The first mission of the Caravan took place in 1993 during the war in Bosnia. By mobilizing Municipalities, numerous bodies, but mainly through ordinary citizens, food, medicines and educational material were collected, transported and distributed, to the civilian population of Bosnia.
In 1994, the second mission followed with the collection and dispatch of vaccinations for children and educational material, to the military zone of Sarajevo.
The war in Bosnia continued and the information that reached the Greek Caravan of Solidarity was tragic. Thousands of orphaned children and refugees, all without the basic means of survival, and very little international humanitarian aid.
Also so the Caravan implemented the programme for the “economic adoption of orphaned children”.
In October 1995, representatives of the Organization visited the regions of Bosnia, made a register of orphaned children, and collaborated with the local authorities for the co-ordination of the programme and the method for the allocating assistance to the beneficiaries.
Immediately after, a big campaign was organized in order to inform the Greek people of the Caravan’s new programme.
The response of the Greek people to this particular programme was moving. People of every age and income group, but mostly simple working people, pensioners, students, and pupils from all over Greece, embraced and helped the orphaned children of the neighboring country.
Great contributions were also made by Greeks living abroad and by foreign citizens residing in Greece.
In a very short time, help for more than 1300 orphaned children had been received.
The following missions of the representatives of the Caravan in that region, related to the provision of payments to the beneficiaries and the collection and transfer of new particulars concerning orphaned children from other regions, in order that they could also be included in the programme for economic support.
The programme in Bosnia lasted for a total of six years (1995-2000). The delegates from the Caravan visited over 60 towns and villages, under exceptionally arduous and dangerous conditions, and provided direct economic help to guardians of approximately 11,000 orphan children.
The economic aid provided through the Caravan to the families of orphaned children, played a decisive role in confronting vital problems, being the only help that reached those areas, and prevented the breaking up of thousands of fatherless families.
Apart from providing economic help to families through their programme, the Greek Caravan of Solidarity also offered important moral support. The interpersonal human relationships which developed between Greek donors and the members of the family of the child being helped was especially moving. Indeed, some of these relationships have been maintained until today.