Beginning his tour of Southern Africa in Lesotho, Prince Harry has paid tribute to his mother, Diana, Princess of Wales, and his former nanny, Olga Powell, naming rooms after them in a new centre for his charity Sentebale.
In the new £2 million Mamohato centre, which Harry opened today in Lesotho, the dining hall takes Diana’s name, while the welcome area takes Olga’s name.
The facility will help Sentebale addresses the emotional and psychological needs of children living with HIV, featuring acccommdation for up to 96, as well as medical facilities and classrooms. It will provide week-long camps for 1,500 HIV positive children each year, helping teach them the importance of taking their medication to manage their condition, to remove the stigma around their diagnosis and to help them come to terms with it.
The 31-year-old ginger Prince set up the charity with Prince Seeiso in 2006, and chose the name Sentebale meaning ‘forget me not’, as Harry was keen to carry on his mother’s legacy with HIV sufferers. Lesotho has the second highest rate of HIV/AIDS in the world.
The dining hall is named after Diana, while a welcome centre is dedicated “in loving memory” to his former nanny pic.twitter.com/sxtt8bj2uL
— Emily Nash (@emynash) November 26, 2015
A wall in the Diana, Princess of Wales Hall bears the names of donors in the form of a tree; these names including friend of Diana’s, Sir Elton John and his husband David Furnish and their two young sons.
Prince Harry has been very hands on with the planning, designing the Olga Powell welcome centre – he helped with building work at the centre during a visit in 2014.
Earlier in the day, Harry met with King Letsie of Lesotho, who donated the land on which the centre is built, at the foot of Thaba Bosiu, which means “mountain at night”, recognised by legend as the birthplace of the country.
Prince Harry and Prince Seeiso of Lesotho form the Sentebale logo (a star-shaped flower) with children at the opening of Mamohato Children’s Centre. Picture by Stephen Lock / i-Images[/caption]
Harry gave a speech at the opening, talking of his shock at the situation in Lesotho before he set up Sentebale.
“Eleven years ago I made my first visit to Lesotho, with the help of Prince Seeiso. As we travelled the country I was amazed by its raw beauty; but I was also struck by the many children I met whose lives had been shattered by the loss of a parent and in some cases both.
“I couldn’t believe that so many children had been robbed of their childhoods by extreme poverty and the ravages of HIV and AIDS. Behind those smiles it was clear they desperately needed care, attention and above all, love,” Harry said.