Ho Chi Minh City, May 02, 2019 – Hong Kong’s home airline, Cathay Pacific, launched the Vietnam chapter of its ‘I Can Fly’ program last weekend, giving underprivileged children from around Ho Chi Minh City a unique educational experience that provides both valuable insights into the world of aviation and helps with their personal development.

The 10 students from the Thang Long School of English and Vocational Education spent 20-21 April on a guided tour of Tan Son Nhat International Airport, where the various careers on offer for aspiring aviators were discussed and presented, with everyone from chefs to pilots taking the time to talk to the children about how they can kickstart their careers in one of the world’s most dynamic industries.

2019 marks the first time that I Can Fly has taken place in Vietnam. The program was run in conjunction with local NGO Saigon Children’s Charity CIO.

The students, who are aged between 12 and 15 years old and who have achieved excellent academic results, spent the two days learning about the different aspects of aviation. They visited an inflight food processing centre, met with Cathay Pacific pilots and engineers and spoke with the airline’s cabin crew to discover more about inflight service roles. The children also toured cargo handling areas as well as airport operation facilities, and – many for the first time – boarded a Cathay Pacific aircraft.

Cathay Pacific Country Manager Vietnam Lance Kwong said: “I have been lucky enough to have spent my entire career in aviation and walking these kids through the facilities at Tan Son Nhat certainly takes me back.

“At the very beginning of my career, I did a similar tour in Hong Kong and it opened my eyes to the broad array of careers on offer within this industry. With I Can Fly, Cathay Pacific has always sought to make aviation both aspirational and accessible as a career choice for young people, and it’s an honour for me to be able to bring that vision to Vietnam, and to these kids here today.

“The sky truly is the limit for these kids,” added Lance.

Ly Uyen Nhi, 14, from Thang Long’s Upper English Class, said after the event: “My friends and I feel truly happy and grateful that we have been selected for Cathay Pacific’s I Can Fly program. This exciting experience strengthens my dream to pursue a career in aviation in the future as a flight attendant.”

In addition to the kids’ big day out, Cathay Pacific has also awarded scholarships to 25 other children through the Saigon Children’s Charity CIO to help their families cover the tuition costs.


About Cathay Pacific

Cathay Pacific Airways is an international airline registered and based in Hong Kong, offering scheduled passenger and cargo services to over 200 destinations in Asia, North America, Australia, Europe and Africa, using a fleet of over 200 aircraft. Cathay Dragon, a wholly owned subsidiary of Cathay Pacific which focuses on providing services to destinations across Asia, including more than 20 cities in mainland China. Cathay Pacific is a founder member of the Oneworld global alliance and Cathay Dragon is an affiliate member.

Cathay Pacific currently operates 19 weekly flights between Ho Chi Minh City and Hong Kong, while Cathay Dragon operates 12 weekly flights from Hanoi and 7 weekly flights from Da Nang to Hong Kong.

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On Sunday 16th Dec 2017, Thang Long English and Vocational School (Thang Long School) held the closing ceremony of the 2018 academic year.

On this occasion, guests included Mr. Damien Roberts – Executive Director of saigonchildren, Ms. Nguyen Thi Duy Huong – Head of Programmes of saigonchildren, Ms. Vu Duc Nhi Ha – Corporate Communication of Dragon Capital as well as members from Thang Long School Board – Professor Huynh The Cuoc and Ms. Phan Thanh Thuy Hang – Principal of Thang Long School, all teachers, 60 students, 57 parents and volunteers.The opening ceremony began with the dance “Bong bong bang bang” of the students of dance class contributing to a joyful and lively atmosphere. The Principal of Thăng Long School – Ms. Phan Thanh Thúy Hằng has reported the performance and achievements of the school in 2018. The school had many interesting activities. The quality of teaching is increasing, especially English and Computer classes.  Social activities have shown the children the meaning when serving the community. In 2019, the school will continue to improve the teaching quality for students with disadvantaged backgrounds.

At this ceremony, Mr. Damien Roberts – Executive Director of saigonchildren, the main sponsor for Thang Long School congratulated the students for excellent academic achievements in previous school year and thanked the contribution of teachers as well as the support of parents.

Mr. Huynh The Cuoc, Chairman of the Board of Thang Long School, shared his joy with the success of the school and hoped that more and more disadvantaged children will be supported

On behalf of the students, Phan Thi Tuong Vi, an student of English class who completed Upper-Intermediate level and achieved the title of excellent student, gave a speech in English and Vietnamese to share the feeling about her study and wishes after graduation. The closing ceremony is also an occasion to reward 60 students that have excellent results to encourage them to keep trying in order to reach their full potential and achieve their dreams.

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Thăng Long English and Vocational School has offered hospitality course to disadvantaged youths since 2007 and it is still one of the most popular vocational training courses run by saigonchildren. On 13th December, the 16th hospitality course opening day took place with the participation of Mr. Damien Roberts – Executive Director of saigonchildren, Ms. Nguyễn Thị Thùy Phương – representative from Repsol, staff of Thăng Long school, parents and 22 students.

The hospitality course lasts for 6 months and enables students to study and practise many skills essential to a great career in hospitality such as tables setup, bartending, English communication, computer skills and especially life skills. This knowledge and skill set will help them to be more confident when starting a new job. In addition, saigonchildren also supports young adults to pursue part-time and full-time internships at renowned hotels to enhance their work experience.

In the past 11 years, the professional training course has provided free training to 585 young people living under difficult circumstances. Of the 463 students who have successfully graduated, 86% have stable jobs with higher salaries than the standard income of HCMC

Bảo Trân, one of the students from the 15th hospitality course, is now working at Hương Sen hotel as a receptionist. When being asked to share some thoughts about the hospitality course, she said all the hard work and efforts put into this course would pay off on career path in the future and she was very happy with her current job.

