Friday is the Day of the Girl - a moment to recognise that children, especially girls, despite their own enormous determination, often face insurmountable challenges to fulfilling their potential. They face wholly undeserved social, cultural and economic barriers. Although there are more obvious girl-specific barriers, in much of Africa malaria is one of the greatest single obstacles to the fulfilment of a girl's potential - and one of the cheapest to remedy. Not only is it one of the biggest killers of children under five (around half a million children a year in Africa), but for those who survive the bout of malaria, it can be recurrently debilitating for years afterwards.
Whilst I cannot condone the way in which your policies have in my opinion ostracised those young people whose talents fall outside the traditionally academic, I am actually writing to outline how our classes and other expertly delivered emotional education can and are assisting you in your agenda...
Did you know that more than 140million girls will become child brides by 2020 if current rates continue? That's 39,000 girls married off every day. It's a shocking statistic, and no less shocking every time I quote it to policy makers, celebrities and politicians as I lobby for them to join Plan International in our campaign for the futures of girls around the world.
Monday's announcement by the Scout Association of a new alternative Promise to allow the non-religious to join is not an isolated event. Coming so soon after Girlguiding UK introduced a similar change to their Promise and the Air Cadets to theirs, it's starting to look like part of a trend - and a very welcome one for all who believe in inclusive social movements.
I remember myself two years ago, slumped in the back of my mum's Mini with so much stuff piled around me I may as well have been part of the luggage. Uni was a fresh start and I was ready to embrace the inevitable changes that come with independence. Though one thing I didn't bank on is how much I'd age before my 21st birthday...
A little over a year ago I highlighted the work of PAWA, the Pan Asian Women's Association, which focuses on global development and girls' and women's empowerment across multiple territories. By raising and carefully apportioning funds for credible, manageable-scale local charities, PAWA's work covers 30 countries from Iran to Japan, Indonesia to Kazakhstan.
When we think of a humanitarian emergency, we don't necessarily think first of education. We think of immediate, life-saving needs, like clean water, health care and shelter. Of course, in Syria and across the region, these supplies and services are absolutely vital for children and families living with the daily consequences of conflict and displacement. However, learning is just as urgent. Almost two million Syrian children have been forced to drop out of school over the past year. For refugee children, being in school offers a safe space to remember that they are children, to feel hope for the future, to play and to begin the process of healing the emotional damage of all they have experienced.