Have you noticed that some goals lose their charm with age? (Get a perm. Marry a New Romantic.) Others become increasingly urgent - even when they are decades overdue. Global surgery is the second type. It's a life-and-death 'to do' more than 35 years in the waiting, but a recent sign suggests this could finally be about to change.
For 20 years I spoke through my skin because I couldn't find the right words. Instead of a best friend to play with, I had a pair of scissors. And instead of a voice, I got stuck on a merry-go-round of bottling things in and bleeding them out. The question I often get asked is 'why'; what could make me feel so low that I would want to drag a blade across my own flesh. Having had nearly two decades to gnaw over an answer, I'm still not really sure, other than - being brutally honest - I think I liked it. It wasn't about the injury I inflicted though, cutting never deviated towards sadomasochism, it was about searching for contentment.
In order to inspire more of the kinds of actions that have already led to significant progress in a number of fisheries, The Prince of Wales's meeting will also see the publication of a new report written by the US-based Environmental Defense Fund and the ISU. It's called Towards Investment in Sustainable Fisheries.
I know what it's like to lose your childhood to war. When I was five and conflict raged in Sudan, my family and I were amongst the lucky ones to leave for Egypt. Four years later we were granted asylum in the United Kingdom. Inspired by legendary South Sudanese basketball player Manute Bol, my siblings and I took up basketball which helped us fit in. Like Manute, I was lucky enough to turn the sport I loved into a career as a professional NBA player in the United States.
I well remember my first days in my boarding school - the wolf whistles from the prefects' open windows as we passed in and out of our boarding quarters. Prettier boys were openly rated as desirable. It was in my second term, when I was 13 years old, that I first received a note from a 17-year-old in the school rugby team asking would I meet him for a smoke. This was a euphemism for intended sexual contact.
One of the biggest things disabled people have to endure is patronising people. Whether it's a pat on the head or their assumptions we are stupid and/or harmless, disabled people are often the most susceptible targets for the patronising.
Another month, another comedian goes out to Africa... Thus far I respond to human suffering with my head not heart. I'm a professional and cynical observer of life after all, aren't I? Well I've brought my wife and daughter as human shields - they can shed tears for me. We're escorted by the director of a small charity, and a photographer.
We can proactively address the food crisis issue and put in place measures to reduce its impact, but without addressing the causes of the widening gap between rich and poor any solution will be short term.
The story of two teenage girls raped and murdered in India this spring while looking for a discreet place to relieve themselves outdoors made headlines around the world. Sadly, their situation is far from unique. Half a billion women and girls - 15% of females worldwide - are forced to do this every day simply because they do not have access to a toilet. This crisis risks women's health, and threatens their safety. The new Indian government was moved to act following the tragedy of the two Dalit girls in Uttar Pradesh, pledging zero tolerance for acts of violence against women. Their statement is welcome. However, protecting women from harassment and attack will not happen overnight.
A person suffering a degenerative disease, no matter how well they cope, cannot in reality be upbeat and happy every single moment of each day. This would be impossible and an unrealistic expectation.
As a charity representing thousands of people with multiple sclerosis (MS) it's concerning when we see sensationalised stories in the media about 'benefit cheats' and 'disability scroungers'. These unappealing headlines, along with the much publicised Government benefit crackdown, do little to help members of the public understand what it's really like to live with a disability.
After reading about Robin Williams re admitting himself to rehab I was reminded of the journey I have taken as a recovering crack cocaine addict.
I have never really been a very charitable person apart from the usual; sponsoring friends, completing lengthy swims for Cancer Research and Comic Relief & Children in Need donations etc. So when I had to fill in an application form at AOL UK to be part of a volunteer trip with Free the Children charity in Kenya, I was a bit thin on the evidence to make my case as to why I should be picked.
When I first became a music therapist many years ago, I worked with small children between the age of 3 to 5 in a community setting where both typical children and children with disabilities attended during the day. There were about 20 of them in the class. Half of them had disabilities, such as autism and Down Syndrome, while the other half did not.
Imagine a country where, at the stroke of a pen and without any recourse to a judge, a faceless Government official can deprive someone of their liberty and, at the stroke of a pen, consign them indefinitely to what to all intents and purposes is a prison, without them having being charged with or convicted of any crime. That country is Britain. And if you thought that this use of state power was characteristic only of dictatorships or tyrannies, then think again, as it's happening here, on our doorstep, under our noses, without any fuss and certainly without any publicity.
Since appearing on GMB, people have asked me "If there's a training programme which saves babies, why isn't it made mandatory? I didn't think stillbirth was preventable". I didn't think stillbirth was preventable either but I also didn't realise how common it was or how the UK has one of the highest stillbirth rates in the developed world. Until it happened to me.