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Queens, NY Rower to Follow Transatlantic Slave Trade Route

After seven years of preparation, training and two unsuccessful attempts, Victor Mooney (45), of Queens, New York, is determined to complete his mission. The veteran rower and his 21′ rowboat (“Never Give Up”) will depart from Cape Verde soon, which is an archipelago of islands located about three hundred miles west of Senegal. His focus is resolute – to bring action towards HIV/AIDS through voluntary testing, prevention advocacy and raising money for AIDS services.

Rite of Passage: Victor Mooney stands in his rowboat "Never Give Up" in preparation for his 3rd attempt to follow one of the route of the Middle Passage.

The rower will partner with local groups during his visit to South Africa, Nigeria, Senegal and Cape Verde before his row. He’ll promote voluntary HIV testing and prevention. Cabo Verde Airlines, Arik Air Int’l and South African Airways are supporting the rower’s air travel.
Mooney will be rowing through the Middle Passage – the route across the ocean by which slaves were transported. Mooney is mindful that countless numbers did not survive the trip and that today large numbers of people in Africa and America are dying of AIDS and still others unaware of their HIV status. The five thousand mile row will end at New York’s Brooklyn Bridge, some six months later.
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