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Asian students set off for African wilderness experience

21 Jul 2002


Cathay Pacific today will bring 42 students from Asia and the Middle East to South Africa for a nine-day ecological course.

These students have been selected to take part in this year's Cathay Pacific International Wilderness Experience Programme, which aims to bring young people from all over the world together to study the environment and appreciate cultural diversity.

The participants, from Beijing, Bahrain, Thailand, India, Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, South Korea, Vietnam, Singapore, Japan and Taiwan, joined the 8 Hong Kong delegates today and took part in an opening ceremony in Shatin. Last year's Hong Kong's participants were also present at the ceremony to share their experiences with the departing group.

Officiating guests of the ceremony included Mr Philip Chen, Cathay Pacific's Director and Chief Operating Officer, Mr Andrew Poon, Acting Deputy Director of the Education Department, and Mr Walter Chan, Council Member of the Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups.

"As the airline of Hong Kong, Cathay Pacific pledges to remain committed - not just in serving our community but also fulfilling our responsibilities towards the environment," Mr Philip Chen said. "It is in this spirit that the airline has been organising and sponsoring students on this annual ecological trip to explore the unique South African wilderness."

Since Cathay Pacific started the International Wilderness Experience Programme in 1994, over 400 students from all around the world have participated in the programme. This year's nature experience will take place in the Entabeni Game Reserve, Limpopo Province in South Africa. The reserve contains a wide variety of wildlife and plantlife - including more than 80 species of mammals and 230 species of birds.

Rather than attending lectures, the students will be guided by a team of highly-qualified Educational Officers and experience the natural environment through hikes, camping trips and wildlife observations. They will also share each other's cultural heritage through wedding role-plays, group discussions, as well as exchange traditional songs and dances.