DIRECTOR: JIMMY PHAM
CONTACT: Ngo Thi Oanh
KOTO is a restaurant and training centre in Hanoi that provides training in the hospitality industry and essential life skills to street children and disadvantaged youth between the ages of 16 and 22. To date, KOTO has completely changed the lives of hundreds of Vietnamese adolescents and their families. The KOTO ‘kids’ come from a life on the streets or from desperately poor life circumstances.
As KOTO trainees they undertake a 24 -month program, learning hospitality skills in either cookery or front-of-house service. They study English and take part in a life skills program that includes workshops on adolescent reproductive health and informal activities such as sporting afternoons and field trips. KOTO trainees gain on-the-job hospitality experience by staffing the popular KOTO restaurant near the Temple of Literature. This is an essential dining experience for anyone visiting Hanoi, and it does get busy, so you may want to book. By dining at the KOTO restaurant, sponsoring a trainee or donating clothing, materials or equipment, you can make a valuable contribution to improving the lives of these children and giving them the start in life that everyone deserves.
When they graduate, KOTO trainees are confident and skilled young people able to take control of their lives. KOTO has achieved a 100% success rate in placing its graduates in employment and many now work at upmarket hotels and restaurants in Hanoi.
KOTO is an acronym for ‘Know One Teach One’ and this is best explained by a quote from KOTO’s Founder and Director, Mr Jimmy Pham. ”The greatest accomplishment for the person who has helped you is to see you stand on your own two feet or to reach your destination and then in turn to watch you come back and help someone else that reminds you of yourself, because if you “Know One then you should Teach One.”
KOTO is within easy reach from central Hanoi by metered taxi. Best to write the address down on paper and hand it to the driver.
KOTO has recently opened a new college and restaurant in Ho Chi Minh City (see other page on right panel)