AT THE tender age of two, young Samuel Clarke will soon find himself playing alongside orphan victims of a vicious civil war.

The toddler will be spending two weeks in war-ravaged Uganda next month.

But unlike the African tots, Samuel will have his parents close at hand.

The Uganda children are all orphans, and Samuel and his father Julian, 39, mum Nicole, 29, and his sisters Hope, eight, Olivia, six, and Ruby, four, will be helping to construct a new home for eight of the parentless children.

It was a talk by a survivor of the Ugandan Lord’s Resistance Army, which abducted children and forced them to fight in the civil war, that inspired the Bicester family to make the trip.

Mr Clarke said: “My wife went to a big Christian conference in the Albert Hall and there was a young lady aged 17 from Uganda who stood in front of thousands of women and explained her life.

“Afterwards Nicole was so struck she sought out this girl and gave her a big hug.”

Immediately afterwards, the family applied through St Aldate’s Church in Oxford to take part in the project.

They are now working to raise £16,000 to pay for materials to construct the house.

Friends have rallied around to hold fundraising dinner parties and the couple is writing to local businesses for help.

They are also urging people to go along to a children’s fun day on June 26 at Burditch Hall, Wootton, near Woodstock, or sponsor Mr Clarke in a 10k road race in Thame later this month.

Mr Clarke said the entire family would benefit from the trip.

He said: “We know our children are compassionate kids and they know they are going to help and play with these children.

“Some of these children have been child fighters and made to do horrific things, but they are also children.

“We are not going with our eyes closed, we are preparing the children for what they might encounter.

“If we even had the slightest trepidation we would not go and put them in any danger.

“I think it’s going to be an amazing and I expect it will change Nicole and I.

“We are expecting to be doing these trips as often as we can.”

Mrs Clarke said the project in Watoto, near Kampala, supported 1,400 orphaned children with accommodation and education.

She said: “Watoto is a world renowned model for orphan care and they educate and inspire their children to become Uganda’s future leaders and advocates.”

Hope added: “We’re hoping to leave toys, medical stuff and loads of other stuff for the children.”

Anyone who wants to help should call Mr Clarke on 07977 111125 or go to the website