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.
Every year I have to find something new to take part in, that challenges and pushes me outside of my comfort zone and has the effect of terrifying me witless. This year was no different. Thanks to persuasive talents of one Shirley Pinder from BT, I agreed to abseil down the GPO Tower along with Martin Bayfield, Helen Skelton and a few others and a platoon of Royal Marines headed up by the Big Boss, Ed Davis. I know... I'm not sure how that happened either. (Note to self; block all future calls from Abseiling Shirley, as she is affectionately known in our house)...
My mission was to raise awareness of the extraordinary story of the street kids of Accra, how they are surviving and I am determined some of them will become the future stars of tomorrow. Inspired by a video my dad showed me of a visit to the Universal Wonderful Street Academy last year, their talent was out of this world as they put on a showcase for him.
Increasingly the attention on girls and women at the heart of social and economic development means that how girls are educated and what skills women bring to the workplace come to the fore. I have just returned from a remote and rural part of northern Ghana where I travelled with Sport Relief to see how the education projects they support - Voluntary Service Overseas and Afrikids, are making a difference for marginalised and vulnerable children.
Rugby has helped me through some incredibly difficult periods in my life. When I lost my sister in the Marchioness tragedy in 1989, I felt lost and completely misunderstood. As a messed up young man, I made some poor life choices that led to me being expelled. Rugby came at a time when I badly needed guidance and support. That's why I set up Dallaglio Foundation's Rugby for Change project. With the help of money raised by The Supporters Club, BT Sport's charitable initiative, we help young people who have been excluded or expelled from school, and who need some inspiration to make positive life choices.
Scolastica, a 33-year-old single mother and urban chicken farmer in Tanzania, set up her poultry business in 2005, itself a brave step for a woman to make in such a patriarchal society. Things ticked along relatively well. But when three years ago, a virus swept through her flock and killed 600 of her 900 birds in less than a week - even someone with the drive and determination of Scolastica thought her dream was over. That's when Comic Relief stepped in and her luck began to change.
As a performer, I totally understand how powerful music and drama is to express yourself and get difficult emotions out into the open. Singer and dancer Mary is one such person. She puts heartfelt emotion into every single performance in an attempt to turn her painful past into a positive force. Her powerful lyrics and support from an incredible project have turned this once shy woman into a local celebrity in the rural part of eastern Uganda where she lives with her husband and children. I recently met Mary, 48, and heard her remarkable story...
I'm often asked if it's okay for a black/Jewish/Muslim comedian to make jokes about their race/religion or for a woman to talk about how bad her boyfriend is in bed bearing in mind that when men speak in a derogatory fashion about their wives or girlfriends it's considered sexist... The question is, have we become too sensitive? Are we already looking for offence when it doesn't actually exist?