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Last Updated: Sunday, 7 March, 2004, 05:09 GMT
Prince plays winner with orphans
Prince Harry
Prince Harry has been working at an orphanage in Lesotho
Rugby fanatic Prince Harry has been passing on his love for the game to young orphans in Lesotho.

The 19-year-old rounded up youngsters at an orphanage in the southern African country to take part in a touch-rugby game after spending the day labouring.

At one point he found himself at the bottom of a small scrum as the children piled on top of him to find the ball.

The prince is working at the Mants'ase Children's Home in Mohale's Hoak as part of his gap year.

Red-faced Harry appeared to be enjoying himself, despite the attentions of watching media crews.

Harry was good. He's a nice guy - we've been joking all the time and dancing and singing
Thabo Mokhele
The prince, wearing a beige baseball cap, t-shirt and grey combat trousers, clapped and cheered and discussed tactics with Thabo Mokhele, 21, a volunteer from the nearby Seilbeng Youth Centre.

Thabo had earlier been working with Harry to construct a fence around the grounds of the orphanage.

He said: "It's my first time playing rugby. It's cool. You need someone to explain it to you.

"Harry was good. He's a nice guy - we've been joking all the time and dancing and singing."

Aids pandemic

The prince had a fan in one young team-mate, Mafusi Maqhoane, who was brought to the home after both her parents died.

Prince Harry
More than a third of people in Lesotho are living with HIV or Aids
The tiny 11-year-old girl, wearing a pink flower patterned dress, was delighted when Harry playfully picked her up and carried her off.

A number of the 25 children at the home have lost parents to the Aids pandemic sweeping Lesotho.

Earlier in his stay in Lesotho, Prince Harry met Africans living with Aids and TB.

He also followed a village doctor on his rounds to see how locals dealt with the diseases.

More than a third of people in Lesotho are thought to be living with HIV or Aids - making the south African country the world's worst for infection rates.

The prince has also helped build foundations for a new health clinic, completed a road bridge and dug trenches for crops.


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