TWO teenage brothers are swapping their usual summer holidays with a 7,000-mile trip to help build an eco-village for orphans in Tanzania.

Suleyman and Ali Ullah, of Wanstead Park Avenue, Aldersbrook, decided they wanted to do volunteer abroad two months ago, after one of their friends came back from a project saying it “changed his life”.

After a few weeks the 15 and 14-year-olds chose Islamic Help’s eco-village project in the Mkurunga district of Tanzania.

Launched in March 2012, the charity’s eco-village project will eventually give a home to 160 of Tanzania’s 3.1 million orphans, many of whom have lost their parents to AIDS.

Run completely on green energy, the 30-acre village will include the region’s first eco-mosque, a sports ground and community centre.

The boys’ father, 46-year-old dentist Amer, said he could not be more proud of his two sons.

He said: “I’m so proud of them. This is such a fantastic opportunity for them to develop as individuals and see what else is out there.

“They’re at a point in their lives when they’re moving away from being children and starting to become men.

“We live very comfortable lives in this country, so this will take them away from that and make them appreciate how difficult it can be for others.”

After just three weeks of fundraising, which has included a stall at the Aldersbrook Jumble Trail and presentations about the eco-village across the country, Ali and Suleyman have already raised over £10,000 for Islamic Help.

On August 9 they will fly to Dar es Salaam for two weeks to help finish building work and provide vital medical resources to children and volunteers before heading back in time for Suleyman’s GCSE results at the end of the month.

The 15-year-old said: “My friend who went on the same project last year said it completely changed his life.

“You don’t always get the full picture of what’s happening in countries like Tanzania from the media, so we’ll get to see it for ourselves.

“And hopefully we can leave our legacy to help children for generations to come.”

His father added that he would like to see other young people in the area get involved in the project.

He said: “This is all about young people giving other children the same opportunities they have had – the chance to make something of themselves.

“It is partially about faith, but it’s more about helping humanity as a whole.

“Whether you’re Muslim, Christian, Jewish, Hindu or have no faith, it doesn’t matter, the project is open to everyone."

To donate, visit Suleyman and Ali's JustGiving page.