Prince Harry and Prince Seeiso found a new charity for Lesotho

Published 28 April 2006

Prince Harry and Lesotho’s Prince Seeiso have founded a new charity called Sentebale to help vulnerable children and young people in Lesotho, particularly those orphaned as a result of AIDS.

The new charity builds on the success of the British Red Cross’s Lesotho Fund, which was set up by the two Princes in 2004. The Fund was established to administer the money, almost £1 million, that was raised after ITN broadcast its documentary of Harry’s first trip to Lesotho. The programme – The Forgotten Kingdom – was shown in September, 2004 and produced an amazing response from the British public, with over £500,000 raised from personal donations.

Since it was formed, the Lesotho Fund has distributed money to 18 different community organisations helping vulnerable children and young people throughout the country. The establishment of this new permanent charity reflects Harry’s determination to continue to support the children of Lesotho.

Sentebale is a word that people in Lesotho use when they say good-bye to each other: it means “forget-me-not”. It has been chosen as the name of the new charity because the two Princes see its work as a memorial to the charity work of their own mothers; and because its aim as an organisation is to ensure that Lesotho, and the current plight of its children, is not forgotten.

Speaking about the charity, Prince Harry said: “It was great to be back in Lesotho this week and to see the work being done to support local projects. Thanks to the generosity of the British public we have been able to provide a lot of help already, and I hope that through Sentebale we can do even more in the future to improve the lives of children in Lesotho.”

Prince Seeiso said: “Sentebale will aim to help organisations operating at the grass roots where the heart and the passion exists, but where resources and management capacity are lacking.”

The charity will begin operations later this summer following the recruitment of a Country Director; the post will be advertised at the start of May. Sentebale will offer long-term support to community organisations working with children and young people, and in particular to those working with orphans and other vulnerable children.

The British Red Cross has been actively involved in the planning of the new charity and Matthias Schmale, its International Director, is joining Sentebale’s Board of Trustees.

Geoffrey Matthews, Executive Trustee of Sentebale, said: “There are amazing people in Lesotho doing amazing work with children in unimaginably difficult circumstances. These women and men are true social entrepreneurs, who with the right support could make even more of a difference. We want to identify local partners with whom we can work, and rather than just give them one-off grants we want to get alongside them and offer support and advice for the long term.” Click here for further information on projects helped by the Red Cross Lesotho Fund.