星雲大師曾說：『青年是國家與社會未來的中堅分子，青年人有心向佛是佛教的一大成就。』本著大師『人間佛教』的理念，為讓這些來自海內外青年學子能夠學 習、聽聞正信的佛教及培養正知正見的觀念，『國際佛光會曼徹斯特青年分會籌備會』於一九九六年六月成立，並於一九九七年十二月正式成立『國際佛光青年總團 部曼徹斯特分團』。青年團團員多年來在佛堂出坡作務、參與佛堂的法會和支援工作、編排圖書館書籍、維修電腦、編輯佛光世紀、參加佛學班課程，舉辦夏令營、 冬令營、參訪旅遊、迎新會等活動，並組織佛光青年醒獅團，期能吸引更多青年加入健康活動的行列。
About BLIA-YAD (Buddha's Light International Association Youth Adult Division)
Origin of the BLIA-YAD
During 22nd to 24th March 1996, BLIA World Headquarters and Hsi Lai Temple jointly organized the First American & Canadian Buddhist youth Camp at Hsi Lai Temple in California, USA. About 100 participants from 23 universities of Canada (Vancouver and Edmonton) and USA (Texas, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Arizona and California) attended. Coincidentally, Grand Master Hsing Yun was on his Dharma promotion tour in the United States at the time, and as Grand Master Hsing Yun has always highly valued and cherished the youth, he agreed to the invitation from the organizers to give a speech for the participants.
During the speech, Grand Master Hsing Yun pointed out that to understand a nation's future, we look at the youth of the nation; similarly, to know the future of Buddhism, we can look at the efforts of Buddhist youth. He then mentioned many of the world's famous leaders of past and present, who had been very dedicated in their youth and went through many difficulties in order to succeed in their career. Further, Grand Master Hsing Yun pointed out that, during the history of Buddhism, Sakyamuni Buddha and Grand Master Xuen Zan from China devoted their youth to Buddhism, and only by their going through many hardships and overcoming many obstacles do we have today's accomplishments. Therefore, youth are the future hope of Buddhism.
Grand Master Hsing Yun's words inspired the participants to contribute to the promotion of Dharma. They sincerely requested Grand Master Hsing Yun to form a Buddhist youth group to allow more youths to work together to promote Buddhism. This proposal immediately received Grand Master Hsing Yun's support, and was approved with immense applause at the "BLIA First Meeting of the Second Board of Directors" held in Malaysia on April 23rd of the same year. Hence an internationally based youth group affiliated with BLIA was born.
The First International Buddhist Youth Conference, organized by BLIA and co-organized by BLIA-YAD and BLIA R.O.C, was held at Fo Guang Shan from January 1st to January 3rd of 1997. The conference gathered together over six hundred Buddhist youths from 95 different areas across the five continents. At the time, there had been a number of incidents relating to religion in Taiwan that caused many people in the society to misunderstand Buddhism. The conference's main focus was to allow the youth, through Buddhism, to develop a righteous view of life, to practice Dharma in daily life, to care for society and promote national and world peace. For this reason, during the opening ceremony, Grand Master Hsing Yun said to the participants that today's youth have to have responsibility, gratitude, kinship, and compassion. He specifically emphasized that the one who is most grateful is the richest. This pointed out a clear direction for this conference.
After three days of Dharma talks, discussions and interactions under the guidance of the Venerables of Fo Guang Shan, the participants formalized the objectives of the BLIA YAD:
To establish our direction through Humanistic Buddhism
To foster leadership skills by forming youth groups
To broaden our life experience through activities
To deepen our faith in Buddhism through education
To enrich our values by contributing to society
At the same time participants also raised following points regarding the future development of the BLIA-YAD:
To organize a yearly conference, to expand our horizons and enrich our life experience
To actively promote YAD subdivisions, encouraging youth to learn Buddhism and to spread the Dharma
To reinforce Committee training, developing quality leadership skills and improving the nature of activities
To build a communication network, sharing achievements and learning and growing together
With the outstanding performances, knowledge and enthusiasm of Buddha's Light youths, plus the inauguration of 23 YAD subdivisions during the opening ceremony, Grand Master Hsing Yun was deeply touched and said, "The formation of YAD subdivisions around the world is like spreading Bodhi seeds. Do not underestimate a seed, one day it will grow. Do not underestimate even little causes and conditions, when they ripen, the whole universe will quiver. The future of Buddhist youth is boundless." He continued, "Although BLIA-YAD is a small step for BLIA, it is a great leap for human kind."
The BLIA-YAD Manchester division was officially formed and recognised on 1/1/1998.
It is formed by students from various universities in Manchester, as well as students from local schools and colleges. Many students come from Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong and Taiwan, and there are also local Chinese and English students.
It takes an active role in the cultural and Dharma activities in the temple, including lion dance, drama, music, sports, Tai Chi etc. Some members also help out with volunteering in the temple events such as Du Shu Hui and Chinese school. In the past, it has played an active role in many charitable events such as fundraising for humanitarian causes.