After the NATO  bombardment  against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in the spring of 1999, the Greek Caravan of Solidarity decided to become active in the region.

They  implemented  their  first mission during the bombing in Belgrade  by supplying  food and hospital materials  (incubators, apparatus  and medicines essential  for patients undergoing haemodialysis) to  two hospitals and one orphanage.

The organization   continued with the  collaboration of the   Amalia Fleming Hospital, four  voluntary blood donation programmes were carried out, for  hospitals in Yugoslavia.

At the beginning of 2000, a new programme of “economic  adoptions" was started for  children who had been  left orphaned or disabled after  the bombardment. In collaboration with the Ministry of Welfare the country, data for  a total of 2,500 orphaned children  was collected and a means for their support was and organized .

The programme in Yugoslavia lasted for  5 years (2000-2004). Delegates from  the Caravan visited over  40 towns and villages during that  time and gave economic  help into the  hands of the guardians of more  than 2,500 orphaned children,  500 of whom were residents in the region  of Kosovo.

 

greek caravan programme Yugoslavia 

 

The experiences of Caravan’s volunteers who had taken part  in the missions to war – torn  Serbia were  moving.

Apart from the orphaned and disabled children, victims of the bombings,  they also came into contact with  newborn babies who had been deformed as a result of the uranium enriched “smart”  bombs. As also  with  thousands of refugee families from different areas of Bosnia and Kosovo.

Families who experienced, for the second time within a few years the tragic consequences of a  war which  had  supposedly  ended..

Families who had experienced, for the second  time within a few years, the tragic   of a war which had supposedly come to an end. 

Families who were left  without one, and many times without either  parent, and were now without  a home or, in essence, without a country.  The only thing to  prove the existence of these people was the provisional  identity of a refugee.

The phrase written by a mother of an orphaned child from  the program, to her  Greek donor, was characteristic: 

“ The thing  which is considered of the least value in theses times,

is human life.”

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