Shifting Hong Kong: Buddolescent
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 Buddolescent.
What they do
Buddolescent offers mindfulness-based courses, activities, workshops and philosophy education to young people; in particular, secondary school and university students. Whilst the organisation is rooted in Buddhism, it is fully inclusive and their activities are open to everyone.
Buddolescent is located in a scenic and peaceful part of town, in the far flung village of Lo Wai in Tsuen Wan. While there are elements of Buddhist motifs dotted around, the structure is far from a traditional Buddhist temple - it is younger, fresher and more modern - just like its target beneficiaries. Keith, the CEO, welcomed us into the calm, serene and quiet space with steaming cups of hot tea.
What we loved
Youth-led - There are plenty of youth organisations around but not many that are fully youth-led. Buddolescent strongly believes in empowering youngsters to lead their own community, determine what their needs and goals are and to come up with creative solutions.
Unique space - The whole Buddolescent site exudes calmness and zen, surrounded by mountains, rocks and a steadily flowing stream. This checks one of the key aims of the organisation: to provide a community space for youngsters to rest, reflect, relax and to feel at home.
Tailored to youths - Rather than presenting meditation as an abstract concept to enlightenment, Buddolescent teaches its young community to use mindfulness as a practical tool to handle everyday challenges, emotions and conflict. They also organise annual retreats before exam results are released to help students find balance and perspective.
If you look closely at the Buddolescent logo, you will notice that it is a deconstructed version of the recognisable Buddhist sign: 卍. The underlying message is that Buddolescent is all about breaking through tradition and refreshing older teachings for a younger audience. Its composition is also reminiscent of a roof, to demonstrate that their community is one big family.
How you can help
Find out more by attending some of their workshops and activities. If you would like to volunteer or make a donation to support their programmes, please get in touch here. Finally, read the interesting story of Keith, Buddolescent’s CEO, and share it with your friends and contacts to promote their great work!