By George Chachis
Volunteer Oriental medicine practitioners and students are increasingly joining traditional health delivery assistance programs, reaching out to people around the world who have little or no available health care. Like the Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs) that have gone before them, the ultimate goal of these new outreach health volunteers is to engage local groups as proactive health care participants, not as mere passive patients. However, such commendable goals don’t always work as expected. A recent startup NGO, Healer2Healer, is developing a different approach, working with local groups in Guatemala and elsewhere to foster self-reliance from the very beginning of each project, rather than hoping to transition at some later date.