KOTO recently opened their restaurant in HCMC after almost 2 years of planning. KOTO - know one, teach one, has been working tirelessly to raise the funds required to open the restaurant to provide hospitality training for disadvantaged young adults.
The concept was established in 1999 by Jimmy Pham, with a small sandwich shop in Hanoi, now they have a capacity for 200 students (100 in Hanoi and 100 in HCMC) all working towards internationally accredited qualifications. However the programme only begins with the formal hospitality training. KOTO also provides share house accommodation, medical cover, English lessons, sports and life skills programmes such as learning how to budget their allowance, teamwork and personal hygiene. All the skills necessary to make sure they are successful in the real world once they finish the programme.
Every KOTO trainee has a story, whether they have lived on the streets, been abandoned by their families or are living in absolute poverty, life has not been easy for them. Only 25 students are accepted every 6 months, yet the list of applications far exceeds that. Tristan Dwyer of KOTO, says the programme is "all about changing people's lives" and they aim to provide a "nurturing environment where trainees are given the opportunity to be confident and happy".
The BBGV have sponsored 3 students, Tuan , Hoa and Phuong , and by all accounts these students are making wonderful progress. We recommend you take the opportunity to dine at the KOTO restaurant in Saigon, the restaurant has a wonderful atmosphere, the food is delicious and you will be helping to make a difference in these students lives.