Many families have been refugees for almost five years now. Their children are unlikely to have been in school during that time, and the families are likely to have burned through whatever resources they had when they fled home. International aid is falling as need is rising. Work is difficult to find (and often illegal) for refugees, who are paid much less than the locals, with no enforcement of labour standards. Put bluntly, the once middle class Syrian refugee population is now pauperised, and desperate, which has driven them to pay large amounts of money and take huge risks crossing a continent to Northern Europe.
When you enter Syria, you have to start following all their Sharia [Islamic law] rules and pray, otherwise the khizba [police] will get you. For example, if you don't pray on time, they can take you and punish you. I told them that I did the hijra to the Islamic State, and then applied to the Sharia court to get my children back. I lived in the mosque between March and September. I could not even take my clothes off once. Nobody forces you to fight, but you do have to find a way to make a living.
I started the original One Day Young project in East London back in 2008, photographing over 150 mothers at home with their babies in the first twenty-four hours of life. When invited me to extend this project to Malawi, to raise awareness about women giving birth without clean water or sanitation for their Deliver Life appeal, I was apprehensive.
As a philanthropist and children's' campaigner - it's an incredible opportunity to discuss what children with disabilities need to prosper. And believe me, it's imperative we have that conversation. One issue that desperately needs to be addressed is how we achieve equality for children with disabilities, particularly when it comes to education.
I can only urge you to think of your grandchildren, as I think of mine, and of those billions of people without a voice; those for whom hope is the rarest of sensations; those for whom a secure life is a distant prospect. Most of all, I urge you to consider the needs of the youngest generation, because none of us has the right to assume that "for our today they should give up their tomorrow." On an increasingly crowded planet, humanity faces many threats - but none is greater than climate change.
The hard-won battle to eradicate polio once and for all is within our grasp but we can't relax yet. We must, maintain and accelerate our efforts. So it is heartening to see Commonwealth countries, including the UK, coming together this weekend at the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in Malta to review the results achieved to date and call for renewed global support.
In the interests of taste and decency, let us look away from the gruesome spectacle of the civil war that has engulfed the Labour party and concentrate instead on the far more serious conflict in Syria. So here are some questions that you might like to ask yourself (with my answers) before you decide whether you agree with David Cameron that the UK should now join the international military action against IS in Syria.
I came across Helen and Hugh at a TEDxBrixton talk last month. They were presenting some video clips from their travels, a collection of narratives and findings born from seemingly simple answers. The work was beautiful, but why travel lands afar and set up such a big operation to film snippets with strangers?
For three months you live like this, trying every night. You are getting weaker, sinking deeper and deeper into a hole of depression and despair. One Sunday you spend the whole day in the makeshift Jungle church, praying something with change, that night, you make the journey with a renewed sense of hope. Suddenly you find yourself hiding under the train. You are alone, the other boys you made the journey with have been caught and sent back. Your little body just fits in the gap between the train and the track. The train starts to move, you slide inside it and hide under a lorry.
Lebanon has seen its population increase by 25% with 1.2million Syrians fleeing over the boarder to safety. This autumn nearly 200,000 Syrian refugee children in Lebanon have gone back to school as a result of the shift system, many for the first time since the conflict began, and during my visit, I wanted to see the difference this has made to their lives.
At the end of the summer, I did something out of character. I went on holiday. Usually if I get time off I go and climb a mountain and come back more tired and haggard than I was before, but this was a proper break in Namibia. It gave me the unusual privilege of seeing the safari business from a tourist's perspective.
I've always believed that together our voices are stronger. That's why, on Sunday 29 November my family, myself and friends will be joining ActionAid on The People's Climate March ahead of world leaders coming together on 30 November for crucial talks on tackling climate change. This is a huge chance to demand urgent action now and for good.
There is always a comradery between people in the forces, whether you are serving or not but when you leave, you are often separated from that community. Forward Assist reopens that link by providing a fun and relaxed environment that allows you to find confidence in yourself through rediscovering the strengths and skills cultivated in the Army, that were lost in the process of suffering through difficulties associated with the huge life changing step of leaving the forces.
Parliament, by delaying the rush to war has done a further great service by winning vital thinking time. This has enabled all of us, especially Government, to better comprehend the incredibly complex, multi-dimensional nature and history of the regional conflict... The evil of Islamic State must be beaten, their cruelty plumbs new depths of inhumanity and immorality, self-justified by perverted religious fundamentalism. To defeat them cannot happen on the battlefield alone. To do that we need to be smart and not repeat the mistakes of the past.
The cancelling of Timbuktu's music festival this weekend is significant. In the past couple of weeks I've been getting emails about music making a return - something Mali has been desperately waiting for. I heard through my friend and colleague Andy Morgan that Manny Ansar, the director of The Festival in the Desert, possibly the most remote and awesome of all the festivals, seemed hopeful of bringing it back to Mali.