With the aim of providing pleasant smell, smile and love to people living with and affected by HIV/AIDS, the Camillians of the Philippine Province inaugurated on March 18, 2011 the WoodWater Center for Healing. Through the Center, the Camillians envision to bring the everlasting love of God.
“Woodwater” was a concoction made from the wood of the tree quaiacum officinale, a hard, resinous wood with a pleasant smell but bitter taste, to which was attributed special therapeutic qualities.
In the 16th century when St. Camilllus de Lelllis was working at St. James of the Incurables Hospital in Rome, he assisted in giving the “woodwater” cure to sick patients.
Doctors at that time hailed it as “the remedy above all others given by God to help humanity.” Others called it “the hope of mankind, beautiful to behold, a new wonder of the world. It was even called “the holy wood” and the “the most holy American wood.”
The “woodwater” cure was administered at St. James every other year from mid-May to mid-June. This “extraordinary cure” acquired quite a reputation that drew considerably large crowds of sick people for the occasion. Thus, the WoodWater Center for Healing came about to draw people in our modern times.
The Center provides programs and services for infected (PLHIV) and affected by HIV/AIDS (family members and significant others) and for people who are at higher risk of the HIV transmission that would include trafficked women, students, migrant workers, persons in prostitution.
The WoodWater Center for Healing has its office address at 18 Nicanor Reyes St., Varsity Hills, Loyola Heights, Quezon City.
Direct service delivery is given in this address. However, in some program components such as in the Prevention that includes Pastoral Training on HIV, HIV Awareness and others, it is currently done on a national level.
Referrals to existing services depend on the social worker’s assessment.
Currently, partnership is made with existing Camillian institutions in Baguio and Mati City in Davao Oriental and in communities where there is Camillian presence such as Boso-Boso in Antipolo and St. Camillus Healthcare Center in Cainta.
Programs and Services
The WoodWater Center for Healing has three program components to ensure the delivery of services: Prevention; Treatment, Care and Support; Advocacy and Networking.
The Prevention component is geared towards helping the public-private partnership in getting to zero. Zero new infections, zero new deaths due to HIV complications, zero discrimination against people living with HIV AIDS.
The modules being used by the WoodWater team in conducting the training/seminar and awareness workshop are values-based. The prevention messages delivered in the trainings are according to the teachings of the Church.
The Treatment, Care and Support component, on the other hand, adheres to the continuum of care for the infected and the affected individuals, families and communities. The services are provided depending on availability of resources within the institution and referrals are made to other partners.
Advocacy and Networking component ensures the active involvement of the Camillian HIV Ministry-Philippine Province through its WoodWater Center for Healing in the local and national response to HIV/AIDS.
Entry point to the case management process can either be through the activities/services we provide or can also be a referral from a partner agency.
As an example, we have students who come to us for Voluntary Counseling and Testing (VCT) for HIV after the Pastoral Training on HIV or HIV Awareness conducted in schools.
There are also case findings when we do hospital visits, activities with partner organizations, other Camillians institutions and other community-based organizations.
The WoodWater Center for Healing of the Camillians-Philippine Province adheres to the UNGASS principles of Greater Involvement of People Living with HIV (GIPA) and Meaningful Involvement of People Living with HIV (MIPA) in its provision of intervention.