All the students seemed to be very excited about the course. They all wished to develop themselves after this course, achieve their career goals and be able to build a better future.


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Learning to speak English or any foreign language can be a terrifying experience for many of us. Many students do well with grammar but struggle with speaking because of the lack of opportunity to practice. Being well aware of that common problem, Thang Long school organised an English Fun Day, which attracted 79 students on Sunday, 4th November 2018. The event’s aim is to bring our students together for an opportunity to learn and play in English.

Following a theme that highlighted important aspects of Vietnamese culture, games included fun with Vietnamese cuisine, tourism, music and celebrities. A lot of movement games made for a more exciting atmosphere that was full of laughs and fun. Moreover, with the participation of foreign volunteers, students were able to practise listening and communicative skills in English. With the enthusiasm of all students, volunteers, and teachers, the event was a great success.


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Every year, students from Saigon Hospitality and Thang Long English and Vocational Training school have a field trip doing community service  to the Orphanage, Center For Disabled Children and nursing homes. Such extracurricular activities with a great sense of purpose are always well received and  draw a high amount of interest among students.

On 16th August, 54 students from the school participated in the trip to Ho Chi Minh City Vocational Training Center for People with Disabilities and Orphans. They painted the roof awning beams, helped with weeding and planted cassava in the garden. Most of the students found the trip exhausting, yet fun and rewarding because they knew they were doing something meaningful for the people at the centre and their efforts helped to contribute to the community. When being asked about his thoughts about the trip, one student said “The trip did not only give me more perspective about the tough life of underprivileged people, but also made me be grateful every day for what I have.”

(The students are painting the roof awning beams. )

(Everyone was happy with a meaningful day filled with lots of laughter and productivity. )

 In the previous years, students had opportunities to go on field trips to Củ Chi and Phan Thiết. It is a great opportunity for students to get out of their comfort zone, gain a better understanding of life and the struggles of the children at the orphanage, disabled children and the elderly. In addition, the trip also helped them to gain empathy towards their less privileged peers and helped to motivate them to live more responsibly.

The trip ended with a lot of good memories. The students went home with a total openness of mind and heart. Everyone was happy with the new experience and the new lesson on life value from the trip. Saigonchildren hopes they will continue to make contribution to the community because life is not only about receiving, but it is also about giving.

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On 23rd July, 93 students of Thang Long English Club joined the English Fun Day themed “Vietnam’s Culture” with many creative and interesting activities.

 During the day, all students have opportunities to join in many attractive English games related to Vietnam’s culture, including famous tourism spots, Vietnam specialties, sports and festivals. This is one of the regular activities to support students at Thang Long school to develop their presentation skills and teamwork skills as well as to enhance their confidence.


To help facilitate the Fun Day, there are not only teachers of Thang Long school but also many volunteers to participate in the event.

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“Everyone, it’s Friday” – The familiar message in Thang Long School teachers’ chatting group makes us so excited every weekend, it is not because of the normal TGIF as others but the upcoming weekly training of foreign teachers to us.

It is not easy being a teacher, every teaching method has its own drawbacks, each class need its own managing style and each student need a different way of sharing and supporting. That’s the reason why being a teacher is not easy, especially to keep being inspiration for students in every lecture, we have to practice days by days to develop our capacity. And “Friday” becomes one of the important key to our success in teaching path – the opportunity for us to gain valuable experience through interesting sharing and effective teaching method.

One of the most helpful things we gained is the tips to work with children in different cases and situations. Trainers – who are experienced teachers abroad – gave us the both the inspiration and the methods to apply to our jobs directly. We, especially, appreciate lessons related to children’s psychology and how to adjust our manner to fit it.

To achieve such great success, all volunteers who are professors, lecturers and teachers from professional teaching environment have devoted in a long time. We share the same passion to work with children. Though there are many problems but trainers always listen to us and suggest practical solutions or advice. The weekend becomes so exciting and helpful with training and sharing sessions. On behalf of Thang Long School Teachers, I would express my deepest thanks to Ms. Jessica (ILA), Ms. Claire (British Council), Ms. Laurent (British Council), Mr. Nick (British Council), Mr. Joe (RMIT) and other enthusiastic trainers who keep supporting us to continue this path.

That’s how we long for the ‘Friday’ full of smile and delightful activities. We appreciate every moments being a teacher and working with passion to bring a brighter future to children.


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Long English and Vocational School (Thang Long School) held the closing ceremony of the 2017 academic year. On this occasion, guests included Mr. David Appleton – a representative of saigonchildren – as well as members from the management team of saigonchildren, Thang Long School Board, all teachers, volunteers, students, and parents.

During this past academic year, Thang Long School has organized many English, Computer Science, Painting, and Modern Dance classes for 549 students, which is 117% the targeted number. Aditionally, the school also held many life skills courses, such as camping and social activities to enhance the students’ soft skills and social responsibility. Throughout the year, all of the vocational training classes received great support and encouragement from kind donors and enthusiastic volunteers to improve the teaching quality for students with disadvantaged backgrounds.
The closing ceremony is also an occasion to reward the students that have excellent results to encourage them to keep trying in order to reach their full potential and achieve their dreams.

In 2018, Thang Long English and Vocational School will continue to open vocational courses to support disadvantaged children. Program enrollment starts in May and November annually.
Ms. Cuc/ Ms. Quyên
Admission Office
Thang Long English and Vocational School
129F/63A Nguyễn Hữu Hào Street, Dist. 4, HCMC
Mobile: +84 28 38262713

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