One reason for the persistence of poverty, exclusion and deprivation in the UK is that 20 per cent of children leave primary school without being able to read properly.
In Channel 4's Lost for Words season, the three-part documentary Last Chance Kids (pictured, right, and starting on Tuesday) tracks the literacy programme of one school in Dagenham, east London.
Busy week on the airwaves. Wole Soyinka's Return To Biafra is on BBC World Service today and next Wednesday. The Nobel Prize-winning writer and campaigner revisits Nigeria to recall the country's civil war, its brutal human rights abuses and his own 1967 jailing. Biafra inspired the modern humanitarian era, tested Red Cross neutrality and impartiality, inspired the founding of the medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres and was a baptism of fire for many young aid workers who later played influential roles in UK and international agencies.
Pushed out of Africa at about the same time, having been on the legal team defending Nelson Mandela in 1963, was Joel Joffe, now Baron Joffe of Liddington, who chooses his Desert Island Discs on Radio 4 on Sunday (repeated the following Friday). Apart from chairing the Giving Campaign, which was set up to promote tax-effective giving, Joffe has also been connected with Oxfam, International Alert, Action on Disability & Development, his own charitable trust and many other charitable organisations.
Radio 2's latest week-long Life2Live campaign starts on Monday and the Jeremy Vine Show will spend two days examining the reality of living with HIV. The show will highlight GI Jonny, a campaign that has been designed to educate young people about safe sex.
Talking of reading, White Ladder Press is publishing Jessica Ruston's How Small Groups Can Raise Big Funds on Monday. The book gives practical advice, ideas and guidelines for "all those without a professional fundraiser to generate the money they need". See www.whiteladderpress.com.
- Nick Cater's Choice ideas: firstname.lastname@example.org.