Some of you know Antoine as one of the moderators of the Christian Metal Realm forum, and some of you may not know him at all, but none of that should matter right now. What matters today is that a man and his family are struggling and we have an opportunity to help them. I was not asked by him to start this campaign, but after familiarizing myself with the situation in Venezuela I felt compelled to do something. This is an opportunity to help your fellow man. Please read this entire page and the supporting links at the bottom to better understand the situation.
Antoine lives in Caracas, Venezuela with his wife and 4 year old son. In recent times, (partly due to the decline in oil prices) Venezuela’s economy has been spiraling out of control due to the country’s reliance on oil for 95% of their exports. This has transformed Venezuela into a country where one fights to live on a day to day basis.
At the time this campaign was launched Venezuela is currently estimated to be at a 720% inflation rate, raising the cost of everyday items to unrealistic prices. There are many factors contributing to the poor living conditions Venezuela is experiencing including but not limited to:
· Rapid decline in the value of their currency (1 USD = 0.10 VEB)
· Supply shortage on food and other basic items
· Government rationing of necessities due to shortage
· Unemployment rate
· #1 crime rate in the world
· Electricity rationing
Most people cannot fathom having to wait in line for 6 or more hours for the milk that your family desperately needs, only to find that while waiting in line the milk you were waiting for spoiled. On a regular basis the Venezuelan government “rations” the country’s electricity to save money. This has resulted in the deaths of citizens who use respirators, the elderly who cannot use elevators, and even babies at hospitals that have experienced power loss. In fact as a response to the crisis the Venezuelan Government has declared Wednesday, Thursday and Friday national holidays each week to reduce the power consumption of businesses. This of course also means Venezuela has only a 2 day work week, resulting in less money to be earned by citizens.
With Caracas already being the worst crime rate in the world, each time the power is shut down it raises to even higher levels resulting in the family locking their doors and remaining in their home until it has subsided. They are also not legally allowed to own weapons in Venezuela, leaving them vulnerable to theft or violent crime.
Today there are 116 murders per 100,000 inhabitants in the country, and in 2015 alone there were 27,875 murders, which needless to say is ridiculously high.
While many items are expensive, others are simply extremely difficult to obtain such as soap, medicine and other essentials. The family has discussed the prospects of moving out of the country but has been unable due to the expenses involved in traveling, VISAS, employment opportunities, a place to live, etc. These are all important things to consider.
It is not very economically feasible to ship essential items into Venezuela as shipping rates are extremely high and packages may be stolen anyway. That is why I am calling for us to unite and help Antoine move his family out of Venezuela and into a safe, stable country. I think we can all agree that no one should have to raise a family in these kind of conditions.
To move to another country in South America Antoine would be looking at around $1700, I have compensated for possible price fluctuations and other possible expenses and lowered the goal to a more realistic number.
Below are links to information about the current situation in Venezuela:
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