I love talking to children. They are so unaffected and they can tell you so much more about a society, and in a much more nuanced way, than famous politicians, experts, journalists, and the like. They are even better than taxi drivers who tend to provide such a deconstruction of the social and political life of their country that sometimes I want to say to them - please, take me back to the airport!
Youth clubs in the UK provide a similar function to the ones in Bangladesh. Young people have the chance to help in the community, play sports, and receive vocational training. In Bangladesh, this is where VSO volunteers came in - training youth club staff and organising vocational courses for youth club members.
One of the things I love about my job is that I get to be optimistic every day. That's because I, and my colleagues working in international development, look at the problems of the world that are rooted in poverty and inequality, and refuse to accept that the world is not smart enough or rich enough to defeat them.
As Mark Carney and others have said, greater fairness is needed, because without it, the social contract that binds us together is weakened. When people feel that the playing field is far from level, that the rules are rigged by those with power and influence to work against them and their children, society begins to feel the strain.
Whilst international security and the global economy are likely to dominate news coverage surrounding the G7 meeting in early June, there is another important point on the group's agenda that we should be paying close attention to. Among other health issues, diseases of poverty - or more specifically, neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) - will be a focal point for the summit meetings.
Agricultural development through productivity improvements, crop intensification, irrigation, and investment in infrastructure has significantly improved food security and the seasonal dimension of hunger worldwide in recent years. Yet seasonal hunger still persists among the rural poor, and should not be lost within poverty statistics or forgotten when addressing chronic hunger in policymaking.
At emerge poverty free we work through local partners in East Africa to help people lift themselves out of poverty. Sometimes this is through an education project or by provision of clean water, and sometimes it is by establishing a demonstration farm, so that local communities can learn about improved farming techniques and better crops.
When grassroots communities described their realities, they taught me that the development they envisioned is not the same as the development the majority of the world imagines they want. In their own narrative, the strongest message from communities is a deep desire to be given the ability to do it for themselves.
Hidden hunger is caused by a lack of nutritious food and results in insufficient essential vitamins and minerals being absorbed into the body. It can have long-term, irreversible health effects as well as socioeconomic consequences that can erode a person's well-being and development. By affecting people's productivity, it can also take a toll on countries' economies...
I believe that if children are to enjoy their right to an education they must be taught by teachers who are properly trained and supported. There is a pressing need to consider how best to train teachers - both new teachers and up-skilling the large numbers of currently unqualified and under-qualified teachers through in-service training.
Financial inclusion has become a buzzword for governments intent on tackling poverty and inequality among their citizens. India's Prime Minister Modi just announced that he wants to end 'financial untouchability' with an ambitious target to provide most households with a bank account in a matter of months.