Our first stop is North America, but not the USA. Instead we head further north into Canada, or Nova Scotia to be more precise. Here you will find Christmas Island, a place where the Post Office does a nice little sideline in postal markings for those people who like their festive letters to have an extra seasonal sprinkling.
With the Formula One season in full flow, you could be forgiven for thinking that my life at the moment is focused on non-stop training, qualifying and racing. It's often difficult to find time for anything else, but earlier this month I was able to visit Haiti with Unicef, the world's leading children's organisation, to make an appeal film for this year's Soccer Aid, which returns for the fifth time on Sunday 8 June.... No child, no matter where they live in the world should go hungry or lose their life because they or their family don't have enough to eat. That's why I'm asking everyone to tune in on June 8 and give what they can.
The world looked on in horror as a massive 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck Haiti on 12 January 2010. More than 200,000 people were killed in the capital alone, along with countless thousands of animals, including beloved pets and vitally important livestock. Just 72 hours later, the WSPA, rushed to aid the animals of the devastated nation...
The human trafficking industry - already the most profitable international criminal enterprise after the drugs and arms trades - is posting higher profits than ever. In 2005, UN estimated that it was a $32billion per year industry, based on International Labor Organization estimates that 20.9 million people suffered from forced slavery.
Imagine being born in a country where your parents and grandparents also grew up and then one day being told you are no longer eligible for nationality there. This means you will no longer have access to education, healthcare, a formal job, social security, or even be able to marry or register the births of your children...
The eyes of the world may now be turned elsewhere, but Haiti remains one of the most vulnerable places on earth, battered repeatedly by earthquakes, cyclones, floods, landslides, drought, and epidemics. Hurricanes routinely knock up to 15% from GDP. The total volume of humanitarian aid to Haiti since 2001 exceeds $4billion. The challenge ahead is stark.
As nature gets more ferocious in this changing climatic era, our antidote to an increasing number of disasters has to be DRR which for the experienced Caribbean engineer, Tony Gibbs means that "great hurricanes and earthquakes (can) be experienced as fascinating and awesome events which, nevertheless, do not lead to disasters."
Haiti in January 2010, 10 days after the earthquake, was a country in shock. For days and weeks afterwards, large parts of the population devoted themselves to sifting through the rubble. It was a dangerous job, as concrete houses were still collapsing weeks after the initial quake, triggered either by aftershocks that continued for months, or by people moving rubble to try and find their loved ones, usually dead.
Proper sanitation and hand washing is the answer to child mortality in Togo, it is the starting point for the success of every other development programme that UNICEF work on. But before that we need to modernise the thinking of an entire nation. There's no point building toilets if they are not then used.