A HUDDERSFIELD woman has welcomed Prince Harry's decision to launch a new charity.

Prince Harry formed the charity for African Aids orphans in Lesotho.

The 21-year-old prince has dedicated the charity - called Sentebale, or Forget Me Not - to the memory of his mother, Princess Diana.

Now, a Huddersfield woman who has witnessed poverty in Africa has spoken of the vital role charity projects such as this can play.

Gina Wescott travelled to Livingstone in Zambia in February to see the work of the Rainbow Africa Trust.

She took the trip after the youth group she leads at Paddock Community Church raised £2,600 for the charity.

Set up by Bradford man Ewart Crowther in 1996, the charity looks after Aids orphans, runs education centres, a medical clinic and takes doctors and medicines to outlying villages.

Gina, a bio-medical scientist at Huddersfield Royal Infirmary's pathology department, said the charity's work makes a huge difference.

She said: "They are based in Livingstone and work in five local villages.

"It is a small part of the population that they are working with, but every little helps.

"If there are lots of organisations doing a little bit, it all adds up."

Her visit made her realise how many problems people in Africa face.

She said: "The most significant thing is that just about every family is looking after additional children, who have been orphaned because of Aids. There are a lot of people living under the same roof, in tiny homes with not much land.

"They are very poor. But the people are so lovely and are really friendly."

She said the Rainbow Africa Trust is a small charity and therefore does not take many volunteers from Britain. Instead, it has created employment opportunities for more than 70 Africans.

She said that anyone who wants to offer practical help by volunteering on projects should look to larger charities.

However, she said people in the UK can make a huge difference from the comfort of their own homes.

Methods include making donations to fund charity work or sponsoring an African child.

She said: "It is probably one of the most significant things you can do to help.

"The child grows up with a better health and education, to earn more money and support their family.

"The family will also have peace of mind about their child's future."

Call Sentebale on 0800 458 0835. The Rainbow Africa Trust is at www.rainbowafrica.org