Couple urge donations to seven organisations campaigning on issues as diverse as environment and HIV

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have asked for donations to charity instead of wedding gifts when they get married next month.

A Kensington Palace spokesperson said the couple did not have any formal relationships with the charities chosen.

“The couple have chosen charities [that] represent a range of issues they are passionate about, including sport for social change, women’s empowerment, conservation, the environment, homelessness, HIV and the armed forces.

“Many of these are small charities, and the couple are pleased to be able to amplify and shine a light on their work.”

The palace said the couple had selected seven organisations: Chiva (Children’s HIV Association); Crisis; the Myna Mahila FoundationScotty’s Little Soldiers – a charity for bereaved armed forces children; StreetGamesSurfers Against Sewage; and The Wilderness Foundation UK.

Crisis, the national charity for homeless people, welcomed being chosen by the couple.

There has been a furore over the treatment of homeless people in Windsor, where the couple will marry on 19 May, after a Tory councillor, Simon Dudley, called on police to clear rough sleepers from the town before the high profile wedding.

Jon Sparkes, the chief executive of Crisis, said: “We are hugely grateful that Prince Harry and Ms Markle are asking the public to support Crisis as they celebrate their wedding. Homelessness is one of the most urgent issues of our time, but at Crisis we know what it takes to end it.

“Donations will help us to support more people to leave homelessness behind through our housing, employment, education and advice services across the country, and to campaign for the changes needed to solve the homelessness crisis once and for all.”

The prince and the American former actor also picked a charity that Markle has visited in India. The Myna Mahila Foundation empowers women in Mumbai’s urban slums, by offering stable employment close to their homes, and breaking taboos around menstrual hygiene by offering women access to low-cost sanitary pads and accurate information.

Markle wrote about the foundation’s work fighting period poverty in Time magazine last year, highlighting how the schooling of young women in India is disrupted when they are menstruating.

Suhani Jalota, who founded Myna Mahila in 2015, said: “This support will enable us to expand our reach into more urban slums in Mumbai, empowering local women through access to menstrual hygiene products and employment opportunities.”

Source : The Guardian