Prince Harry returns to Lesotho for charity projects

BY: Sebastian Syme

Prince Harry is making a return trip to the southern African kingdom of Lesotho where he has long-standing personal charity interests.

Seven years ago the prince helped set up a charity to support vulnerable children affected by HIV/Aids, working with the brother of Lesotho's king.

Prince Harry will visit two local projects on Wednesday.

He will first go to a centre for the deaf near the capital Maseru then to a school for visually impaired children.

He will be accompanied by Prince Seeiso, the younger brother of King Letsie of Lesotho, who first helped to foster Prince Harry's interest in Lesotho.

Familiar with hardship

The BBC's Peter Biles, in Lesotho, said Harry had become a welcome visitor to Africa's mountain kingdom.

The prince is familiar with the hardship that many young people in Lesotho have to face.

The country has one of the world's highest rates of HIV/Aids and there is also widespread poverty and unemployment.

More than half the country depends on food assistance to survive.

Prince Harry's charity Sentebale, ­which means "forget me not", works with local communities at grassroots level.

The prince will carry out a day of public engagements including a gala dinner for his charity, in Johannesburg, South Africa.

He set up the Sentebale charity to support orphans and vulnerable children in Lesotho.

Harry last visited Lesotho in 2010 when he took his brother, the Duke of Cambridge, to see Sentebale's work.

His current trip began with two days of private visits to Sentebale programmes around Lesotho.