As the humanitarian crisis deepens in Venezuela, more aid workers are rallying to help. It’s not only traditional NGOs that are mobilising though. Bitcoin non-profit BitGive is pitching in as well to help support Venezuelan orphans, overrun and collapsing hospitals, and animal rescue centres in the country.
More Venezuelans are purchasing cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Dash as a means of protecting their wealth and making everyday payments. But now, the first Bitcoin non-profit, founded in 2013 in the US, is helping the cause with three new projects on its GiveTrack donation tracking platform.
Bitcoin is making a difference to Venezuelans
The ongoing economic crisis and political unrest have left the country in desolation. Masses of refugees are fleeing and thousands of innocent lives have been lost.
Partnering with a US-based NGO experienced in providing humanitarian aid in South America, BitGive has developed three core donation programmes. The first will help Venezuelan orphans by providing essential items such as food, clothes, shoes, medications, toys, and clean drinking water.
The second will support animal shelters in Venezuela by providing starving animals with vitamins, food, supplements, flea and tick collars, and other essential items. And the third will provide quality food and medicine for especially high-risk children and adults in hospitals across the country.
Cryptocurrency is capable of so much more than price speculation
It’s not only Bitcoin that’s proving itself as a force for good beyond mere price speculation or HODLing. Dash is also making major inroads into the ravaged country.
Coin Rivet recently reported on how Dash Charity is allowing Venezuelan school children to receive funds to buy their meals. Dash Text was the only service that continued to work during the blackouts that left millions of Venezuelans without power.
Clearly, the country is crying out for international aid. Yet, with such a hostile government at the helm, I asked BitGive’s founder and executive director Connie Gallippi exactly what compelled her to act in Venezuela. She explained:
“There is little hope for the Venezuelan people, other than to leave the country or try to survive through this horrific time. There is very little food, medicine, or aid of any kind; and the country is experiencing nationwide power outages that are exacerbating the already terrible conditions. Of course, we wanted to see if there was something we could do to help.”
How far will Bitcoin get when aid agencies are struggling?
Despite the difficulties of getting aid to Venezuelans, and the hurdles put in place by the government, Connie believes that the three GiveTrack projects BitGive has come up with will have positive results. She says:
“The situation in Venezuela is dire; and people, including young children, are dying. Pets are abandoned, starving, and ending up euthanised. These projects help children in orphanages, patients in hospitals, mothers with young children, and animals survive through this crisis. This is about saving lives by providing food, medicine, and care where it is no longer available or not enough.”
Transparency in the donation process
For those people outside of Venezuela who want to help but are often unsure of whether their money reaches the right people, programmes like Dash Charity and BitGive provide unprecedented transparency in the donation process.
Donors can watch the funds tracked on the blockchain and see that they are reaching the people in need. Connie explains:
“The funds are tracked on the Bitcoin blockchain and reported on through milestone reports that include expense reports. Donors can see their transaction on the blockchain and can also watch the flow of the funds into and back out of the charity’s Bitcoin wallet…
While of course there are no 100% guarantees on the reporting side, there will always be blockchain data, and NGOs who do not follow the terms and policies of the platform will not be invited back to fundraise on GiveTrack in the future.”
BitGive has already achieved so much
BitGive was the first Bitcoin non-profit to be recognised by the government in the United States. With the aim of bridging the gap between the Bitcoin and blockchain industry and humanitarian aid, Connie and her team have created practical applications that can be used for doing good. BitGive is leading the charge in using technology for the furtherment of global philanthropy.
BitGive makes it easier for charities to accept donations in Bitcoin. So far, it has worked with many well-known non-profits including Code to Inspire, Save the Children, and The Water Project. Connie has also become a key influencer in the industry, making Coin Rivet’s list of top females in the blockchain space.