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Cathay Pacific opens applications for Africa educational safari

15 May 2006

Cathay Pacific Airways today opened applications for the Cathay Pacific International Wilderness Experience 2006, in which young people from around the Asia Pacific region will join an educational safari in South Africa.

This unique trip will take place between 22 and 30 August 2006 and is open to young people between the age of 16 and 18 years. In Hong Kong, the programme is co-organised by Cathay Pacific and The Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups.

Around 50 delegates from 14 countries and territories will take part including Hong Kong, Beijing, Shanghai, Taiwan, Malaysia, South Korea, Thailand, Vietnam, Japan, Bahrain, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and South Africa. Most expenses, from the cost of air tickets, course fees, accommodation, meals, and ground transport in South Africa will be sponsored by Cathay Pacific.

Since its inception in 1994, more than 500 students have taken part in the programme. This will be the 12th Wilderness programme. With the airline’s 60th anniversary, delegates will stay in Botshabelo, a new venue for the programme. Botshabelo is a nature reserve near Johannesburg, South Africa, meaning “sanctuary”. It was originally a farm and has a rich history.

Participants will be guided by a team of highly qualified Educational Officers and take part in activities to learn more about man’s impact on the environment during camping trips and wildlife observation. They will also share their cultural traditions with each other through a wedding ceremony role-play, songs and dance, and take part in a local community service initiative.

Cathay Pacific General Manager Corporate Communication Alan Wong said: “Broadening horizons and presenting new challenges to young people are key to the Wilderness Experience. The programme has been tremendously successful in exposing young people to new ideas and making them ambassadors in their home countries for cultural understanding and environmental conservation.”

Dr Rosanna Wong, Executive Director of The Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups remarked, “Exposure to other cultures and other countries is very important in the process of developing a global perspective. The International Wilderness Experience provides such exposure by giving young people from different countries the chance to meet each other while they learn about environmental conservation in South Africa. This valuable experience opens their eyes and broadens their minds.”

Full details and online application are available on the web sites at www.cathaypacific.com/iwe or www.hkfyg.org.hk/ye. The closing date for applications is 1 June 2006. For further details please call The Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups, Youth Exchange Unit on 2561-6149.