Rwanda, the 'Land of a Thousand Hills' has luscious green peaks that stretch out as far as your eyes can see. But this beautiful scenery masks a terrible period in the country's history. In 1994, a brutal genocide tore Rwanda apart. Thousands of families were murdered, livelihoods were destroyed and many orphans were left to take care of their brothers and sisters. I recently travelled there to see how some of the money raised by Sport Relief and matched by the UK government is already hard at work, changing the lives of people who lost almost everything 20 years ago.
whatever their ability everyone raised the bar and challenged themselves. Endured a little something, pushed a little further than they usually would, all for a great cause. Some may also have exorcised the exercise demons (sorry) and may feel inspired to take a new path, taking control of their health and well being.
Every year I have to find something new to take part in, that challenges and pushes me outside of my comfort zone and has the effect of terrifying me witless. This year was no different. Thanks to persuasive talents of one Shirley Pinder from BT, I agreed to abseil down the GPO Tower along with Martin Bayfield, Helen Skelton and a few others and a platoon of Royal Marines headed up by the Big Boss, Ed Davis. I know... I'm not sure how that happened either. (Note to self; block all future calls from Abseiling Shirley, as she is affectionately known in our house)...
Increasingly the attention on girls and women at the heart of social and economic development means that how girls are educated and what skills women bring to the workplace come to the fore. I have just returned from a remote and rural part of northern Ghana where I travelled with Sport Relief to see how the education projects they support - Voluntary Service Overseas and Afrikids, are making a difference for marginalised and vulnerable children.
Next month, as part of the Sport Relief season of programmes (I know, yawn), we lucky viewers will be treated to seeing the likes of the Dragon's Den's Theo Paphitis and some spoilt rich 'star' off Made in Chelsea quite literally slumming it with people living in 'food poverty' (whatever that is supposed to mean).