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Read Our Story
From street cinema to school
In fall 2016, Syrian refugee, Alaeddin Janid, saw the severe lack of education for children living in refugee camps and began teaching the English alphabet in the street outside the camp in Skaramagas, Greece. As an incentive to motivate the children to learn, Alaeddin offered cinema in the evenings.
Within 1 week, 100 children attended.
At that time, Alaeddin had been staying in a shared caravan with one of the families in the camp. This caravan quickly became a checkpoint for the children attending the school.
One day, Alaeddin noticed one of the children wrote “Hapy Caravan” on the outside - little did he know, this would be the inspiration for starting an organization.
Due to camp regulations, Alaeddin was forbidden to teach the children unless working under umbrella of an organization. Undiscouraged, Alaeddin returned to Netherlands, registered the project under the name "Happy Caravan” and by March 2017 started working in the camp of Thermopyles, Greece.
By sharing this work on social media, Happy Caravan soon gained the interest of international volunteers and donors. Before long, the volunteers were running the school, and school materials quickly followed.
Thanks to the support and work of our international family, Happy Caravan opened it’s 2nd school in Malakasa, Greece, in January 2019!
Today, we have a growing international team and serve over 250 children daily - with big plans to expand!
We are currently working in 2 refugee camps in Greece with plans to expand to other camps in the near future
The refugee camp in Thermopyles is about 2.5 hours from Athens, Greece. This camp hosts around 800 residents from Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. Our school is located in an abandoned hotel facility, where we serve around 100 children daily.
The refugee camp in Malakasa is about 40 minutes from Athens, Greece. This camp hosts around 2,500 residents, predominantly from Afghanistan. Our school is located in an Isobox container, where we serve around 150 children daily.