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.
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.”