Securing internet connection with hostile ISP

Please excuse the lack of details, you can understand why. I have a friend in a foreign country who is certain that he is a surveillance target of his local government. Other people he knows in his same category have already had their internet connections spied on, and seen contents of their emails leaked. He refuses to use his local ISP because the government runs it, so he uses another means of internet but which is very unreliable.

He really would like to use a landline ISP for it’s stability, but knows he can’t trust it. I thought of setting him up with a serious firewall (like pfSense) with a permanent VPN tunnel to a provider that is based outside of his country.

Given these considerations, would this be a safe solution? Or rather if the ISP is compromised, are all bets off?