Camp Moria is located in Lesvos Greece on the Island of Mytilene, and is just 4 ½ miles away from Turkey. Most refugees seek refuge by boat, crossing the sea to Greece to find safety and hope. Camp Moria is one of the few refugee camps on this specific island in Greece and is the one we work specifically in.
It was my first time being inside a refugee camp and honestly it can be overwhelming. Just to get an idea, camp Moria is supposed to house a maximum of 1,500 refugees, as of right now it houses around 7,000-8,000. There are many refugees from Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Somalia, Congo and other countries. This is just my first week but I feel so much love for them. Honestly It can be difficult, it’s hot and not too many people speak English. There are cultural differences and the tension between differing opinions and beliefs happen often, as they do all over the world. But when you stop and look at each refugee as an individual and imagine the difficult journey they had to experience to get to this point they are in right now, it is impossible for your heart not to be filled with love and with a desire to help.
My second day here, we took a trip up to the north part of the island and had the opportunity to visit the Life jacket graveyard. There were thousands of lifejackets piled up forming hills of abandoned and torn jackets. I had to take a minute to just reflect on how each single life jacket has a story and has a face. These refugees are still people and need what every human being is in need of; love. I had no idea what to expect coming in, all I knew is that I wanted to help and I wanted the people to know that they are loved and there are others who care. That is exactly what my experience here with HELP International has been. Each member of our team cares and when we go to work in the camps, they aren’t just refugees to us, but they are friends and family.
Stepanie Gaertner, Greece Team Member
*All HELP blogs written by volunteers reflect the beliefs and thoughts of that volunteer and do not necessarily reflect the organization's outlook. For any questions about HELP International's official stance on any topic, please email us directly