In my sidebar, there’s a link to the “Street Kids in Vietnam” blog which talks about the work of the “Blue Dragon Children’s Foundation, a grassroots charity working in Vietnam with street kids and the poorest of the poor”. They do some great work to help the “street kids” of Vietnam.
Thanks to CR for his email about Koto which was founded by Jimmy Pham to provide vocational training for Vietnamese kids in need.
“KOTO is about creating a safe environment where a small group of extremely vulnerable young people can learn and grow – because through education and skills comes empowerment and the path to a brighter future.”
Mr Jimmy Pham, KOTO Founder and Director
The concept of KOTO began on the streets of Hanoi in 1996 when an Australian Vietnamese man, Mr Jimmy Pham, asked a group of street kids what they wanted out of life. They simply replied, “we need skills so we can find stable jobs” and so the concept of KOTO was born.
In just five years, KOTO has grown from a small sandwich shop in Hanoi to a 120-seat restaurant and an internationally accredited hospitality program that gives some very special young people the start in life that everyone deserves.
Today KOTO is recognised for its dynamic restaurant and its effective grassroots development project that is breaking the cycle of poverty amongst street and disadvantaged youth in Vietnam.
The young people in the KOTO program study hospitality skills and English, and take part in an essential life skills program. They gain practical skills working at the KOTO restaurant.
KOTO graduates complete the program as confident and capable young adults who are able to take control of their own lives. They are highly valued by the hospitality industry in Vietnam and many now work in top hotels and restaurants in Hanoi.
KOTO continues to grow and develop as many more street kids and disadvantaged youth pass through its doors and go onto successful careers. KOTO hopes to become a model that can be adopted elsewhere in Vietnam, Asia and in other countries in need.