The Oda Project

Essential healthcare and education - giving Nepali communities in extreme poverty a fighting chance

Cultural Competance

The following is a blog post from Cara Skillingstead! She was an amazing help out in Oda, her thoughtfulness, work ethic, and open mindedness were admirable. Between Cara and Bobby, we had a wonderful team in place that helped craft and articulate ideas for the future of the project. Can’t say enough amazing things about Cara! I have my fingers crossed that she will be returning to Nepal in the winter of 2015!!! Here are Cara’s thoughts on the importance of cultural competence and our roll in Oda.


The past month has been a true test of our abilities to exercise cultural competence. There are days working at the school where it is difficult to understand whether or not Nepali culture truly values education. Certain days at tuition, we find ourselves toeing the line between frustration and agony as we desperately try to discern our roles as disciplinarians in a place where discipline does not exist. At times in the clinic, I find myself cringing at the amounts of completely avoidable ailments occur here because of a lack of education.

This has been a tremendous growth experience, for ourselves as well as for the foundation. Not only have we discovered various cultural idiosyncrasies, we have also been able to conduct a rather comprehensive needs assessment of the community.

Our (somewhat futile) attempts at English classes in the schools have reinforced the realization that this area is in desperate need of consistency in the education system.

Disciplinary issues during tuition have unveiled some deep-rooted social dynamics between members of different social standings.

The clinic shows promise for the future health of the community by providing medicine and care to those in need while also collecting data to support future ODA endeavors.

 This has certainly been an eye-opening trip for us all, not only for the sake of the project, but for our own understanding of Nepali culture.


John and Bobby deep in conversation with a local community leader about cultural differences

ImageA student at school taking notes on a sounds and motion lesson

ImageKids at the Romney School


The doctor explaining a child's prescriptions to her mother