A SALISBURY based soldier's dream of building an IT suite in his home village in Ghana is a step closer after work began on the project.

Sony Assuon, a Lance Corporal in the Royal Corps of Signals, has recently returned from Ghana where he has witnessed the foundations being laid.

When completed, the IT suite and library will benefit thousands of children in Nsuaem in the western region of the country.

To fund the project, Sony founded his own charity, the Assuon Foundation Trust, and has organised dozens of fundraising activities.

So far, he has raised around £9,000, a quarter of the total needed.

He also galvanised the locals to get behind the project which they did in huge numbers.

He said: “It was wonderful to see the project start and I was amazed by the number of volunteers who turned up on the first day – we had 600 of them.

“There is such enthusiasm there people are determined to make it a reality. All the money donated goes to the project – none is lost to corruption.

“I have the support of the locals and the government minister Gifty Eugenia Kusi who I had a meeting with.

“Before work began there was a sword cutting ceremony by the chiefs and elders.

“It is wonderful to see the project start and I want to thank all the people who have helped and supported us.

“But we still need funds to complete the project so the children can put the computer theory they learn into practice.”

Matt Horan, security director of cyber security company C3IA Solutions, which is supporting Sony, said: “There is a great deal of untapped talent in Africa.

“The children are highly motivated to learn and if they had access to computers they could start to compete with children from more advanced countries.

“Sony is an inspirational individual and it’s fantastic to see work beginning.”