A PHILANTHROPIC businessman on the brink of reaching the £120,000 target to build a new village for flood victims in his native country, has set himself a new goal of building them a health centre.
Nas Khan, managing director of Jennings Motor Group is determined to have the clinic open within a year for the residents of Emaan Village in Rahim Yar Khan, south of Punjab in Pakistan.
He launched a charity, the Emaan Foundation, after the area was destroyed by the flooded Indus river in 2010. Money has been used to buy life-saving water purifiers called Life Straws sent directly to victims through aid organisation, Human Appeal International.
Funds have also been used to construct a village with 60 homes complete with livestock and clean drinking water to make it self sufficient.
Now the village has its own school, Mr Khan said he is determined to provide them with a health clinic to further improve their lives as currently they have to travel hundreds of miles for treatment.
There were 7,000 hopefuls who turned out who would be selected for the new homes. One grateful recipients was a widow with seven daughters to support.
“There is a real community there now and people are supporting each other,” he said. “It is incredibly humbling to go back, and I can’t help but think “That could have been me”.
When Mr Khan moved to Middlesbrough with his family aged 14 he spoke no English but now owns the car dealership which has showrooms across the region.
His philanthropy started in 2009 when he saw news footage of another natural disaster, an earthquake in Pakistan, and felt compelled to go and help with his father.
“It really affected me, I saw a lot of children wandering the streets looking for their parents. It’s a poor country and under developed so when something happens there’s no safety net.”
As well as donating to the Emaan Foundation with his own money, he has organised a series of fundraising event over the years from dinner dances and car raffles to golf days and auctions.
“The people of Middlesbrough have been just wonderful,” he added. There’s so much hatred in the world but people are so kind and willing to give.”