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.
About Cathay Pacific Airways
The Hong Kong-based Cathay Pacific Group offers scheduled passenger and cargo services to over 200 destinations in Asia, North America, Australia, Europe and Africa, using a fleet of nearly 200 wide-body aircraft. The company is a member of the Swire group and is a public company listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. Cathay Pacific has made substantial investments to develop Hong Kong as one of the world's leading global transportation hubs. Cathay Pacific is a founder member of the oneworld global alliance.
For more information, please visit www.cathaypacific.com.
About Social Ventures Hong Kong (SVhk)
Founded in 2007, Social Ventures Hong Kong (SVhk) is a venture philanthropic organization that innovates social change by re-imagining the city. We focus on inventing, incubating and investing in social startups that address urban challenges in Hong Kong through sustainable and innovative business solutions. We currently have over 20 portfolio ventures, such as Green Monday, Diamond Cab, Light Be, Run Our City etc. Besides, we also work frequently with Corporate on Business 2.0 consultancy to provide support and motivate businesses to incorporate social mission into their strategy and operations, aiming to work with Corporate to find sustainable social impact solutions together via our expertise and network.
Website : sv-hk.org
About Empowering Lives through Innovative Volunteerism (ELIV)
ELIV designs and implements social service projects based on the needs of communities, both in Taiwan and abroad. In addition to participating in the trip, volunteers are strategically developed and coached, to make for a transformative experience.
The impact is on multiple fronts. Local communities benefit from long-term, effective poverty alleviation efforts. Volunteers gain a new perspective and are empowered to take action – from adopting an eco-friendly lifestyle to making a difference at home, school, or work.
ELIV International Service, founded in January 2010 in Taiwan, is one of the earliest established social enterprises. In 2012, ELIV established its sister organization, ELIV International Service Association.
VolTra founded in 2009 and is a registered charitable institution. VolTra has been dedicated to promote international voluntary services in Hong Kong. We strive to promote world peace and global citizenship by serving as a platform to connect international and local volunteers.
VolTra connects volunteers from all over the world with their “Exploration” mind to different volunteering projects, nurture their “Empathy” through the interaction with local people. Volunteers will end up being motivated and bringing back the “empowerment of change” in their mind. Together we can make changes to the community from the bottom with both global and local awareness and make the world better for all of us.