Prince Harry opens new centre for children living with HIV
Prince Harry has been reunited with an African teenager after 11 years, as the royal opened a new centre for kids living with HIV.
The prince first met Mutsu 11 years ago, when he was just four.
Now, returning to Lesotho, Prince Harry met up with Mutsu again, now 15 years old.
Harry was in Lesotho to open a major children’s centre, which aims to support young people struggling to cope with HIV or AIDS.
Speaking at the opening, Mutsu said: “I’m very comfortable around Harry and Harry’s comfortable around me – we click.
“He said to me, I’ve grown up.”
Harry worked with Lesotho’s Prince Seeiso to open the centre. The British prince called the opening of the centre a “milestone”, saying it aims to provide the “best care and support available”.
The facility will help Sentebale, the charity founded by the two princes.
“Sentebale continues to work hard to help the children of Lesotho affected by HIV/Aids; the opening of the Mamohato Children’s Centre is a great milestone for the charity and for Lesotho,” the pair said.
Prince Harry said he felt an affinity with many of the children there as he understands what it is like to lose a parent.
He said: “Behind those smiles it was clear they desperately needed care, attention and above all, love.
“Although our situations couldn’t have been more different, I felt an overwhelming connection to many of the children I met.
“They were far younger than me, and of course, their situation was a great deal more challenging than my own.
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“Nonetheless, we shared a similar feeling of loss, having a loved one, in my case a parent, snatched away so suddenly. I, like them, knew there would always be a gaping hole that could never be filled.”
The welcome block of the centre has been named after Olga Powell, Prince Harry’s nanny, who died back in 2012.
Cathy Ferrier, Sentebale’s chief executive, said: “When Olga passed away the family donated the money that would have gone to flowers to Sentebale, that’s why this building is in loving memory of Olga Powell.”
While the facility is named after Prince Seeiso’s mother, Queen Mamohato, the dining hall is named after Princess Diana.
Ferrier continued: “It’s the place where all the children will gather three times a day (for meals) plus do games and drama and goodness knows what else – it felt like the right place to be in memory of his mother.”