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.

 

greek caravan programme bosnia and herzegovina

 

 

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.

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