Lesotho Times

Performance of Prince Harry’s charity raises eyebrows

MASERU — Prince Harry’s one million pound charity has only given out a paltry 84 000 British pounds to Aids orphans, according to British media reports.

Sentebale, founded by Prince Harry in honour of his late mother Princess Diana, had only distributed a tenth of the money it had raised to orphans leaving about £600 000 lying in its coffers.

At least £250 000 had been spent on staffing costs with  one unnamed senior official earning £90 000 over the past year.

A British daily paper, The Daily Mail, said Prince Harry was “bitterly disappointed by the charity’s performance.

 Sentebale, which means “forget me not” in the local Sesotho language, has raised £1.15 million since it was launched two years ago.

But only £84 000 had been paid out to support orphans in Lesotho.

There are an estimated 300 000 orphans in Lesotho the majority of them having lost their parents to the Aidspandemic.           

The Daily Mail said accounts for the charity’s first 17 months showed that the vast majority of its spending went to running costs with £75 000 being blown on vehicles and equipment.

A further £86 000 was spent on setting up a website, according to the newspaper report.

But a a spokesman for Prince Harry said: “Prince Harry is not angered by Sentebale’s performance.

“He understands the importance of establishing its office on the ground in Lesotho.

“It has begun to fulfil his vision of supporting small, community-based projects and by the end of August it will have spent £225 000 directly on such projects.

“The last thing he wanted was for Sentebale to distribute funds without checking they were going to the right projects.”

Last week there were reports in the British media that some orphans were starving after Prince Harry pulled the plug on the children’s home.

Governors at the Lesotho Children’s Counselling Unit wrote to Prince Harry begging for the thousands of pounds promised by his charity.

Sentebale chief executive, Kedge Martin, said the charity had suspended support to       the LCCU after they failed to account for funds given to them.

“We cannot partner organisations without absolute transparency to ensure that we are accountable to our donors, making sure that we reach the most vulnerable children in Lesotho,” Martin told The Daily Mail last week.

The manager of LCCU, Lidia ‘Musa, refused to comment on the matter when approached for comment this week.

Sentebale was formed by Prince Harry and Prince Seeiso of Lesotho in 2006 to help children affected by the country’s HIV/Aids pandemic.

Lesotho Times

Lesotho's widely read newspaper, published every Thursday and distributed throughout the country and in some parts of South Africa.

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