Cathay Pacific Airways and The Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups today announced the first ever educational exchange programme for young people in Beijing and Hong Kong.
The “Cathay Pacific Airways Beijing-Hong Kong Youth Exchange Programme” helps outstanding young people from low-income families take part in trip of a lifetime exchange programme abroad. Cathay Pacific and The Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups will fully sponsor groups of 30 young people from both Beijing and Hong Kong and cover all programme, travel, meals and accommodation expenses during their week-long visits.
The group from Hong Kong will head off to Beijing on 13 April and the group from Beijing will pay a return visit in July. Participants from Hong Kong, aged from 13 to 17 years, were selected with the help of recommendations from school principals, teachers or social workers. Initially, more than 800 students applied. The final selection was made following a group interview session of 60 finalists.
The theme for the first year of the exchange programme is “Aviation and Aerospace Technology”. Participants will visit Beijing’s aerospace and aviation facilities, join in discussion sessions with aerospace scientists and visit national aerospace ministries. They will also visit local schools and youth centres to meet other young people in Beijing as well as visit the city’s historical and cultural sites.
Cathay Pacific Director and Chief Operating Officer Philip Chen said: “Cathay Pacific resumed services to Beijing in December and we are delighted to support students who might not otherwise have the chance to take part in an exchange programme. Building greater understanding about aspects of life in Beijing and Hong Kong will certain help strengthen the bonds between Hong Kong and the Chinese Mainland.”
Executive Director of The Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups Dr. Rosanna Wong said: “As an organisation that serves Hong Kong’s young people, The Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups is keen to see young people from different backgrounds get the opportunity to learn from this exchange programme. By working with Cathay Pacific we hope to broaden these students’ horizons on life.”
One student, Irene So, a Form 6 student from St. Clare’s Girls’ School in Kennedy Town said: “When I heard that I was chosen for this exchange programme, I was very excited: it made a dream come true. It also proves that less well-off people are just as capable of representing Hong Kong’s youth in an exchange programme.”