'I need to get my family out': Refugee's plea to bring family to CQ
HE WAS abducted in 1980 as a child and forced into becoming a soldier, exposed at a young age to death, murder, drugs and destruction.
Now, South Sudanese man James Nien is doing everything he can to pull his family away from that life, and bring them here to Central Queensland.
Living and working as a gambling councillor in Rockhampton, Mr Nien created a crowdfunding page on Go Fund Me, which has received $3183.
Most of James' salary goes to support Chudier and their 14 month old daughter, Nyanok.
He also pays child support for his Australian son from an earlier marriage.
This means he is unable to pay the immigration visa charges to bring his family to Australia; $10,000 for Chudier, $3,000 for Nyanok, plus $4,000 medical and travel expenses.
Mr Nien said he fled South Sudan with his partner in 2000 and settled in Australia as a refugee.
The pair were married, and celebrated the arrival of a son in 2001.
James and his former wife split in 2002, but he continued to work and study in Australia, becoming a citizen in 2006.
In 2012, James returned to South Sudan to marry again and in 2014, he and wife welcomed a daughter into the world.
In 2016, he moved to Rockhampton to start work with Relationships Australia, where he began to make plans to bring his family here.
"That war (in 2013, between South Sudanand an Islamist cell) was very painful, very destructive," Mr Nien said.
"My in-laws escaped to a refugee camp (in Nairobi, Kenya), living with my wife.
"The longer they live there the more they're going to be traumatised.
"It's very emotionally and mentally hard," Mr Nien said.
"I can't go to the government and say 'I need my family here, I'm a citizen'. I have to fulfil my obligation of paying their visa.
"I'm in between the system and my family. The process needs this money.
"The current situation in South Sudan is a worry to me for the security of my family when I am not there.
"My wife and child are not safe, medical treatments are not adequate.. (and) news reports recently have noted three kidnappings in Nairobi from their family homes due to political unrest in South Sudan. I need to get my family out of this situation.
"I am appealing to this forum, communities worldwide, to raise funds to get my family out of harm's way and bring them to join me here.
"Many thanks in advance for your donations to my family."