Prince Harry shares poem by George the Poet
This World AIDS Day, Prince Harry shares a poem via You Tube for his charity Sentebale, by spoken word artist, George Mpanga, known as George the Poet.
The poem, titled ‘We Can Fight’, was written for Sentebale’s opening of the ‘Mamohato Children’s Centre, Thaba Bosiu, Lesotho on Thursday 26th November, the first purpose-built children’s camp in Lesotho to support young people coming to terms with living with HIV.
George the Poet recited the poem for the first time at the opening of the children’s centre to His Majesty King Letsie III and Her Majesty Queen ‘Masenate Mohato Seeiso, Sentebale Founding Patrons, Prince Harry and Prince Seeiso, donors, partners and over 200 children supported by the charity. The poem highlights the challenges children and young people living with HIV face around the world today, in particular, the stigma associated to the disease. It explains what Sentebale is doing to help these children, and emphasizes the need for people to unite in their understanding and knowledge of HIV/AIDS and support one and another to stand a chance of ending the AIDS epidemic.
Small, mountainous, and completely landlocked by South Africa, Lesotho is one of the least developed countries in the world. With the second highest prevalence rate of HIV, one in three children are orphaned and there are around 21,000 10-19-year-olds living with HIV; it’s no surprise only 30% of them are accessing treatment. With many forced to fend for themselves, leaving school at a young age to find work or care for their younger siblings, and with little or no knowledge of HIV/AIDS, life is a challenge.
The ‘Mamohato Children’s Centre is Sentebale’s flagship facility supporting all the charity’s work with vulnerable children in Lesotho, but specifically will hold weeklong residential camps delivering psychosocial support for children living with HIV. The aim of Sentebale’s camps is to ensure all 10-19-year-olds living with HIV access and adhere to their anti-retroviral treatment, feel supported in school, at home and in the community, and are able to lead healthy and productive lives. In addition, the camp inspires child-to-child communication encouraging children and young people to teach each other about the disease, breaking down stigma that prevents many knowing their status and accessing treatment.
The centre will enable Sentebale to send up to 1,500 children and young people to camp each year and will become a Centre of Excellence for training volunteers and staff as the charity expands its work into other Southern African countries in the near future.