I ask a group of children what they want to be when they grow up. Half raise their hands to be teachers, the rest want to be doctors and engineers. These children are the future. Despite all the challenges, all my visits to the Middle East have been inspiring. As the Palestinian poet, Mahmoud Darwish said, "on this land, we have what makes life worth living." The world failed Aylan. Can we help Amal make her life better?
Victims of child, early and forced marriage typically have children very young and because their bodies aren't ready for childbirth, around 70,000 girls die in labour every year... I've uploaded a selection of our child bride images into the 'how old am I' app and here are the results. A picture says a thousand words, but the age says so much more.
Speed is an important factor for any successful emergency response: Next time, to outsmart the virus, we need to act fast through quick deployment of equipment, specialists and field hospitals. Speed will play a critical role in writing a different story for the first hundred days - in Africa or elsewhere.
Some 135 million children in Asia-Pacific have not had their births registered. While this number is split fairly evenly between male and female, we have to take into account that young girls and women already have to break down significant barriers just to be treated equally. If they are not registered, the barriers to participation become even more prominent.
New research from Plan shows the shocking truth about adolescent girls in developing countries. In one of the largest studies ever undertaken of its kind, we talked to 7000 adolescent girls and boys in 11 countries about girls' opportunities. The findings are overwhelming. These girls are some of the most disadvantaged people on earth.
FGM needs to be put on political centre stage. It needs the hashtags, the likes, the virals to bring the silent suffering of millions out in public discourse. Until such time 140 million girls and women will continue to be told that their genitals have been cut and mutilated to make them "clean" and "beautiful".
The prevalence of FGM varies between regions of Guinea-Bissau, depending on the distribution of different ethnic groups who consider the practice part of their ethnic identity, traditional and religious beliefs. And this is the crux of the issue. FGM is so bound up with the culture of many groups that it becomes hard, and controversial, to tackle it without seeming to undermine the very foundations of that historic culture.