We have all heard about the terrible situation in Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq causing people to risk their lives and make the treacherous journey across the Mediterranean. However, what I have sadly come to realise is that not so many of us have heard much about the Eritreans also making this crossing.
To Syrian civilians, this is a war seemingly without end, and certainly without law. The parties to the conflict continue to bombard densely populated areas, lay ruin to homes, schools and hospitals, target and indiscriminately attack civilians, choke off desperately needed food, water and energy supplies, and disrupt the delivery of humanitarian aid.
I visited Za'atari refugee camp and met children who have fled Syria for their lives. I heard the same tales of losing homes, their schools and their friends. And stories of unimaginable violence and danger. These children should be going to school and playing with their friends, dreaming of what they want to be when they grow up. These children are the future of Syria and they urgently need protection and the chance of an education before a whole generation is lost to the conflict.
The camp is a fragile and desperate place. There are thousands of people, including babies and very young children, living in freezing conditions with no education, limited food and healthcare. The efforts of the volunteers and agencies responding to the crisis are remarkable, but it is quite clear that much more needs to be done.
When I was a child, I hated being given dolls for my birthday or Christmas. Most of them were glamorous, blonde and pretty and that certainly wasn't me! Like many other young girls, I would enthusiastically mutilate my Barbie dolls.
In the 21st century, and yes that does make me feel old, we now have a generation of young disabled people who see modelling as career and they want the chance to strut their stuff. Not as a token but as a professional.
On 17 February, Her Royal Highness, The Duchess of Cambridge, will join editors at HuffPost UK as guest editor to specifically help raise awareness of this issue and help us launch Young Minds Matter. Using the hashtag #youngmindsmatter we will discuss the problems, causes and also most importantly the solutions to the stigma surrounding the UK's mental health crisis among children. Finding solutions is a core value of The Huffington Post globally, which we express through our What's Working approach to news.
As a country, we seem to have accepted that child abuse is almost inevitable. We get irate and call for resignations when each prosecution comes to court, but it is always the social worker or police officer to blame, rather than what could have been done to prevent it. Remember that each crime represents a child. The outcomes of abuse can be devastating.
We need a housing bill that supports stability, recovery, progress and independence... We talk about people caught in the 'revolving door' syndrome of recovery and relapse. Having a place to call home can make all the difference in breaking that cycle for good.
Your government's pledge to fund is important to all Syrians wherever they are, but money in itself will not be enough. Host governments need to be encouraged to make policy changes that will help refugees regain hope: hope that their daily lives can be lived with dignity and hope that one day soon they will be able to go home.
I have learnt to detest impairment labels. While I understand the importance of labels at the point of diagnosis, I have seen how impairments labels have recently been used by left wing activists to demand entitlement beyond need or understanding.
Me and my other Outsiders volunteers (we all work for free as we can't get funding) have enjoyed watching the members of Outsiders find partners and sometimes shared their grief when the partner has passed away. It is quite common for disabled people to die earlier than the rest of us. Members say they get more support from Outsiders than either their families or other friends!
Denying children like Fatima their right to education is already having a devastating effect on their lives. But it also has serious, far-reaching consequences for societies and economies across the region. We must act now for the futures of Syria's children.
I believe the London Conference can be a turning point for the Syrian people who have endured so many horrors since war engulfed their country. One conference can't end the fighting or undo the suffering but it can be the moment when we rise to an unprecedented challenge with an unprecedented response. In London I want the world to offer a different story on Syria and a new vision of hope to its people. This is an historic opportunity and the whole world must grasp it.
We continue to believe that industry self-regulation is the way forward. We think this can be achieved by the public applying moral pressure to fashion brands. Social media, in our opinion, is the perfect conduit. After all we have seen how swiftly the 'Are You Beach Body Ready?' protest spread. The 'Ice Bucket Challenge' is another analogy.
Hopefully the #holditin Campaign will gather pace, and make the decision makers at football clubs realise that with the introduction of Changing Places, more fans can access the Matchday Experiance, which provides a great Business model for a stable future.