[ skip to content ]

More Information about this image

You Visit Tour. Webb Lion Fountain. June 1 2017. Photo David B. Hollingsworth

Alternative Spring Break Students Describe Greek Refugee Camp Experience as Eye-Opening

By Noell Saunders

This year about 13 students, who were part of Old Dominion University's annual alternative spring break trip, were granted a once in a lifetime opportunity to help hundreds of people at a refugee camp in Oinofyta, Greece.

Students, Kleopatra Moditsi and Megan Trent said the experience is definitely one they will never forget. Both students were quite surprised about the welcoming environment and the camp's condition.

"I expected it to look like a camp," Moditsi said. Moditsi added that she depicted people living outside in teepees and burning firewood but that wasn't the case. The camp was actually not set up like a "camp" at all but more like a community with beds, blankets, showers and climate-controlled rooms.

Students, including Moditsi and Trent, were divided into groups to help with housekeeping duties, sort clothes, food and cleaning supplies at the distribution center and woodwork.

Trent, who initially had mixed emotions about the trip, said the children and adults at the camp were very friendly. She also found that spending time with the camp community ignited a deeper appreciation for humanity.

"Kids are like any other kids. They are curious and they want you to play with them. Everybody was curious," Trent said. "The people there will give their last, just to see a smile on your face. I want to go back."

Despite experiencing adversity and being forced out of their native countries, Moditsi said she was astounded to not find a single broken spirit.

"They were always smiling and joyful. It's amazing how these people have given up everything and devoted their lives here." She said.

The refugee crisis is affecting local communities around the world, including Hampton Roads. The Office of Leadership and Student Involvement recently invited Lisa Campbell, the camp's manager, to address the refugee crisis at the University. Campbell, a Newport News native, is one of the founders of a nonprofit disaster relief organization called Do Your Part.

Related News Stories

Cliffscape

Alternative Spring Break Students to Assist Refugee Camp Workers in Greece

Kleopatra Moditsi and Megan Trent are among 29 Old Dominion students who will spend spring break helping refugees, people with disabilities and restoring oyster reefs as part of the University’s alternative spring break trip March 4-12. (More)

Cultural Exchange

Cuban Resilience on Display for Old Dominion Visitors on Study Abroad Trip

The group of 11 students and three faculty members spent spring break in Cuba, learning about a country long-closed to American visitors. (More)

Port Image

Maritime Researchers Receive International Recognition

Wayne Talley and ManWo Ng, faculty in ODU's Strome College of Business, have recently received international recognition (More)


Site Navigation

Presidential Inauguration

ODU commemorated the inauguration of President Brian O. Hemphill, Ph.D., during Homecoming Weekend 2022. Relive the historic weekend.

Fall Open House

It's time to fall in love with ODU! Join us for our last Open House event of the semester on Saturday, November 19.

Commencement 2022

Visit the Commencement Office for information on event times, caps & gowns, tickets and more!