Despite the language barriers, the two formed a very close bond and through this bond Alaeddin became inspired with the idea of Happy Caravan to improve the lack of education for kids in the camp. He began by teaching the kids the alphabet. Soon after, he purchased a TV for 20 euros and created an outdoor cinema to show movies in English.
A few months later, Alaeddin returned to Netherlands, where he was living at the time, and began to build this idea under the name Happy Caravan. After researching camps in Greece, Alaeddin came across the refugee camp in Thermopylae. Located in an abandoned hotel, the camp had an unused building onsite that was seemingly very suitable for a school. By May 2017, Happy Caravan was up and running in the camp of Thermopylae, offering education and entertainment for kids.
Today, thanks to the help and support of volunteers from all around the world, we host nearly 80 kids in our Happy Caravan School. With daily classes and activities such as English, Art, and Cinema, we are able to provide the kids with the most basic needs— safety, education, and fun.
As Nelson Mandela said once: ”There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way in which it treats its children.” We believe every child deserves to live in joy, kindness, friendship, respect.