South Sudan needs support
We're about to witness an historic event. On July 9, Africa's newest country, the Republic of South Sudan, will be born.
It is an extraordinary moment for the people of South Sudan who, after years of conflict, have secured the right to form a country of their own.
What's painful to witness, however, is that these people - so full of hope - are living in one of the poorest countries in the world.
For them, the challenges ahead are numerous and, for a country where a 15-year-old girl has a higher chance of dying in childbirth than completing primary education, action is needed quickly.
World Vision, a charity I support, is calling on the UK Government to make the new country of South Sudan a priority and to show its support by giving the people in this troubled region the assistance they need.
Here in Northern Ireland, we sometimes take our local services in health and education for granted and I would encourage people to support this campaign by going online to www.world vision.org.uk/sudan and adding their voice.