Prince Harry's New Interest
According to a recent London Times article, Prince Harry has decided to create his own charity to benefit orphans in Lesotho. The idea for the organization, called Sentebale (which means Forget-me-not) comes from a combination of the good influence of his mother, a trip to southern Africa, and a new found friendship with Lesotho’s Prince Seeiso. The culmination of these forces was strong enough to prompt Harry to break royal precedent by starting his own charitable organization, rather than donating to a preexisting one.
Princess Diana always paid special attention to the AIDS crisis, and when her son visited Lesotho, he was also touched. His mother’s inspiration caused Harry to do something about all the pain and suffering he saw there. He was especially affected by the children who become orphans as a result of the country’s depressing 37 year life expectancy. While in Lesotho, Harry made contact with Prince Seeiso and the idea for Sentebale was born. Harry’s first action was to make a documentary about the country, which raised enough money in Britain to start the charity.
According to Sentebale’s website, the organization will take over operations in Lesotho from the British Red Cross at the end of the summer. The website also lists eleven objectives, including targeting hard to reach children like the country’s “Herd Boys” as well as abused and disabled children. “Herd Boys” can be as young as 7 years and often leave home for months at a time to look after stock in wide pastures. UNICEF says that in Lesotho about 20% of school age boys work full time as “Herd Boys,” which causes both their intellectual and formal education to suffer. Sentebale also strives to work through “community based groups and organizations” and “traditional structures,” which would give the people in Lesotho a significant role in improving the situation in their country.
The organization seems to be much needed in a tiny and often forgotten nation. It’s always great to see a celebrity like Prince Harry use his influence to do something great for the developing world.
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