A little over a year ago I highlighted the work of PAWA, the Pan Asian Women's Association, which focuses on global development and girls' and women's empowerment across multiple territories. By raising and carefully apportioning funds for credible, manageable-scale local charities, PAWA's work covers 30 countries from Iran to Japan, Indonesia to Kazakhstan.
It's been a good year so far for BLUE Marine Foundation, the UK-based ocean conservation charity I'm involved with. In fact, it's been a good three years since startup. And this week was no exception: I felt a big flicker of pride when I saw the fantastic partnership that BLUE has developed with Kenzo come to life on the catwalk at Paris Fashion Week on Monday.
After branding social media a "scourge" at the height of the Gezi Park protests in June, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has had a change of heart. The ruling AKP government recently hired a 6,000-strong brigade of social media operatives to direct public opinion and win hearts and minds.
When we think of a humanitarian emergency, we don't necessarily think first of education. We think of immediate, life-saving needs, like clean water, health care and shelter. Of course, in Syria and across the region, these supplies and services are absolutely vital for children and families living with the daily consequences of conflict and displacement. However, learning is just as urgent. Almost two million Syrian children have been forced to drop out of school over the past year. For refugee children, being in school offers a safe space to remember that they are children, to feel hope for the future, to play and to begin the process of healing the emotional damage of all they have experienced.
my online petition, www.change.org/CivetCoffee, has been signed by 45,000 people in the six days since it launched. It's aim: to persuade Harrods to discontinue their involvement in this cruel and corrupt trade. Will they listen? Judging by their current reaction, no. At least, not yet. Maybe we'll have to shout louder...
Today, 2 October, FEMEN writes an open letter to the Mexican president Enrique Peña Nieto for being directly responsible of the cruel dictatorship that Mexico is currently living. Disguised as a false democracy, Mexico lives oppressed, terrified and threatened, with no possibility to express freely, no political opposition and a non-existent separation of powers.
There was some good news last week as the government has announced it will significantly increase its support for the Global Fund over the next three years - subject to other countries following its lead. The UK is doing sterling work to champion the fight against three of the world's biggest, preventable killer diseases - Aids, tuberculosis (TB) and malaria. This support will enable hundreds of millions of lives to be transformed and help give families, communities and entire countries the chance to thrive and reach their potential.
It goes without saying that preventing sexual violence in conflict is not an easy task. The declaration adopted yesterday represents an important step at the political level, which should not be sniffed at. Yet how it translates into action in the DRC peace process, and in funding for those working to prevent and respond to this violence on the ground, will be the test of its rhetoric.
Like most people I have been appalled to read the recently published stories about the terrible conditions in which the builders and workers in Qatar who are constructing the infrastructure that will support the 2022 Fifa World Cup in that country, are being subjected to. It is shocking to hear about their lack of basic human rights and how so many have died working on projects there. The organisers in Qatar say that they share our concerns, as do Fifa, but they must show the world that they are clearly making a massive effort to stop these practices, and ensure the health and dignity of the workers.