Since launching at the end of June 2013, the NSPCC's FGM helpline has received over 700 contacts from the public and professionals, nearly 300 have been so serious they have been referred onwards. One call involved a member of the public who had called with concerns for a young child who was absent from school for a few months for a holiday in Nigeria. Suspicions arose as the child's mother gave varying explanations for the absence and on her return to school the child's demeanour and mood had changed and she complained about painful toilet trips.
I was deeply concerned to read the proposal by Dr Kevin Smith last week, that young men should consider freezing their sperm, around the age of 18 with the promise of artificial fertility even in old age.
Obviously, I don't think that parents of children with special needs are miserable moaners with greasy hair. Well not always. As for the greasy hair, I mean it in the metaphorical sense. In the way that, because of our offspring, we are sometimes viewed to be a bit downtrodden, frumpy, burdened, the underdog, the one (gasp) who is not much fun to be around.
It's complicated, and we face a huge challenge to attract greater funds for schooling and teaching in conflict. But that shouldn't scare us off. The needs are huge, and we must use that as inspiration, rather than as a barrier, to our ambitions. Education cannot wait in times of an emergency. We have no time to lose.