Pictures from the ongoing Odiyana Health and Education Project
I first got involved with the Odiyana Health and Education Project (OHEP) when I joined the Odiyana Sangha in 2023. I met Dorjee and Dolkar, founders of the Tibetan Aid Foundation, soon after and was really impressed with their work. Since OHEP includes a clinic and they were in need of nurses I was naturally drawn to see what I could do to help. I traveled a lot to other countries and know first hand the change that is made to a rural community when adequate medical care is given. Something simple here in the West like a rash, infection, or a cut can be disabling when there is no one to provide basic care, determine who needs a higher level of care, and coordinate care when a member of the community returns home after a hospital stay. That work is all done by nurses across the world.
Dorjee elcomed me into the work of the Tibetan Aid Foundation and I have been helping ever since, meeting with the Board, asking a lot of questions, and preparing for the annual fundraiser. This fundraiser will provide funding for the additional equipment for the clinic and work on the school which is a very large project and will take some time to complete.
As a nursing professor, I am amazed at how much such a few people have been able to accomplish so far in Ruksin. From the people who donated the land, to the volunteer workers, the benefactors in the US and members of the local Sangha, so much has been done in such a short time. I am thrilled to be going there in December 2023 to help in person. We are going to have a “Health Camp” for the people with local medical professionals. We’ll be able to gather important information about their current state of health, their goals and provide care.
Our teacher Tulku Orgyen P’huntsok Rinpoche is a true inspiration to me and all the people working on this project. We are so fortunate to have such an expert in Buddhist tradition constantly teaching us and providing real life opportunities to participate in this important work.