Hi, I'm DRutter, and this is the 69th 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 - 8 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 and internet blackouts happen regularly. 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, harvesting fruits, and growing cassava on his late-father's plantation. He uses the Steem blockchain to share his stories and earn cryptocurrency 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 harvests are reduced - 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.
We're not stopping!
The price of STEEM didn't collapse this week, which is always a good indicator for our project. And thanks to some nice upvotes from @reflektor, @xpilar, and friends, plus direct donations from @streetstyle and @kunschj, we reached new progress heights this week.
Please read below how you can help out even more than usual right now, by protecting us from a misguided enemy we've picked up, and showing love to a dedicated supporter of the project!
Will you make the water flow, with us?
Much appreciation to those who upvoted last week:
week 68 funds: 2820.378 Steem
- week 68 post payout = 8.726 STEEM and 8.726 STEEM POWER = 17.452 Steem
- 30.0 STEEM direct donation from @streetstyle
- 50.0 STEEM direct donation from @kunschj
- you can send me Steem directly and your donation will be noted here
Total funds: 2917.830 Steem
x 0.131 USD/Steem = $379.32 USD (of $1300)
Current progress: 29.2%
We're nearing 3000 STEEM, right on! And thanks to a relatively-stable week for crypto prices, those gains translated into solid progress - we're nearing 30% completion! That's amazing! Soon we'll be 1/3 of the way there, and then half way is around the corner. Great work everybody, thank you again from the bottom of my heart.
Notice: @Streetstyle has put up another post here to support [MAP]! His Streetlove team is a generous and friendly group who try to support and help out other Steemians who need it, and they've decided to dedicate some of their effort to helping us! So please go there and upvote the post, and leave a comment thanking them. All proceeds of that post will be applied to next Saturday's update, so if you can spare a click, please do!
I'm adding the #Neoxian tag to this post, as suggested last week by @spinvest-neo - thank you! If anyone has a good lead on other appropriate tags I could be using (for example, to earn some tokens that could be converted to STEEM), please let me know.
Due to my coverage about an unrelated topic a couple weeks ago, somebody with a lot of Steem Power got very angry, and downvoted ALL my posts and comments going back 7 days, using many different accounts. They did as much financial damage as they could to me, and hid (censored) many of my comments. He also went after my wife, and others who took my side. Also, there's something strange about this person's accounts. They sometimes are invisible, and downvotes don't appear normally to others. He can comment to me, without it showing up on the post. So I'm being mercilessly downvoted, over and over and over, but almost nobody else can see any outward signs of it. He seems to have a way to disguise his attacks on me.
My strategy has been to ignore him, but he has decided to continue attacking me, now specifically going after this project and our progress:
The amount taken from us may seem small, but this isn't an isolated incident - it keeps happening. And those funds are hard-earned donations! We've worked for over a year to build that Steem balance, and to have somebody using the blockchain's free downvotes (combined with their SP) to chip away at it is not fair.
Since he won't stop, and I don't have enough money to defend myself against him, I'm asking my whale friends to step in. Please, those of you with large reputations and lots of Steem Power, will you help protect me (and Mission Agua Possible) from this relentless unwarranted bullying? I told him to stop when it first happened, and I've given him many chances to, but it continues, and now he's delaying Edgar's family getting this water. It's not acceptable. Please, help by watching those 7 accounts - @coininstant @honusurf @firealien @firealiean @kdtkaren @robinmmthompson @mauialohabella - to make sure they aren't leaving abusive comments (sometimes they can be invisible though), and watching to be sure they aren't flagging me.
Together, we have the combined firepower to eradicate all 7 of those accounts immediately, if we want to. I'm not saying we should do that. I'm saying we should enact a VERY strict and brutal defense system, so that if he does anything but stop downvoting and harassing me immediately, he will be destroyed. Sound like a plan? :) If I've already spoken with you about this issue elsewhere, forgive the duplication. I just want to be sure everybody is on board and ready to bury @coininstant if he insists on meddling with and hurting people who haven't done anything wrong. Hopefully, this will be the last time this has to be mentioned. Thank you!
Conclusion: holiday water gift
During the holidays, we sent 107.5 STEEM to Edgar to buy water and necessary supplies to help make life a bit happier, while we continue to work on the main pump project. He asked me to pass on his thanks, but so far I haven't heard back from him if he was able to convert the Steem to local currency and make a purchase. Edgar, please let us know what becomes of those funds, once you're able to! It will help show everybody involved that you have the means to convert currencies. Doing so will show us that the main project, too, will result in successful completion once the funds are sent. This is important, and I've said so many times. Thanks for your understanding, Edgar. Think of it as a "test run" for the main project :)
For the rest of us, let's go support Streetstyle's post, be prepared to clobber the project troll if necessary, and do what we can to see progress hit 30% next week!
Upvoting this post is MUCH appreciated! 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!