Harry reduced to tears by children

Salisbury Journal: Prince Harry plays football with children at the Acer Community project in Diadema near Sao Paolo Prince Harry plays football with children at the Acer Community project in Diadema near Sao Paolo

Prince Harry has described how he was reduced to tears by the moving stories of young Brazilian children who have lost a parent to drugs, violence or prison.

The prince also told how he wanted to share his experience of losing his mother after being told about two sisters being cared for by their grandmother as their drug-dealing father was in jail and their mother had been murdered.

Harry met the sisters and their grandmother yesterday during a visit to Acer - the Association for Support of Children at Risk - a project run by Briton Jonathan Hannay, to help underprivileged children in Diadema near Sao Paulo.

In a speech at a reception late last night in Sao Paulo to mark the Queen's official birthday Harry said: "Some of the children's stories in Diadema have reduced me to tears, but the smiles on their faces show the positive impact their community is having on them and the success of Acer."

During his visit to Acer Harry learned how Cristina da Cruz Nascimento has struggled to bring up her granddaughters Karina, eight, and Carolina, nine, and is also caring for her great niece Kettelyn, three, because her mother is a drug addict in Sao Paulo's infamous Cracolandia - "Crackland".

The prince will visit the notorious area later today as his tour of Brazil comes to an end.

Harry will tour the area with the Mayor of Sao Paulo, Fernando Haddad, and the Chief Inspector of the Metropolitan Police, who will explain how they have adopted a policy of providing housing, food and work for addicts in a bid to tackle the drug problem.

Harry's final engagement will take him to the Ayrton Senna Institute where members of the former Formula One racing driver's family will show him around the organisation that uses education to fight social exclusion and inequality.

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