"Compassion requires one to constantly learn, practise and experience; it’s about communicating with, understanding and learning from others."
“I helped to start up Buddolescent about 11 years ago. We offer mindfulness-based courses and philosophy education to teenagers. The teenage phase can be challenging and turbulent; we want to provide youngsters with a space to rest, form a community and be creative. Even though we have a Buddhist connection, our activities are open to everyone. I only picked up Buddhism in high school. It resonated with me because it felt less like a religion, but more like a life philosophy. There is a lot of history and theory behind the teachings which really piqued my academic interest. I had quite a bad temper growing up, but since practising Buddhism I have learnt to appreciate the multifacetedness of any situation. I’ve become less stubborn, less judgmental and more forgiving. I’ve also learned the meaning of compassion. Compassion requires one to constantly learn, practise and experience; it’s about communicating with, understanding and learning from others. This life philosophy is something that we hope to impart to our youth groups. Our motto: ‘Do something good for yourself, do something beautiful for the world’ sums it up!”
“There are many youth groups around town, but not many that are truly youth-led. Here at Buddolescent, we want to empower our teenagers to learn, collaborate and lead from their perspective. The more introverted and reserved teens will collaborate with their more extroverted and outgoing peers – both play a role in inspiring and bringing out new qualities in each other. Buddhists are often stereotyped to be quite traditional and old-school – but it doesn’t have to be that way! It can also be young, fun and engaging. During COVID times we’ve had to adapt to carrying on our activities online. Even though it’s not the same as in-person gatherings, we’ve persisted in running meditation and mindfulness classes over screens. If we can play a small part in helping people find some peace and inner calm in their own homes during these uncertain times, then it’s all worth it!”
“My background is in Chinese literature, so I enjoy reading, writing, languages and words. I’m actually quite an introverted guy so I’ve definitely been pushed outside of my comfort zone with my current work, which is very people-focused. I never envisaged that my career would be something that requires me to use such a variety of skills – from PR and marketing to fundraising and running events – it’s a mixed bag but that’s what keeps it interesting. When I took the first step towards the NGO world as a fresh graduate, I knew that there was no looking back. Back then, I had a choice between going for a more conventional, stable career or to pursue something more uncertain but which resonated with my passion. I took a leap of faith and went for the latter. There are many challenges that come with running a non-profit – limited resources, limited time, finding the right people, staying true to your mission and passion – but what keeps me going is the satisfaction that comes from seeing young people grow, find joy and flourish through the work that we do!”