The Organization for Cross-Cultural Exchange (OCCE) is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization that was initiated in 2007 to facilitate a dialogue between traditional healers and western medical practitioners to develop poverty alleviation and health promotion strategies. This entirely volunteer organization, is devoted to promoting research, education, and partnerships that integrates cultural traditions within developing worlds with the cross-fertilization of western ideals.

The main goal of OCCE is to facilitate dialogue between traditional healers and western medical practitioners and further develop strategies, collaborative techniques, and awareness for the prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis in South Africa. 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 involvment 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.