This is DRutter, and you're reading the 59th weekly post for Mission: Agua-Possible! It updates our progress toward the goal of 1300 USD (in STEEM) for a well pump to bring water to the family farm of @EdgarGonzalez.
Severe economic and political crisis over the past few years in the South American country of Venezuela have intensified in 2019, as president Maduro doubled down on his currency manipulation, price-fixing, propaganda, and suppressing resistance. You've heard about the country's recent turmoil, but the world's media isn't showing us even half the reality!
I began to see more and more Steem users from Venezuela, I started to hear their interesting stories - and ask questions. I discovered some dark truths about the economic and political situation there. Most shops are empty, the currency is collapsing, people are hungry - the economy is at a standstill. Theft, corruption, and violence escalate as society breaks down. Those who can are fleeing on foot - 6 million already. The harsh socialist government attempts to control/fix the economy, and blames problems on the people. Most government services (like running water) work only in certain areas - or not at all.
The people are desperate for any change and protests sometimes fill the streets for miles. Maduro announced that Venezuela will no longer accept US Dollars for oil exports, then tried to get his country's gold back from Bank of England, who refused. The Russian military has become involved, supporting Maduro. The Americans back a man called Guaidó, who also has little public support. Electrical blackouts happen regularly. The US is blockading the country with their navy from the sea, "eager to help" (hungry to invade). Stability for the people appears out of reach.
In mid-2018 I found @edgargonzalez, the blog of Edgar, a Venezuelan man about my age. He's a father of young children, and a professional whose job disappeared because of the crisis. He feeds his family by fishing, foraging for fruits, and growing cassava on his late-father's plantation. He uses Steemit to share his stories and earn Steem to buy food. Shortly after I met Edgar, a power outage caused a failure of the pump used to bring water up to the farm. A repairman confirmed the pump is beyond fixing. Edgar had been using his well to water his crops, and to provide drinking water to his children and other families in the neighborhood. Without a pump to bring water up from the aquifer, his garden output has dropped - and the neighborhood must forage for water elsewhere.
Without government water services, and now without water from his well, Edgar and a few other families are in a tough situation. I wondered what a poor Canadian man could do to help. After using the Steem blockchain to learn about the problems, I realized that it could also be the SOLUTION!
That's when I first began Mission Agua-possible! (The first post was here. I published a special video edition in week 43 here.) Once we gather 1300 USD worth of Steem, I'll transfer it to Edgar, to be converted to cash to buy the pump.
Water is life! Getting this pump for the farm as soon as possible is vital.
Last week's update suggested the project might not be able to complete, mainly due to the collapsing price of STEEM versus other currencies. But since then, a dramatic price-reversal in the Bitcoin chart has changed the outlook back to neutral or bullish, and if it breaks $10000, anything is possible.
For that reason, it makes sense for the project to hang on and see what the next weeks/months bring. A good bull market in the STEEM price would itself (without any further donations) complete our funding. Therefore, we will limp forward, hoping the finish line is just around the corner.
Will you make the water flow, with us?
Much appreciation to those who upvoted last week:
week 58 funds: 1767.102 Steem
- week 58 post payout = 1.322 STEEM and 1.322 STEEM POWER = 2.644 Steem
- 1.0 STEEM direct donation from @DRutter
- 1.0 STEEM direct donation from @MediKatie
- you can send me Steem directly and your donation will be noted here
Total funds: 1771.746 Steem
x 0.155 USD/Steem = $274.62 USD (of $1300)
Current progress: 21.1%
We're at the whims of the market, but perhaps that market is about to start favouring us, for the first time, instead of draining all our efforts away. I'm willing to keep these calculations and posts going while we give things a little longer to recover. Prognosis: Guarded but optimistic. Being back above 20% this week feels relieving after last week's sudden plunge.
Several contributors to the project weighed in via comments last week - thank you! For the most part, people would want their funds going to Edgar, rather than returning to them, if that decision had to be made. Noted! Let's hope it doesn't have to come to that.
Another suggestion was post twice per week. I did try something like that (one post and one comment with bonus content every week), but it rarely got more than a few cents in upvotes. Sometimes I find it's best just to post something totally unrelated, and that tends to get more payouts than a request for donations, so then I just donate the payout directly to the project. (People seem to dislike voting when asked to, so these posts are inherently difficult to make work.)
I consider this a serious and important project and don't take decisions like this lightly. Thanks for helping with your comments and other support. I'm glad we're still on track for potential success, and hope the market finally starts to go our way soon. Until then, all funds are safe (although the safety of their purchasing power in this bear market is another matter). I'll grind on with these posts and we'll see what happens!
Upvoting this post is appreciated so much! 100% goes to the project.
Mission Agua-Possible will help many people, and inspire other great projects. It's a group success story, playing out on the Steem blockchain. Together, we're going to dramatically improve the lives of a whole neighborhood that really needs it!