I'm not sure I will adequately explain how I feel about travelling to Mozambique. I have been to several southern African countries before, but never Mozambique.
I must say firstly: I absolutely LOVE Africa. It is a wonderful place of vast open spaces, dramatic scenery and huge skies. There is no place on Earth that compares with the feeling of being here. I am reminded so clearly of how I felt when I was here last, with my son Harry, when he was just nine. He too was touched by the spirit of Africa and, like me, is determined to return one day. I once described Africa as somewhere that makes you feel as though you have left a part of yourself there and it calls you, constantly to return. Well, here I am, but this trip will be like no other.
Mozambique is a long way from Barnsley, but the welcome is just as warm. Today, we arrived in Maputo just as the school day was ending and the scene was a mirror-image of the same time of day, in the streets around schools in the UK. Kids. Laughing, teasing one another, shouting last-minute messages to their classmates before heading home; every single one of them so full of life.
These children are the lucky ones. Mozambique has one of the highest rates of under-five infant mortality in the world. A recent study gave this figure as 14 in every 100 live births. Most of these deaths are from easily-preventable diseases; diseases that our children in the UK, are routinely protected from, by immunisations that we are lucky to be able to take for granted.
I hope the trip I am on, thanks to the Save the Children #PassItOn project, with my fellow travellers, Chris Mosler and Lindsay Atkin, will help to push the vital message to world leaders: immunisation is the key to saving millions of children's lives. It is our responsibility to make sure children of all nations have access to these vital drugs.
Help us to convince David Cameron, and the world leaders he will host at the Vaccination Summit on June 13th, that the life of a child in nations like Mozambique, is worth just as much as the life of a child in the UK.