonymous) Date: May 8th, 2006 10:28 am (UTC) (Link)
    I work for a charity in the UK. Many charities here are carefully reconsidering their use of celebrities to promote them. This is because in the short-term they generate a lot of publicity, not all of it positive, and a lot of giving but in the long-term many charities have not seen their profiles appreciably raised. When the star moves on so do the donors.

    People will be interested and give whilst the star is in the media spotlight but once that wanes their interest and giving wanes also. Obviously it's a generalisation and the situation is probably different in the US.

    The point I was trying to make was that if a star wants to promote their favourite charity I have no problem with it, I don't like it when they use it to promote themselves, and I personally couldn't live like Angelina in a country as poor as Namibia, no matter how much money I gave, I simply wouldn't feel good.

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