Five powerful posts about life in Moria Camp before the fire

A fire has destroyed Moria Camp in Lesvos, Greece. The camp was home to thousands of people who had come from other countries, fleeing violence or persecution, or in search of a better life. The posts below are first-hand accounts written by MSF staff who worked in Moria.

1. Trapped between Europe and COVID-19: The families stuck in Greek camps


Nine-months pregnant, Shaza is worried about having somewhere safe to give birth
Nine-months pregnant, Shaza is worried about having somewhere safe to give birth

They were bleeding and I was just crying for help. It was a night of chaos

Not long ago, Dora, part of the MSF team, met Shaza, a young mum from Syria. Shaza was eight months pregnant, and had been sleeping in a tent with her family for months. They had already survived one fire.




2. Overwhelmed: The mental health crisis among child refugees in Greece

I can't get used to talking about the violence these children have experienced, about the emptiness and the pain they feel.

Conditions in Moria Camp were notorious. MSF child psychologist Kateřina wrote this post about the devastating impact this had on her young patients, many of whom were already traumatised by war and violence.

Content note: suicide, self-harm, sexual violence






Children gather round a fire in Moria

I am overwhelmed by the severity of each referral that arrives in my inbox… Histories of imprisonment, torture, loss or the disappearance of multiple family members are common.

And while the poorly planned COVID-19 restrictions worsened the situation, the mental health crisis in the camp isn’t new. Two years before Kateřina wrote her post, Liz, a family doctor from the UK, shared what she was seeing in Moria.

Content note: suicide, self-harm, sexual violence




4. A lost generation - working with young refugees in Greece


a child looks through the fence at Moria camp, Greece

The environment of a temporary camp cannot provide the opportunities which these children deserve.

A massive four years before Kateřina's post, the crisis was already beginning. Conor, a doctor from Ireland, worked for MSF on Lesvos in 2016. He shares the story of 16-year-old X.

Content note: self-harm




5. "I cannot even look our patients in the eyes anymore"


Mohammed, a child living in Moria camp

It’s hard to witness this level of suffering in your own country – here in Europe, where the fundamental values are supposed to be freedom, democracy, equality and respect for human dignity and human rights

Mental health wasn't the only crisis in Moria Camp. Anna wrote this heartfelt piece about sick and disabled children forced to sleep in tents with very little access to the medical care and support they needed.




MSF has called repeatedly for people to be moved from Moria, particularly the most vulnerable.

As the fire raged on August 8, 12,000 men, women and children were evacuated. They have lost everything, and spent the night outside, with children sleeping on the ground.

MSF teams are there, assessing needs, but the priority now must be on getting people housed in safe, humane conditions.

For updates about MSF's work with refugees, asylum seekers and people on the move, follow @MSF_Sea on Twitter.