Professor Winnie Yip Visits The Centre for Spiritual Progress to Great Awakening in Hong Kong

As part of the project funded by the D.H. Chen Foundation to understand what constitutes meaningful aging for elderly in Hong Kong, and how culture and moral philosophy affect aging well, Professor Winnie Yip visited The Centre for Spiritual Progress to Great Awakening (SPGA) in Hong Kong in January 2024. SPGA is a nonprofit Buddhist organization that has trained thousands of volunteers to provide compassionate and comprehensive spiritual care services to the elderly in retirement homes, public hospitals, mental health rehabilitation centers, and other health facilities around Hong Kong.

One of their featured programs is the hospital visitation service which has reached over 65,000 people since its inception in 2011. Trained Buddhist Chaplains and “Spiritual Envoys” volunteers are stationed across 16 hospitals in the city to provide bedside companionship and spiritual care to patients, extending their support to the patients’ family and friends as well. The Buddhist Chaplains also co-organize meditations, provide life-and-death educational seminars, offer prayers and chanting sutras, advise on funeral services, and more. This visit has contributed to our team’s deeper understanding of eldercare developed based on the principle of compassion. In Professor Yip’s words, “this has been one of the most moving learning experience that requires a lot of reflections and deeper learning.”