Ghafoor Hussain from Stockton has spent thousands of pounds of his own money buying and transforming a single-decker bus into this moving canteen so he can feed thousands of refugees this Christmas.
And the 45-year-old will embark on the journey today – one that will take him away from his family for at least three weeks.
“About four weeks ago I took a van full of food to the refugees in Austria, Slovenia and Croatia,” said Ghafoor, a dad of four and grandad of three.
“While I was there I discovered that the people were mostly only getting cold meals.
“I thought there must be something we can do and that’s when I came up with the idea to buy a bus and convert it into a travelling kitchen.”
Ghafoor then found a suitable bus for sale in Cornwall, and paid over £6,000 to buy it, repair it, and fit it out with stoves.
Now ready for its journey, it will embark on a journey to Serbia and Macedonia where Ghafoor will be joined by a team of other volunteers, including local doctors, will feed and help thousands of refugees every day.
“My estimation is if we do continuous cooking, we should feed 8,000 to 10,000 people a day easily,” said Ghafoor, who runs M&M Garages, on Snowdon Road, Middlesbrough. “We could even get up to 15,000.”
The bus is full of food and resources, but once this runs out money from his Go Fund Me page, which has raised £8,000 in three days, will keep them going.
“We are taking as much food as we possibly can,” said Ghafoor. “Then when we run out, the money people have been donating will allow us to buy more out there.
“I will stay out there for about three weeks if not longer. I will stay until the money runs out.
“Then when the time comes for me to come back, I am going to try and find a charitable organisation to give the bus to so they can take over from me.”
Ghafoor added: “It will be hard being away from my family during the holiday season but these people need help.”
18 Dec 2015