Sentebale to receive Crystal of Hope Award
Sentebale is delighted to be the recipient of the Swarovski Crystal of Hope Award, which will be awarded at the Life Ball Opening Ceremony on 16th May in Vienna.
The Crystal of Hope Award, created in 2005 is awarded to an organisation that has demonstrated exceptional commitment to combating HIV/AIDS. The award is endowed with €100,000, which will be used by Sentebale to help to continue to make a difference to vulnerable children in Lesotho, in particular to our Herd Boy Programme.
Herd boys in Lesotho have a cultural obligation to tend livestock in the mountains to generate income for their families, therefore often failing to access a basic education. Sentebale’s Herd Boy Programme aims to give this vulnerable group of society and opportunity to receive an education by running local night schools. In addition to basic numeracy and literacy skills taught at night school, the herd boys are also taught about HIV prevention and sexual health, as well as giving them access to voluntary counselling and testing for HIV.
Gery Keszler, Founder of the Life Ball, visited Sentebale’s work in Lesotho earlier this April. Here, he travelled to high mountains of Mokhotlong to visit the herd boys. Accompanied by Prince Seeiso, Gery visited herd boys at the cattle post and visited a night school class to see Sentebale’s work first-hand. The trip also involved visiting some of our other partners, the Kananelo Centre for the Deaf, St Bernadette for visually impaired children and Touching Tiny Lives, who care for malnourished infants under give. Keszler was delighted with the visit, concluding that Sentebale’s programmes are “really exceptional and we are proud to be working with them”.
The Life Ball has gained a reputation as the biggest HIV/AIDS charity event worldwide, attended by a host of celebrity supporters. The Life Ball Opening Ceremony is set to be an elaborate show of music and speeches on issues currently at the forefront of the global AIDS community, to be followed by a Fashion Show hosted by Jean Paul Gaultier.
Cathy Ferrier, Sentebale CEO says; “We are delighted to be receiving the 2015 Swarovski Crystal Of Hope Award at the Life Ball Opening Ceremony in May for our work with vulnerable children in Lesotho.
This small landlocked country in South Africa has the second highest infection rate of HIV in the world and one in three children are orphans. Each year, thousands of young children are forced into work, such as herding livestock in the remote mountains to make ends meet and many others are needlessly dying because they are too ashamed to talk about living with HIV and seek support.
Sentebale is providing essential life-skills and psychosocial support to these children giving them chance in life they need and deserve. Later this year, we will open the Mamohato Children’s Centre, the first purpose-built facility that will enable us to support four times the number of children than we can currently help.
The Swarovski Crystal Of Hope Award not helps in shining a light on the issues we’re addressing for vulnerable children in Lesotho affected by HIV/AIDS, the donation will allow us to give many more children the chance of a happy, hopeful future.”