A family is raising funds to transform a house they inherited in Ghana into a clinic, which they are giving away to the community.
Paul Benson, 67, who lives near Hull, inherited the house in Okorase from his parents after their deaths. He said the village lacked a medical facility and the project would “bring enormous relief” to hundreds of people. His son Phil Benson said they hoped to raise £50,000 to build and equip the hospital with medical equipment.
“We could’ve sold it because it’s got a large compound land with it. But we knew there were issues with health and medical care there… so the best thing really was to convert the house into a small clinic or hospital,” said Paul Benson, a Ghanaian-born organist and retired school teacher, who lives in Cottingham, East Yorkshire.
“We decided to hand over the whole thing to a charitable organisation who would hopefully run it permanently. “We’re offering it freely so they actually own it and possess it and run it for the benefit of the villagers.”
Mr Benson said it was difficult for people living in Okorase – about 40 miles (65km) from the capital of Accra – and neighbouring areas to access medical treatment, with ill villagers having “a long journey walking about six to 10 miles away” to the nearest facility. “It’ll make a huge difference,” he said. “[It will] make people’s lives a bit better, to live a bit longer and to enjoy life in the way we probably take for granted.”
Mr Benson’s son, Phil, 36, said: “It’s just inspiring. “We’ve inherited something but we actually want to give it away for the benefit of the people who live there so for me that’s an amazing gesture.”
Paul Benson, who also lived in Okorase, said his parents had “brought a lot to the village” including setting up a local school and providing accommodation for one of the teachers in the house.
As part of their fundraising activities, the organist is due to perform and host a concert of classical music later in Kirk Ella, East Yorkshire.