Yesterday, Prince Harry attended the opening of the new Sentebale development in Lesotho where he named two of the buildings after his late mother Diana, Princess of Wales, and his nanny, Olga Powell.
The Mamohato Children’s Centre was built for the charity’s continuous work with disadvantaged children and young people living with HIV.
The centre cost just over £2 million to build and features a welcome block with frontage designed by Harry, which he named after his nanny, Olga Powell who passed away in 2012.
Sentebale’s chief executive, Cathy Ferrier 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.”
Olga started working for the family when Prince William was only six months old and stayed with the boys for 15 years, helping them through the breakdown of their parent’s marriage.
Even after retiring, Olga was invited to events such as Prince William’s 21st birthday at Windsor Castle, his passing out at Sandhurst and his wedding back in 2011.
In 2006, Prince Harry co-founded Sentebale with Lesotho’s Prince Seeiso and the new centre is named after his late mother Queen Mamohato but also has a dedication to Diana.
The dining hall is named in her honour and features a tree painted on a wall, with the leaves featuring the names of donors. One such being Sir Elton John, his husband David Furnish and their sons Elijah and Zachary.
The Chief Executive of Sentebale, Cathy Ferrier said: “We felt that we should acknowledge Harry’s mother as well, so we decided the dining hall was a very appropriate place.
“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.” said Sentebales chief executive.”
Prince Seeiso suggested that their commitment to the children of Lesotho was the legacy of Diana teaching her sons the importance of empathy with those less fortunate, something Queen Mamohato had done with him.
Prince Seeiso said: “We came to a point together because we had a similar upbringing, where we were led to believe, and made to believe, that we shouldn’t look at ourselves as any different from any other kid.
“If we were born of privilege we should pay back to society in some way or another and this is why we started this project.”
When asked about Harry’s upbringing, Seeiso continued: “He came from a similar background (with) his mum – that Harry and William, you need to be seen, not only seen but you need to feel what other people are feeling so that you can make a difference in your own way.”
The centre was opened by Seeiso’s brother King Letsie III, Lesotho’s monarch, who gave the land in the foothills of the Thaba Bosiu for the project to be built.
This now allows for the charity to amp up its Mamohato programme that works with the psychological and emotional needs of children with HIV. It also provides accommodation for up to 96 other vulnerable children and their carers, a medical block, sports field and workshop classrooms.