Often, people search for ways to make meaningful impacts while doing something they love. It may be difficult to do both in tandem, though not impossible. CRP is grateful for and inspired by Rob Hamilton’s ability to break this barrier.
Rob, also known as the “Atlantic Titan”, was born and raised in the UK. He has pledged to take part in the Talisker Whiskey Atlantic Challenge, where he will sail 3000 miles from the Canary Islands to Antigua in an effort to raise £50,000 for CRP. As he describes on his fundraising Facebook page, during this time he will be vulnerable to sleep deprivation, hallucinations, salt sores, isolation, sea sickness, dehydration, 30ft waves, 35-degree heat, Atlantic storms, possible capsizes and significant weight loss. To Rob, the physical and mental strain is worth it as 100% of the profits will be put towards supporting our programs, and will reach members of the community in the form of food vouchers, psycho-social support, and other basic necessities.
Rob’s story is particularly compelling. After attending a traditional British boarding school, he put his studies on hold to become a PADI dive instructor in Dahab, Egypt and traveled throughout much of the Arab world. Exposed to the Middle East in 2011, a time of great change and transformation, Rob was entranced by the culture, the uniqueness of the region, and felt attached to its people.
A man of many interests, he had always dreamed of joining the army. After a year spent in the Middle East this dream was realized just as quickly as it deteriorated. He endured a year of intense testing and just eight days into his officer training, he was forced to leave due to a knee injury. Rob saw this not as a defeat, but rather a change in course. This new opportunity allowed him to further his studies and receive a master’s degree in Near and Middle Eastern Studies in London. It was upon completion of this degree that he was able to spend four months interning with Collateral Repair Project, an experience that he credits as inspiration for his intense upcoming journey.
“It may be a tired old cliché but my motivation for joining the army, working for CRP and raising money for them is the same – I like to do things where I feel I can make a difference,” Rob explains. He fears victims of war and conflict in the Middle East will be forgotten as problems in other parts of the world continue to arise and wishes to combat this.
He believes that CRP’s grassroots efforts provide continued and much-needed rapprochement for its beneficiaries. Citing the organization’s commitment to supplying emergency assistance and lifeskills training, Rob points to “the sense of community that CRP provides to their beneficiaries which helps them to ‘live’ rather than just ‘survive’.” To him, this makes CRP stand out from other nonprofits operating in the same sphere. As a past intern of Collateral Repair Project, he trusts the integrity of the organization and knows that the funds he is able to raise will truly improve the lives of the refugee community in Amman.
Because the race has taken up much of Rob’s energy, he has not had time to consider what the future looks like for him afterwards. He looks forward to participating in more outdoor expeditions but ultimately hopes to return to the Middle East to continue working with refugees and vulnerable populations.
Rob, thank you for your commitment to Collateral Repair Project and ensuring it can continue to support refugees in Amman. Your hardwork is so very appreciated! All of us at CRP wish you the best of luck on your journey.
To follow Rob and his journey, and to donate to his cause, please visit his website: https://www.atlantic-titan.com/