Venezuelans are Crowdfunding Money With Hopes of Leaving the Country

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Venezuela’s economic crisis has, for some, made life there unlivable, but with little-to-no money for food, medicine and basic life necessities, costly flights or buses out of the country aren’t feasible. That’s why dozens of Venezuelans have taken to crowdfunding sites.

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Hoping to fund journeys to other countries, where work, and a chance at life, is more viable, people in Venezuela are using the crowdfunding platform Generosity.

The site, founded in 2015, is an offshoot of Indiegogo, allowing people to raise money for themselves, their families or causes they care about. Unlike Indiegogo, however, Generosity is free, with all the donations going directly to those who started the campaign.

At least one family has found success with the platform. Ilias Papanikolaou created the page for his friend Giannis Kouzinos so that he and his family could leave Venezuela for Greece. The man was able to raise $10,000, allowing the Kouzinos family to begin renewing their passports and plan their travels.

"My gratitude to the man who organized the fundraising and my gratitude to all the friends and strangers who made it true with their contribution," Kouzinos told BuzzFeed News.

Others are hoping to have the same luck. Andrea Gutierrez, a 24-year-old from Maracaibo, has raised $70. The former teacher and artist wants to make her way to Ecuador for work.

"I'm glad I did because saving money in Venezuela's current status is just impossible," she said, "and I do really want to get a second chance so I can live, work hard for my goals in music and art, and also get to help my parents, who are elderly and in delicate health condition."

Currently, a basic salary in Venezuela is about $15 per month. That means that Venezuelans would have to save up all their cash – no food, medicine, hygienic products or anything else – for about two years to have enough for a passport, visa and a plane ticket.

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"I'm positive that if enough people read the reality of our situation, [they] will help me by donating and sharing my story to get my second chance in life," Gutierrez said.

(h/t BuzzFeed News)