In November 1992, a young man attended the Sunday morning Puja at the Subang Jaya Buddhist Association made an interesting observation. He noticed that there were many adults and children, but hardly any teenagers. This sparked a thought: what SJBA really needed was a section catering for youths to gather and interact while learning the Dhamma. Inspired by this idea, he gathered a group of teenagers and established the SJBA Youth Section. The year was 1993.
Over the years, this section grew leaps and bounds under the guidance of that very young man, our dynamic founder and first chairperson, Bro. Ong Beng Chung, and subsequently, his successors who followed. In 1997, we decided to expand our gatherings into two seperate sessions in order to fulfill and cater to the needs of two different age groups.
The Young Seekers Gathering, held on Friday night, caters primarily to college or university students and young working adults. Dhamma programmes and activities are planned by a committee focusing on members’ spiritual development. The younger members, however, were given a different approach. Based on the concept of “by the members for the members”, our Sundays’ Teen Quest Gathering sees a vibrant committee running the show with close guidance from their older brothers and sisters in the Youth Section itself. Having a younger committee often translates to having more creative and interesting Dhamma-based programs.
Apart from catering different age groups, another gathering is formed in the year 2008. The Nusantara Buddhist Youth, or better known as ‘TaraBuddY, was born to meet the spiritual needs for the Indonesian youths who are doing their tertiary education at nearby colleges and universities. The gathering also serves the purpose as a ‘second home’ to be among fellow Indonesians studying in Malaysia. Programmes and activities are also organised by a committee with the guidance of the Youth Section Executive Committee.
Besides our weekly gatherings that give the much needed emphasis on Dhamma, our members also take up various projects such as camps, exhibitions, fellowship outings, and welfare activities. Having to take up the responsibility of planning and organizing these projects, our members embark on the practical approach to learning important living-skills such as peers-interaction, social and communication as well as leadership skills.
Through encouraging active participation and continual trainings, we hope to mold our members into responsible and capable Buddhist leaders of tomorrow. Ultimately, when they participate, we also hope that they will come to love and have faith in the Triple Gem and learn how to apply the Dhamma in their daily lives.