KOTO stands for “Know one, teach one.” Learning should be passed on; knowledge is meant to be shared. This is the essential idea of KOTO founder, Jimmy Pham, a Vietnamese-Australian who, more than 10 years ago, opened a training centre in hospitality in Hanoi, giving disadvantaged youth the possibility to learn and thrive in their lives.
As a social enterprise, KOTO has trained over 600 students in two training centres in Hanoi and Saigon, with 200 concurrently enrolled. In addition to its Foundation arm that focuses on raising funds to support its cause through charitable activities and initiatives, KOTO also operates an Enterprise arm, serving as a platform for real life hospitality training as well as a source of income to support the welfare and training of the students. KOTO Enterprise currently includes two Training Restaurants, an online bakery, a cooking class, and a catering service.
Many graduates of KOTO continue their career development by working at KOTO Training Restaurants and other businesses of KOTO Enterprise, supporting new trainees according to the motto—Know one, teach one.—and so the learning circle endures.
Message from KOTO
KOTO has evolved greatly since the early days, but I’m pleased to say these philosophies remain prominent in everything we do.
KOTO stands for “know one, teach one,” and it reflects our belief that if you’re in a position where you can help someone less fortunate, then you should help them; and, the greatest thanks you can receive is to one day see that person be in a position to do the same for someone else.
KOTO staff are lucky enough to experience this everyday, as we see trainees grow from timid, shy teenagers into young adults who are not only sought-after hospitality professionals, but also well-rounded, responsible community-minded citizens, ready to embrace challenges that lie ahead. Experiencing this growth is thanks enough for our hard work.
We have training centres, and training restaurants, in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, and it’s so pleasing to see our founding philosophies so prominent in the hearts, minds and actions of the our teams of staff, trainees, volunteers and partners. It’s exciting to see KOTO’s story being written day by day, and I hope each day is also a step towards establishing KOTO training centres outside of Vietnam.
Thank you for your interest in KOTO. I hope you enjoy learning about KOTO, and that one day you meet a graduate, trainee, or staff member and experience the warmth of the KOTO family for yourself.