|For Immediate Release||19 December 2018|
Cathay Pacific believes the old adage that travel broadens the mind. But we are also firmly of the opinion that travel has the power to completely transform one's outlook and promote a greater understanding of the challenges faced by communities all over the world.
This is the philosophy behind Cathay Pacific's newest community engagement programme - World As One.
In October, the airline organised a thought-provoking journey for a diverse group of young Hong Kong people. Comprising youngsters who had never travelled before, representatives from our city's ethnic minorities and also those who have successfully battled drug addiction, the group travelled to Cambodia where they undertook inspiring volunteer work.
The five-day trip saw the group participate in a range of activities, including demolishing old houses and building new homes for local villagers, and bringing Cambodian children to tour heritage sites for the very first time to discover more about the history of their own country. The group also visited non-profit organisations and social enterprises to learn about the needs of local communities and the solutions designed to benefit them.
Cathay Pacific Chief Customer and Commercial Officer Paul Loo said: "Travelling enriches us, but it also inspires us to understand the world in greater depth and to make a meaningful difference in people's lives. It was heart-warming to see how the youngsters interacted with the Cambodian people and how they learned to understand and empathise with their issues and circumstances. It proved to be an invaluable experience."
Alman Chan Siu-cheuk, the Principal of Christian Zheng Sheng College, which helps children who have battled drug addiction and other problems using life education, said: "I am confident that the imprint left from this trip will have a long-term and positive impact on the lives of these youngsters."
Eman Lam, a Hong Kong singer-songwriter whom Cathay Pacific also invited to join the group in Cambodia, said she was deeply touched by the journey.
"The trip was totally unique and extremely rewarding," she said. "Helping one another allows us to feel empathy and understand people at a much deeper level. The experience has enriched our lives and been mutually beneficial."
Cathay Pacific jointly organised its World As One engagement experience together with Social Ventures Hong Kong, VolTra and ELIV to redefine the meaning and purpose of travel. By introducing an alternative travel experience, we hope it can be a force for positive social change.
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