Her parents, brother, relatives and friends in Jamaica will be overjoyed and grateful to have Raechel home during these challenging times. My name is Siddier Chambers and I have been a family friend for over 20 years and one of Raechel's mentors for the past 12 years.
In September 2019 we were excited for Raechel as we celebrated her going to France as an English Teaching Assistant.
She had always wanted the opportunity to learn, earn, and experience France. Raechie has always been adventurous and her parents, Rae and Marcia Mitchell, have nurtured her adventurous spirit.
Raechie at 4 years old, relaxing with her Dad Rae after a day filled with adventures.
Raechie was elated when she arrived in France in October 2019 for her 6-month teaching experience.
But the COVID-19 global pandemic quickly turned her joy into fear and anxiety as she is now trapped in France. In March 2020 the French borders shut abruptly with the onset of the pandemic. When it was time for her to return to Jamaica in April 2020, she found herself stuck in a foreign country with no family, no job security, and very few options.
She was able to use the money she had made before the crisis to support herself in the following months. When the French borders opened at the end of June, she quickly booked her flights to return to Jamaica, with the connecting flight through the US to arrive home the first week of July. Unfortunately, within two days of these bookings, the US closed its borders to Europe and she was unable to transit or to get a refund for the flights booked. She felt hopeless and afraid.
Her dorm lease expired and being unable to renew or find new lodgings, she turned to help from a fellow Jamaican, who provided her
Excited but aware of the restriction challenges, she checked with all the relevant authorities, including UK Border patrol, immigration, and the British Consulate. But when she arrived at the Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport, she was prevented from board her flight due to a technicality. The explanation was that the French Government had not printed the visa extension in her passport, but instead issued a formal letter of extension, which the UK did not consider valid.
This shattered Raechel's renewed hope of getting home. She was devastated. Words of comfort and encouragement from her parents, friends and I were not enough to inspire hope again. Trapped in France with nowhere to go and was further traumatised after learning that her grandmother had COVID-19 in Jamaica – this was a lot for her to process.
She has since applied for a UK transit visa and is currently awaiting approval. To date, she has received no refund from her previous bookings of almost €500 and with her current situation hope is fading. After many discussions and brainstorming, we came up with the idea to try and raise money to purchase her tickets through a Gofundme account.
With the drastic increase in airfares, we hope to raise approximately AUD4,000/€2,435/USD2,850 by October 2020 to cover Raechel’s travel expenses so she can get home to her family and friends by the latest November 2020. At a time when family means everything to us and provides the greatest comfort especially during this pandemic, one can only imagine how lonely, frustrating and challenging it is for Raechel. With so many barriers, your contribution is the miracle that will reunite Raechie with her family. Thanks for your love expressed in action.
- Christopher Daley
- Kezia Ramsay
- Dawn Watson-North
- Clarisse Chanda
Organizer and beneficiary
#1 fundraising platform
More people start fundraisers on GoFundMe than on any other platform. Learn more
In the rare case something isn’t right, we will work with you to determine if misuse occurred. Learn more
Expert advice, 24/7
Contact us with your questions and we’ll answer, day or night. Learn more