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Transatlantic rower marks World AIDS Day with Nassau County Human Rights Commission

02 December 2016 | Hempstead, New York
Lisa Samuels
In honor of World AIDS Day 2016, transatlantic rower, Victor Mooney join The Commission for Human Rights of Nassau County and others in a renewed call to turn the tide against HIV/AIDS.

Equatoguinean culminates tribute to the founder of UAE in NYC

03 November 2016 | New York City
Lisa Samuels
Victor Mooney, a national of Equatorial Guinea, delivered his rowing uniform, Holy Quran, Ghutra, African belt and other gear to United Arab Emirates (UAE) New York City Consulate as a final tribute to His Highness, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan - may God rest his soul in peace – Ruler of Abu Dhabi and Founding President of the UAE on Wednesday. Sheikh Zayed died on November 2, 2004.

On Tuesday, November 1, 2016, Victor Mooney visited the Islamic Leadership School (ILS) in the Bronx. At the ILS, the students and faculty sign a board to commemorate the late Emirati Ruler. Mr. Mooney talked about the legacy of Sheikh Zayed and to never give up. In 2007, the ISL joined a press conference at New York City Hall with Mr. Mooney to save lives in the fight against AIDS.

Mr. Mooney began making his homage to Sheikh Zayed on a second attempt to row across the Atlantic Ocean from Senegal to New York in 2009. Mr. Mooney chose to honor Sheikh Zayed because of his spirit, humble nature and humanity with both his countrymen and countries across the world. His boat was called the Spirit of Zayed and he hoped his transatlantic row from would bring relief to the AIDS epidemic. Unfortunately, Mr. Mooney had to abort his row near Guinea –Bissau due to equipment failure.

Upon my return to New York, United Arab Emirates based newspaper, The National, dispatched a reporter who wrote an article titled – Tears for Zayed. From that point on, I knew to honor Zayed the mission must be completed, said Victor Mooney.

Mr. Mooney would fail again in 2011 when his boat took on water near Cape Verde. Mr. Mooney survived fourteen days drifting in a life raft before being rescued by a cargo ship. On February 19, 2014, his fourth transatlantic rowing attempt, Mr. Mooney departed Las Palmas, Canary Islands and arrived at the Brooklyn Bridge on November 28, 2015. During the five-thousand mile row, he faced many obstacles from a shark damaging his boat, loosing eighty pounds to a pirate attack in Haitian waters.

Mr. Mooney’s boat was sponsored by the government of Equatorial Guinea with the personal support from the Head of State, His Excellency Obiang Nguema Mbasogo.

Sheikh Zayed is an inspiration for the world. He put the principles of perseverance, integrity and partnership to work. This course has been accelerated with the wise leadership of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of United Arab Emirates, Mr. Mooney added.

Equatorial Guinea is the host country for the Fourth Africa – Arab Summit, which will convene later this month. The theme for this year’s gathering is Sustainable Development and Economic Cooperation.

I hope the Spirit of Zayed soars in Equatorial Guinea, said Victor Mooney.

Photo Handout: Victor Mooney prepares to depart from Goree Island, Senegal on the Spirit of Zayed in 2009

Snapple: Real Fact #765

06 October 2016 | Queens, New York
Victor Mooney
Victor Mooney on a 4th try crossed the Atlantic Ocean by rowboat. Thxs Snapple for the special delivery & being a founding partner for Goree Challenge | #NeverGiveUp

Overcoming Obstacles

01 October 2016 | Queens, New York
Victor Mooney
We all face them. Early on in the trans-Atlantic crossing, I realized that my food supply wasn't adequate. One freeze-dried package of food, which could make four servings was tantamount to one meal for me. I decided to push forward.

In retrospect, I encourage all of you to push forward. Obstacles are just fenders you bump into.

