Although Prince Harry is currently focusing on his military career, he also wants to show his support for a few organisations that reflect issues he cares about both in the UK and abroad.
These include the main themes of the Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry: helping young people in society; raising awareness and support for the Armed Forces; and supporting communities to protect and conserve their natural resources for future generations.
The Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry was legally established in September 2009 and became fully operational in 2011.
Along with The Duchess of Cambridge who is now officially a Patron, they intend to use the Foundation as the main vehicle for their philanthropic activities.
Although their Foundation is not limited to these three areas of focus, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry aim to make the following their early areas of focus:
1) Armed Forces - Promoting the welfare of those who are serving or who have served their country in the Armed Forces
2) Young People - Helping children and young people to build their skills, confidence and aspirations.
3) Conservation - Supporting communities to protect and conserve their natural resources for future generations.
The Prince is also keen to continue the work of his mother, the late Diana, Princess of Wales, who worked to support people suffering from HIV and AIDS in the UK and overseas.
In 2006, Prince Harry jointly founded Sentebale, a charity to help orphans in Lesotho, South Africa. Prince Harry has visited the small African nation several times and was moved by the plight of children orphaned by the AIDS pandemic which has devastated the country. Together with his great friend Prince Seeiso of Lesotho, the younger brother of King Letsie III, Prince Harry set up Sentebale to offer long-term support to community organisations working with children and young people, and in particular to those working with orphans.
Sentebale is a word that people in Lesotho use when they say good-bye to each other: it means “forget-me-not”. It has been chosen as the name of the new charity because the two Princes see its work as a memorial to the charity work of their own mothers; and because its aim as an organisation is to ensure that Lesotho, and the current plight of its children, is not forgotten.
During his gap year in 2004 Prince Harry spent time working with various charities and organisations in the country and made a documentary to raise awareness of the country's problems: access to education, AIDS and poverty.
Titled “The Forgotten Kingdom – Prince Harry in Lesotho” it covers some of the projects with which Harry was involved, including the Mants’ase Orphanage near Mohale’s Hoek. The programme included interviews with Prince Harry, Prince Seeiso, who helped organise the trip, as well as doctors and aid workers.
It also included footage shot by Harry himself on his own video camera. At the same time as the documentary, the Red Cross Lesotho Fund was launched by the British Red Cross to help support HIV/AIDS and community projects in Lesotho. International sales from the documentary and donations raised around £1 million and this money was put into 18 different community-based projects working with disadvantaged children.
Sentebale has taken over from the Red Cross Lesotho Fund to continue this work.
Taking a hands-on approach, in July 2008, Prince Harry joined an army expedition to Lesotho to provide practical support for community projects. Prince Harry returned for a visit to Lesotho with Prince William in June 2010, as part of their first official joint overseas trip. The Princes were able to see first-hand the progress Sentebale was making to help some of the country’s orphaned and vulnerable children.
Dolen Cymru has been working for over 20 years to promote friendship and understanding between the people of Wales and her twinned nation of Lesotho, in southern Africa.
The Prince is Dolen Cymru’s first Royal Patron, building on Prince Harry’s current involvement in Lesotho with his own charity Sentebale.
Also working with an international focus, MapAction helps aid agencies by providing crucial situational mapping in the event of natural and humanitarian disasters. MapAction teams have worked all over the world, including in Lesotho and in Sri Lanka following the Tsunami in 2005 and Haiti following the earthquake in 2010.
Prince Harry became Patron of MapAction in March 2007.
In March 2007, Prince Harry also became the first Royal Patron of WellChild, the national charity caring for the individual needs of sick children as they deal with the consequences of serious illness and complex conditions.
In January 2008, The Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry became Joint Patrons of the Henry Van Straubenzee Memorial Fund in memory of their friend, Henry Van Straubenzee.
Prince Harry is Vice Patron of the Rugby Football Union and Patron of the RFU’s Injured Players Foundation, which supports players who have been injured playing rugby at any level of the game in England.
The Prince’s Vice Patronage builds on his regular attendance at Twickenham as a supporter and on his gap year experience spent working with the RFU in its community rugby programme.
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