Sentebale, a Lesotho charity founded by Britain’s Prince Harry, has raised $1m at the fifth annual hosting of the Sentebale Polo Cup, held at the Ghantoot Racing and Polo Club in Abu Dhabi and attended by the royal as part of a trip to the region including some time in Oman.
Prince Harry set up Sentebale, which means ‘forget me not’ in Sesotho, in 2006 to support vulnerable children in Lesotho, which has the 3rd highest rate of HIV in the world and an estimated 37,000 children under 14 living with the virus, on top of 360, 000 orphans.
The Sentebale Polo Cup was first held in 2010, and seeks to raise money and awareness for Sentebale’s work providing healthcare and education to for these vulnerable individuals.
“This event allows us to continue to help and support some of the most vulnerable children in the world through our work in Lesotho,” explained Cathy Ferrier, director of Sentebale.
The enterprise is currently building the Mamohato Children’s Centre in Lesotho, a purpose-built residence due to be complete next year that will serve as the platform for expansion into other affected southern African countries such as Botswana, Mozambique and Malawi.
Prince Harry also took the opportunity to criticise charities that are “built around egos” while admitted he had also “made mistakes” in the running of his own Sentebale charity.
“It was a case of Lesotho being quite a hard sell for a lot of people, a very small country that no one knows about, surrounded by South Africa, and I think that combined with us thinking that we knew what we were doing,” he said. “But it evolved and changed for the better.”
“It’s been an emotional rollercoaster but we’ve come out on top and all I’ve ever wanted to do was raise enough money to make a difference for Lesotho.”
The Prince arrived in Abu Dhabi after a brief tour of Oman and visit to the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque in Muscat — one of the world’s largest mosques, with space for 20,000 worshippers.