Rwanda, the 'Land of a Thousand Hills' has luscious green peaks that stretch out as far as your eyes can see. But this beautiful scenery masks a terrible period in the country's history. In 1994, a brutal genocide tore Rwanda apart. Thousands of families were murdered, livelihoods were destroyed and many orphans were left to take care of their brothers and sisters. I recently travelled there to see how some of the money raised by Sport Relief and matched by the UK government is already hard at work, changing the lives of people who lost almost everything 20 years ago.
In a practical sense, no single remedy can address this endemic issue. Instead a range of solutions, constituting a holistic approach, are required. Firstly, a truly independent inquiry should be commissioned - one which is not led by any of the institutions implicated in the case, and further not implemented by a high profile man or men.
There are still a large number of people who feel excluded from important votes and who are frustrated at not being able to exercise their right to vote, simply because the traditional process has not moved on. How can it be that in 2014, people with sight loss still cannot vote as easily as everyone else?
It's incredibly difficult to express a negative opinion about charitable activity without coming across as a cold-hearted, mean-spirited cynic. With the majority of fund-raising initiatives, the end will justify the means but that said, I can't be the only person sick to the back teeth of their Facebook news feed being full of self-satisfied people tipping buckets of iced water over their heads.
We live in an era of profound and increasing inequality, at the heart of which is inequality in education. For any nation truly committed to creating a fairer and more equal society, private schools have no place... Private schools are at the very heart of a society divided by inherited wealth and privilege.
Gordonstoun's, whose alumni include the Duke of Edinburgh and Prince Charles, was reduced from £148,086 to £29,618, a taxpayer funded subsidy of £118, 468. Wester Hailes state school, where over 40% of pupils are are eligible for free school-meals, paid its tax liability of £261,873 in full... How can this be right or fair?
Today's post follows an interesting interview I had on the radio. The interviewer, through no fault of his own, clearly had no understanding of baby loss. He sadly resorted to many clichéd lines, which are regularly handed out to those who are unfortunate enough to know first-hand the sad reality of losing a much wanted child.
The world is reeling in shock that has been likened to when Michael Jackson died: we simply can't believe it... in the wake of such a sudden departure, we should stop to consider that there are millions of people out there suffering with depression, and not all of them are getting the help that they need.
Remember the next time you walk past a person sitting in a shop doorway that he or she isn't sitting there in the wind and rain as a lifestyle choice. They are there because something went wrong in their life and they are struggling to deal with it. They are someone's son, daughter, mother, brother or father. They could be yours!