Social Services

With the objective of relieving the sufferings of all beings, Po Lin Monastery has in the course of spreading Buddha's teaching committed in and devoted to the cause of charity and social services. The following is a brief account of the work of the Monastery in this respect.

Elderly Services

The Fat Ho Sanatorium was established in 1976, being the first elderly home in Lantau Island. The sanatorium was relocated and redeveloped in 2008 to provide a wide range of health care, medical and respite services to the elderly. The Monastery provides subsidies to the sanatorium's administrative and operating costs, including staff salaries, food provisions, general maintenance, as well as medical and transport services.

Charity and Disaster Relief Work

The Monastery has participated in and contributed to fund raising for the relief of major natural disasters and calamities in China and South East Asia, including the floods in South China, the tsunami in Indian Ocean, the earthquake in the west of Java Island, the Chinese winter storms, the Sichuan earthquake and the thunderstorm in Taiwan in the past few years. At the same time, to help relieve poverty and develop economy in remote and poor villages in China, the Monastery has empathically participated in Project Hope, sponsoring the building of over 300 schools under the project, as well as in road and bridge building works in developing areas. In 1997, the Monastery contributed towards building two bridges in Heping County of Guangdong, in 1998 one bridge each in Ningdao and Shicheng of Jiangxi, and in 2000 an artery bridge in Genzizhen in Gaozhou of Guangdong, which had been flooded and damaged, seriously disrupting local economy and causing hazards to the life of local people.

Community Services

To promote community spirit and cultural awareness amongst local residents, the Monastery has played an active role in supporting and participating in community social and cultural functions and activities. For the entertainment of the elderly, the Monastery would in joint venture with other local organisations organise the Chinese New Year Fun Day and Carnival for the 4 Districts of Lantau. For charity, the Monastery would sponsor and support the Community Chest, Dunhuang Merit Protection Forest, Lifeline Express and Pok Oi Hospital in their fund raising ventures. To advocate the prevention of AIDS, the Monastery has donated to the Chinese Foundation for Prevention of STD and AIDS; to promote social welfare awareness, it has contributed towards the Mingyang Welfare Fund of Longhua Monastery in Shanghai.

The Monastery would during the Buddha's Birthday and the anniversaries of the opening of the Big Buddha organise religious services and local folk activities. A religious service, the Dazzle of Buddha: Islands District in Celebration of the 10th Anniversary of the Establishment of the HKSAR, was held in the evening of 23 June 2007 where 108 monks and thousands of laymen and local residents gathered to collectively will and wish for the fortune and well being of all beings, in a solemn yet jovial mood enlivened by the dancing dragon, glittering fireworks and colourful lanterns.

Dharma Services

The Monastery attaches enormous importance on spreading Buddha's teaching for the benefits of all sentient beings, and to educate and enlighten people to the understanding of the true reality. With the advantage of the convenience provided by modern IT technology, the Monastery is updating and revamping its website to improve consolidating and disseminating Buddhist information and resources on the internet. With its enriched content, the Monastery hopes to provide, to its followers and common lay people, a more convenient alternative learning platform to the Buddha's teaching.

The Monastery pays great attention to traditional rituals and Dharma services. In the first month each year, the Monastery will hold the 7-Day Meditation Service, and in the second, fourth, sixth and ninth months, the Great Compassion Repentance Service. In each of these services, venerable monks are invited to elucidate the teachings and to enlighten the participants, for the benefits of all.

To promote Buddhist culture, the Monastery has sponsored the publication of Buddhism in Hong Kong and Buddhism in Macau, two Buddhism magazines. To encourage Buddhism studies and research, the Monastery has contributed towards the research work of the Buddhist Association of China and its Central Research Institute; to improve the environment for Dharma teaching, the Monastery has donated towards the redevelopment of Bao Monastery and the Second Patriarch Temple, in Sikongshan of Yuexi County, both in Anhwei Province, the Gaomin Monastery in Yangzhou, and the Nanhai Monastery in Henan.

For the purpose of grooming Buddhist talents, in 1999 the Monastery donated towards the building of Yunzhong Buddhist Institute for the education and training of young novice nuns to learn the teaching of the Buddha and to merge with common people in society, so as to better equip them for the sacred mission of spreading Dharma and relieving all beings from sufferings. In 2001, in remembrance of the great Venerable Heiren, the Monastery donated towards the building of Heiren Memorial Building which houses both classrooms and living quarters. In addition, the Monastery had the honour of participating in the building project when Venerable Foyuan of Yunmen Monastery, in Shaoguan of Guangdong, established their Buddhist Institute in 1992. Further to this, the Monastery has also donated towards the Buddhist Institute for Bhiksunis in Zhanjiang of Guangdong and Chongfu Monastery Buddhist Institute in Fujian.