Rower releases US 4.5 million rowboat to Equatorial Guinea

22 September 2016 | Manhattan, New York
Lisa Samuels
Victor Mooney, 50, of Flushing, New York marked the end of his Goree Challenge, which made him the first African-American to row across the Atlantic Ocean by releasing his boat, Spirit of Malabo to Equatorial Guinea today.

Equatorial Guinea was the sponsor of Mr. Mooney's Brazilian made ocean rowboat, with the personal support from H.E. Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, The President. On a fourth try, Mr. Mooney successfully rowed from Las Palmas, Canary Islands to New York's Brooklyn Bridge. His mission was in honor of his brother that died of AIDS and to encourage voluntary HIV testing.

After the UNGA, H.E. Anatolio Ndong Mba, Ambassador for the Permanent Mission of Equatorial Guinea to the United Nations will begin the process of gifting the rowboat to the United Nations.

In a small way, the Spirit of Malabo also honored the countless numbers of Africans who were dumped in the Atlantic Ocean during the transatlantic slave trade, said Victor Mooney.

Photo Handout: Date - September 22, 2016 - H.E.Tito Mba Ada, Ambassador for Equatorial Guinea to Portugal reads Victor Mooney of Flushing, New York communique at the Permanent Mission for Equatorial Guinea to the United Nations.

On the net: www.goreechallenge.com

Spirit of Malabo UNgift4HIV rescheduled

19 September 2016 | Manhattan, New York
Lisa Samuels
Victor Mooney, who successfully rowed from Las Palmas, Canary Islands to New York's Brooklyn Bridge for AIDS awareness on his fourth try, received a letter from Mr. Claudio Santangelo, Chief, Planning, Design, and Construction Section and Secretary of the Arts Committee from the United Nations on Saturday.

While Mr. Santangelo thanked Mr. Mooney for his thoughtfulness of donating Spirit of Malabo, he said the United Nations cannot accept your offer as it is UN policy to accept gifts only from Member States, not from private donors.

He added, in this regard, should this offer be renewed, the gift proposal would have to be made through the Permanent Mission of Equatorial Guinea to the United Nations and reviewed by the United Nations Arts Committee.

H.E. Anatolio Ndong Mba, Permanent Ambassador for Equatorial Guinea to United Nations, in an email exchange with Mr. Mooney on Saturday as well said, we are ready to officially make the offer to the UN. Kindly draft the letter of the offer with all the technical specifications and pictures, so that we can submit the offer after the 71 Session of the UNGA.


The unveiling of UNgift4HIV plaque

16 September 2016 | Brooklyn, New York
Lisa Samuels
At the Gateway Marina, Victor Mooney unveiled the plaque, which depicts the story of Spirit of Malabo gift donation to the United Nations in the name of H.E. Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, Head of State of Equatorial Guinea.

Spirit of Malabo at EG Mission in New York City

14 September 2016 | Manhattan, New York
Lisa Samuels
The Spirit of Malabo ventured out of the Gateway Marina in Brooklyn to the House of the Lord Church that's led by Rev. Dr. Herbert Daughtry, long time supporter of the Goree Challenge on Tuesday.

Afterwards, Spirit of Malabo made its inaugural visit to The Permanent Mission of Equatorial Guinea to the United Nations. After Victor Mooney's closed meeting with H.E. Ambassador Anatolio Ndong Mba and senior diplomats, the group went outside to see the Spirit of Malabo up close.

Spirit of Malabo is on standby to be donated to the United Nations as a gift from the Republic of Equatorial Guinea, Head of State, Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, as a symbol for the fight against AIDS.

"If we are going to reach an AIDS-free generation, it's going to take partnership, integrity and perseverance", said Victor Mooney.

On his fourth try with three failed attempts, which nearly cost his life on multiple occasions, Mr. Mooney successfully rowed across the Atlantic Ocean and eventually arrived at New York's Brooklyn Bridge.

"You are never alone", Mooney added.

On the net: www.goreechallenge.com
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