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Profile

Rohan Jayasekera

Finished the London Marathon

Challenge complete

Fundraising for this challenge has ended so we're no longer accepting donations. Thanks to everyone who supported this challenge.

Total raised so far £0.00

Target £0.00

Total plus Gift Aid: £0.00

Raised offline: £0.00

My story

[p][b]In my years as a journalist[/b] I have worked with some extraordinarily talented and committed fellow reporters and human rights activists. Many were men and women for whom the possibility of detention and possible torture was – and remains - a constant risk.[/p][p]Horrifyingly, for a few friends, the threat became real – in Iraq, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Syria and Turkey. Some escaped to England where they were granted asylum and given the precious chance to rebuild their lives with their families with the essential support of the extraordinary charity Freedom from Torture.[/p][p]Everything that the charity does is worthy of support, but for me it’s the work of its [i]Write to Life[/i] programme that I really admire. [i]Write to Life[/i] is the longest running refugee writers’ group in the UK and the only one specifically for survivors of torture.[/p][p]Its mentors help survivors overcome their trauma by revisiting the most awful hours of their lives and through writing, come to terms with their experience.[/p][p]Friends – journalists and human rights activists - have personally benefited from the group’s work. Today their lives are almost complete again.[/p][p][i]Write to Life[/i] group coordinator [b]Sheila Hayman[/b] describes it as "a bit like living in a haunted house". The ghosts never go away, she says. They are deep in the fabric of the walls. But the only power the ghosts have over you is the power you give them. “They’re not real, they belong in the past, and if you take control of them, make them into your story, you take back that power.”[/p][p]It’s a tender, slow process. It’s thirty years on from my own brush with the experience. (I had gone looking for a rebel group; they found me. Only after four hours getting the works did I find the answer that freed me, entirely accidentally, in a surreal turn of events I still find hard to make sense of.)[/p][p]Since then I have written something every single day - news, features, research, dissertations, tweets and blogs – but by and large, I have always failed to find the words to cover those four hours. But I always have the experience of those colleagues to remind me how much worse it could have been. [/p][p]And the fear for the futures of others: Only last week a friend was jailed for five years in a country where, according to Amnesty International, torture, including sexual assault, helps drive a national strategy of intimidation of dissident voices.[/p][p]So when [b]Pal Luthra[/b], partner of former Freedom from Torture CEO [b]Susan Munroe[/b], asked me to step up as chair of the charity's East Sussex support group, to help raise funds and awareness for Freedom from Torture, I leapt at the chance. [/p][p]Coming to terms with the subconscious triggers, and not to have the memories, in Sheila’s words, “running around in their heads in the darkest hour of the night”. This is what [i]Write to Life[/i] and Freedom from Torture do. To help some of the bravest, brightest, most truthful people I know carry on with their lives and more. [/p][p][b]Freedom of Expression[/b] [i]and[/i] [b]Freedom from Torture[/b] – what better reasons to support me on my slow roll round London on Sunday April 22. [/p][p]Please sponsor me![/p]

Share Rohan's story

Event

2018 Virgin Money London Marathon

2018 Virgin Money London Marathon

22 Apr 2018

Charity

Freedom from Torture

Freedom from Torture

Supporters

25-Apr-2018

Jo Beattie

Belated congratulations and what a great cause to be raising money for, well done! Jo

£15.00 plus £3.75 Gift Aid

25-Apr-2018

Henderson

Am in awe of that. h

£26.20 plus £6.55 Gift Aid

25-Apr-2018

Jamie Smith

Congratulations on completing the marathon!!

23-Apr-2018

Bridget Gallagher

Congrats and well done!

£30.00

23-Apr-2018

Anonymous

23-Apr-2018

Anonymous

Well done Rohan, great cause to run for

£30.00

23-Apr-2018

Melody

You’re amazing Ro!

£15.00 plus £3.75 Gift Aid

23-Apr-2018

Yamuna Tennakoon

£50.00 plus £12.50 Gift Aid

23-Apr-2018

Pam van de Bunt

Dear Rohan, I thought is he going mad? The marathon?!!! If you would have asked me in advance I definitely would have advised against it. But so proud to see you made it!

£20.00

23-Apr-2018

Rhea

Well done Rohan!

£10.00 plus £2.50 Gift Aid