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Prince Harry opens new centre for children living with HIV

Joseph McCormick December 2, 2015

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.

MASERU, LESOTHO - NOVEMBER 26:  In this handout provided by Sentebale, Prince Harry hugs 'Mutso' a young boy he made friends with on his first visit to Lesotho at the Official Opening of the new Mamohato Children's Centre on October 17, 2015 in Maseru, Lesotho. In a photography project supported by Getty Images the vulnerable children at the Mamohato Camp have been using Instant photography as an educational tool to build interpersonnel skills and creativity. The Sentebale Mamohato Children's Centre at Thaba Bosiu just outside Maseu is Sentebale's first purpose built camp for the disadvantaged and HIV positive childen of Lesotho. Getty Images  Sentebale is a charity started by Prince Harry and Prince Seeiso of Lesotho ten years ago to help the vulnerable children of Lesotho.  (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images for Sentebale)

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.

“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.”

Prince Harry last year visited Lesotho and revealed a secret about himself for World AIDS Day.

More: AIDS, HIV, lesotho, prince harry, world aids day

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