Published 31 January 2010

I’m very proud of what Sentebale is doing.

The Duke of Sussex

Thank you Prime Minister, and thank you Sir Charles and the Williams family for this very special occasion.

Prime Minister, Prince Seeiso, Ladies and Gentlemen,

The sun is shining and mountains of delicious Bajun food await us, so I will keep this mercifully short I promise. I do just want to say how great it is that the Sentebale Polo Cup is being launched here, on this beautiful island of Barbados. It’s a real treat to be able to return once again some two and a half years after England were robbed of the World Cup! I just wish I could stay a little longer this time, and perhaps terrify you all with my cricketing skills – as I have been taught by the best, ay Mr Lara?! Who unfortunately isn’t here.

On a more serious note though, I would like to reflect for a moment on the plight of orphans and vulnerable children - not just in Lesotho, where Sentebale operates, but the world over.

I hardly need to remind you of the horrors that have befallen your neighbours in Haiti. The people and especially the children of that land are so much in our thoughts and prayers at this time. I’ve heard so many amazing stories of bravery, teamwork and willpower, and I only hope that the fundraising dinner and concert for Haiti, last night, will be another small contribution to a worldwide effort for the suffering.

It seems to be one of life’s cruellest ironies that when natural disaster strikes – whether it be earthquake in Haiti, or years of drought and ravaging by HIV AIDS in Lesotho, it is always the most vulnerable, the defenceless, normally the children, who are left exposed and needing the most help.

We seem so powerless to prevent these things from happening. But, out of such tragedy, comes the purest of human reactions: love; charity; and, in time, a sense of renewed hope. This is really what Sentebale is all about.

We are making a real difference in Lesotho but it is not straight forward. The problems are complex and our work, inevitably, is not without its issues. But, we are there for the long-term, and solutions must be sustainable and directed to the point of actual need- the kids on the ground.

We are not afraid to work with many fine local organisations and charities that others do not support-we are there to help them grow and develop. Like we are.

But it is vital that we do not impose our ways on the Basotho people. Prince Seeiso will make sure that we don’t!

Instead we must work with the people of Lesotho to better the fortunes of their children and secure for them a brighter future.
 It is working. I’m very proud of what Sentebale is doing. Thousands of children's lives have made better by the work of Sentebale, and, by its wonderful, dedicated partner organisations.

In the present circumstances, and time constrained, that is all I really want to say for the moment, but if I may, I will ask my good friend - Prince Seeiso of Lesotho my co-Patron in Sentebale, who will speak to you about his beautiful mountain kingdom, and the great good that your generosity today will mean for it.

So, thank you, have a wonderful afternoon and enjoy the polo.