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Getting ready to bring a once-a-life-time journey to less-advantaged families

Cathay Pacific Airways has announced that it will operate its latest Community Flight on Sunday, 1 February. Cathay Pacific Director Corporate Affairs James Tong shared first-hand information about the flight at a media briefing today, with the Hong Kong Council of Social Service (HKCSS) and non-governmental organisations (NGO) on hand to discuss some of the issues currently facing less-advantaged families in Hong Kong.

Speaking at the event, Mr Tong said: “Cathay Pacific, as a Hong Kong-based airline, is happy to continue to operate the Community Flight. The theme for this year’s Community Flight is ‘Upholding Family Solidarity’ – apart from promoting positive attributes within the wider community, it provides an effective platform to run a series of events and activities to offer the less-advantaged families a unique and valuable experience.”

Representatives from the Social Welfare Sector pointed out that with the rise in cases of divorce and family issues, it is important to actively promote social values such as communication and solidarity within families.

Among the participating NGOs were Caritas Joyous Link, Changing Young Lives Foundation, the H.K.S.K.H. Lady MacLehose Centre Neighbourhood Level Community Development Project, The Church of United Brethren in Christ Yuen Long Social Service Centre and the Hong Kong Society for the Blind. Each of the participating NGOs organised creative programmes to encourage entries from young people, asking them to work together with their families to demonstrate how they have strived to achieve solidarity to earn the opportunity to join the Community Flight. The creative submissions came in different forms, from ceramic teacups and activity logs to hand puppets, comic strips and sound recordings. Despite these submissions may not have been masterpieces, they have fully reflected the simple, fulfilling and heart touching love that exist between parents and children through the seemingly trivial moments in everyday lives, such as making family dinner together, taking time to listen and talk, encouraging and spending time with the family.

This year’s Community Flight will see some 200 residents take to the skies over Hong Kong and the invitation has been extended beyond single-parent to all underprivileged families. Among the participants this year were people with intellectual disability and the visually impaired. They have never flown together before will enjoy a unique experience that will enable them to spend quality time together.