The Saul (Asked) Project
The Saul Project is named after its first benefactor, Saul Garcia. In Hebrew, Saul means "asked." This small boy asked Refuge for help. Although most of Refuge’s work is aimed at improving lives through our medical mission and clean water projects, we felt a need to help those individuals who cannot get help themselves in their area of the world.
Saul is from Cerro Blanco, Guatemala. He was born with bilateral club feet. He had much difficulty walking and had never worn shoes. Saul was carried most everywhere he went. His medical needs could not be filled in Guatemala. Through efforts made with Scottish Rite Hospital in Dallas, Texas, Saul received surgery in June 2005. Four months after coming to the United States, Saul put on his first pair of shoes. He returned home 6 months later to his family in Guatemala. Saul is now running and playing with his brothers and sisters. He attends school just like the other children in the village.
In 2006, Milton Caal, accompanied by his father, came to the United States to have surgery at Scottish Rite Hospital. Milton broke his femur when he was two years old and spent the majority of his toddlerhood in a hospital. After failed attempts to correct his leg, Milton was released. There were no orthopedic surgeons capable of the type of surgery he needed. Milton was 6 years old when he came to the United States. After several surgeries and lengthening processes, Milton walked using crutches. He was able to board his plane home, 9 months later, on his own two feet.
August 2007 marked the arrival of the Saul Project’s third recipient, Karla Garcia. She was born with bilateral club feet. Karla is an identical twin, but stands several inches shorter than her sister because of her feet. In November 2007, Karla underwent her first surgery under the watchful eye of over 18 different doctors.
See a news article about Karla: Guatemalan Girl Seeks Operation In Longview
The Saul Project has several other children waiting to come to the United States to receive similar orthopedic surgeries and care as these three children. This kind of care is not available in Guatemala at any price; it does not exist there! The process to get passports, visas, plane tickets, appointments, etc., is grueling. Most of the children and their families have never been away from their villages much less the capital to apply for their paperwork. The total cost of paperwork and care for each child is approximately $5,000. Scottish Rite donates the surgery and hospitalization. If you would like to sponsor a child, please contact us. You can also donate online. Airline tickets and cash contributions are needed; contributions to the Saul Project and Refuge International are tax deductible.