Shifting Hong Kong is a series of short articles by Hong Kong Shifts. The aim is to shine the spotlight on the city’s NGOs, charities and other organisations focusing on social inclusion initiatives and working to support Hong Kong’s most vulnerable social groups. This week we are sharing our perspectives on MLH Youth Cultural and Educational Centre.
What they do
MLH is a local NGO that offers mindfulness-based training and workshops for children and young people. Their activities are unique in that they weave in artistic and cultural elements - for example, using dance classes and theatre groups to offer alternative forms of expression and mindfulness training.
MLH is situated in an unassuming commercial building near HKU. We walked into their workspace and were taken by pleasant surprise. The space eluded calmness and zen - with antique Chinese furniture, ink paintings on the walls and shelves upon shelves of beautifully bound books on all topics ranging from literature to education to meditation. With its soothing lighting and big windows overlooking the harbour, we felt immediately relaxed and at ease. We were welcomed by the lovely team of three, as Linda, the director, told us more about MLH’s work and mission.
What we loved
Creative - “mindfulness” and “meditation” are buzzwords that have gained huge popularity in recent years, but at MLH it’s not all about sitting still for silent mediation. They are really working to inspire children and young people to integrate mindfulness concepts into their everyday lives through hands-on, fun and interactive activities.
Safe haven - there are not many places in Hong Kong where we can truly relax and be at ease; MLH provides a safe haven for children and young people to take a break from their hectic, stressful lives and to have a space to reflect, relax and form a community.
Cultural - MLH draws heavily on cultural inspiration and collaborates with local artists on initiatives and activities to promote their cause - integrating illustrations, paintings, ceramics and calligraphy into the work that they do.
Behind the scenes
If you get a chance to take a sneak peek in the office spaces, you will discover a collection of beautiful Chinese teapots and teacups of all shapes, sizes and colours. We were lucky to also have been treated with some fragrant Chinese tea upon our arrival. A gentle reminder that beyond our busy lives, it only takes a few simple moments to stay grounded; and mindful.
How you can help
Find out more about MLH’s many workshops and events and consider offering your time to volunteer if you are able to commit to a stable timetable. If you are interested in making a donation or getting involved in their activities, get in touch here. Lastly, read the inspiring story of Lydia, MLH’s joyful administrative volunteer, and share it with your friends and contacts to promote their great work!