The Koto Foundation started more than 10 years ago, when the founder, Jimmy Pham, opened a small sandwich shop in Hanoi as a means to help youth living off the streets by providing them with jobs. The initiative stands for the principle “Know one, teach one”, meaning that knowledge should be shared. Based on this philosophy, Koto Foundation provides the youth with a two-year training program in hospitality at its training centers in Hanoi and Saigon. The training equips the youth with excellent professional capacities, offering opportunities for them to work in the best hotels and restaurants. They are also taught a range of social skills, which makes them well-adjusted individuals, living their today with a mindset willing to discover their purpose in the future.
Every six months Koto recruits up to 30 young people from the streets, between the ages of 16-22, following recommendations coming from a wide network of sources, including individuals, local orphanages or other organizations dealing with poverty, trafficking, physical abuse and other addictions. There are over 600 students trained in Hanoi and Saigon centers, who have had access to life skills workshops and training restaurants.
Today the Koto Foundation extends from Australia to Vietnam and it is supported by an international body of individual and corporate sponsors, donors, partners and Good Will Ambassadors committed to the “KOTO – Know One, Teach One” principle and its efforts to improve the lives of Vietnamese youth.
This is another initiative documented by Towards the Human City.