This campaign is about getting a friend of mine out of immigration detention. He needs to raise enough money to pay for a plane ticket, and has no money of his own.
As you might know, I'm PhD student working on refugees in Thailand. Through my work, I have a lot of refugees stranded here. These are boring details, but know that Thailand has not signed the refugee convention, and considers refugees and asylum seekers as illegal migrants. Illegal migrants in Thailand are detained until they can pay for their deportation. Refugees rightfully fear to be sent back to the country they fled. Hence they rot in prison, in cells absurdly hot and absurdly overcrowded, until they find a way out.
Some of them do not find that way out. My friend, let's call him Jacques, is one of them.
I met him two and a half years ago, as he brought a friend of his to an interview with a NGO. I had accepted to be a French-English interpreter for that friend. He could not travel alone because of bad PTSD, so Robinson had offered to tag along and make sure he would make it there and back home safely. That's the kind of guy Jacques is. He would just help you out.
Fast forward a year. I have just started my research and I join a group that bring food and basic supplies to refugees stuck in immigration detention. They give me the name of the person I will be visiting on that day. It was Jacques. He had been arrested coming out of church a few months before. We kind of just clicked. I have been now visiting him regularly for more than a year. Enough time to get to know him, and to see him lose weight, lose morale, get sick, receive rejection letters, appeal, and wait. Of all the things, it's probably waiting that got him the most.
Because there is something else about Jacques. He has a daughter, born only a few months before he was arrested. She is now a year and a half, and since she was three months old she has seen her daddy only twice, for a handful of minutes, in jail.
Now Jacques is just tired, scared of catching something serious or getting beaten up, and wanting to get to see his daughter grow up. So he has asked me to help him raise money to get out.
Doing that, he is taking a risk. He will fly back to a country where he knows people are waiting for him. He'll take the chance, stay long enough to get a passport, a bit of money, and get out of the country.
That's his plan. I don't know whether it will work, or whether he will stick to it. I do know that right now, he's out of options. He has spent more than a year in jail, and he needs to get out before it finishes to break him.
There are a lot of problems out there. Is Jacques' the most deserving, the most urgent? I don't know. But he is my friend, and I can't help him out without your help.
PS: Regarding the amount. The price of tickets to Jacques' country (that I won't disclose here because it's a safety risk) varies between 850 and 1200$. He will only be able to buy the ticket at the last minute, so there's no telling what the prices will exactly be then. Any money beyond the price of the ticket will be for him to have some cash when he reaches. If prices are too high when he gets out, I will cover the difference.
PPS: I edited the post to protect Jacques' identity after he got worried seeing the news spread [but don't panic, it still goes to the same guy].