Key to the success of this project is the interviewing of sangomas and inyangas, traditional healers, in the village of Vukuzenzele. OCCE is responsible for bridging the gap of communication and opening those lines so accurate information about wide spread disease and its prevention are disseminated. Through open discussions and interviews of the respected community leaders and traditional healers, this gap of language and culture regarding AIDS/HIV and TB is breached with accurate knowledge and understanding. Though, it must be done in accordance with the specific culture and through the appropriate channels. In Vukuzanzeke, everything goes through a sangomas. These people hold an important role in the well being of their community. One such woman who remains an inspiration to the OCCE is Queen Ntuli, who has been practicing traditional healing from her home in Folweni.
In promoting the dialogue between traditional healers in rural villages and western medical practitioners, we can educate traditional healers on western medical advances and combat the ravaging spread of disease. The philosophy of OCCE is to fully recognize and respect the cultures and traditions of the people who need our help. As OCCE grows, the focus is to remain true to this philosophy and to continue collaborating with traditional South African healers who are known as sangomas or inyangas. These spiritual and medicinal healers, often people of status in the villages, are the equivalent to western doctors who attend to the needs of the sick. Through our involvement with these community leaders, it is our goal to provide access to high quality treatment for patients in developing areas that are devoid of western medical infrastructure. Additionally, associated poverty conditions must be addressed in order to improve the quality of life for these individuals many of whom are children orphaned by the rampant spread of HIV/AIDS. Our work over the last two years has shown us that small successes bring larger rewards. With this in mind, OCCE plans to adopt the village of Vukuzenzele, South Africa, and work directly with their traditional healers, community leaders, and local residents to address this dire situation.
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