Special Note for Medical Mission Volunteers
Refuge International is entering the 14th year of our work in Guatemala, and while so much has been done, there is still so much to do. Without our volunteers, none of the work would have been possible.
We have 12 medical mission trips and several construction teams and water teams scheduled for 2015. Volunteer fees are used to cover the costs associated with each trip, as well as the costs of running a full-time hospital in Sarstun, one of the most remote areas in Guatemala. Fees also help with bringing children into the US for needed surgeries and for our mass deworming program, called Adios Lombrices.
As everywhere else in the world, our costs have continued to rise and our programs continue to grow. Because of this, the volunteer fees will increase to $1,000, effective January 1, 2015. We are aware that some may need help with their fees. There are scholarship programs such as One Nurse At A Time, etc. who have supported our volunteers. Also, personal fundraising is always an option, and our office is equipped to manage donations on behalf of volunteers.
Refuge International hopes to make a difference through collaborative and sustainable programs in whatever areas of the world there is a need. Our projects are focused primarily on basic healthcare, adequate nutrition, clean water and education.
Refuge International is a compassionate 501(c)3 volunteer organization dedicated to the goal of improving the lives of families and individuals through the collaborative development of sustainable programs in areas where healthcare, adequate nutrition, clean water and education are lacking or non-existent. Refuge International also provides opportunities for mentoring of students who wish to become involved in humanitarian efforts.
We believe all of humanity is of equal worth and should have their essential needs met without regard to culture, ideology or religion. When people reach out to meet a need, those who choose to help benefit as do those who are in need. Working within these basic tenets, we hope to improve the lives of all.
"Adios Lombrices!" project began March 7, 2007 in Guatemala. A project spearheaded by Refuge International volunteers aimed at ridding the children of worms in Guatemala.
For two pennies a dose, over 600,000 children received the first dose of medication. The overall cost of treating 4.5 million children, six different times is $800,000.00.
Refuge International is currently working in remote areas of Guatemala where many of the people are subsistence farmers or fishermen and have little or no source of income. One of the ways we hope to help the people in these villages is by the purchase of items that the people can make using local materials.
Sarstun is located on the river between Belize and Guatemala. The "neighborhood road" is the river and the "highway" is the Gulf of Honduras. The nearest healthcare is two hours away by boat on the Gulf of Honduras. Refuge International has worked with other organizations to build a clinic so there is on-going preventative healthcare in Sarstun. This clinic will serve approximately 12,000 indigenous people in the area which includes portions of Guatemala and Belize. Refuge fully funds the hospital in Sarstun. About $3000 a month provides full time health care coverage year round.
The Saul (Asked) Project
As Refuge volunteers have worked throughout Guatemala, they have found many children who need extensive orthopedic surgery that cannot be performed in Guatemala due to lack of expertise.
Refuge International founded the Saul Project to work with the various governmental agencies and the specialists at Scottish Rite Hospital in Dallas, Texas to bring these children to the US for life-changing surgeries.
Guatemala has the highest illiteracy rate in all the Americas. Refuge International is working to improve the opportunity for learning.
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