SOASian aims to raise £50k for refugee charity in boat race across the Atlantic

Rob Hamilton, Atlantic Challenge

Rob Hamilton completed a MA in Near and Middle Eastern Studies at SOAS and currently works as an Operations Centre Consultant for Special Contingency Risks, an insurance company specialising in kidnap and ransom insurance.  His role involves writing geopolitical security analysis reports for clients and brokers, responding to kidnap and ransom incidents, as well as helping to coordinate evacuations from natural disaster zones.  For most people, this would have been challenge enough, but Rob has an additional goal.

Atlantic Challenge

“In December 2020, I will be taking part in the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge, a 3000-mile unsupported rowing race across the Atlantic, from the Canary Islands to Antigua, as a solo rower.  The race could take as long as three months and I will have to contend with many challenges, including sea sickness, sleep deprivation, hallucinations, isolation, dehydration, salt sores, cargo ships, sharks, 30ft waves, 35-degree heat and, despite eating over 6000 calories a day, I will likely lose between 10-15kgs.”

Rob Hamilton, Atlantic Challenge

What could possibly possess someone to spend three months alone at sea in a rowing boat? 

“Well, there’s a couple of reasons.  In January 2016, after a week in the army, I injured my knee quite seriously.  With that dream snuffed out, I decided I needed to do something to prove to myself that I can still do adventurous things and that injury does not need to stop me.

“The second, and more important reason, is having a cause you are passionate about.  In 2018, I was fortunate enough to work for an amazing organisation called the Collateral Repair Project in Amman, Jordan.”

Collateral Repair Project

“Since 2006, this apolitical, areligious organisation has supported the urban refugee population in Amman. CRP tries to meet the immediate needs of its beneficiaries by distributing food vouchers and providing medical support.  They give out warm clothes and heaters in the winter, and back-to-school supplies in September.  However, they are more than just a distribution centre.  CRP also offers English classes, yoga, after school clubs, support groups, arts and crafts and a variety of other classes, making the organisation feel like a community living room where refugees can try to forget their hardships for an hour or two.  The aim of this challenge is to raise at least £50,000 for this incredible organisation, making the lives of refugees just that little bit better.”

Get involved

If you would like to support Rob, please visit his fundraising webpage.

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