KOTO is looking for support of our annual Christmas Winter Appeal event. Each year around 100 trainees and staff travel to the countryside to a poor community and offer food and gifts consisting of warm clothes and blankets.
This year our goal is to make and serve 2.000 bowls of Pho (traditional Vietnamese soup) and give around 841 gifts to the local people of the Mu Cang Chai, Yen Bai area. The area was chosen due to the size of the poor community and where we believe we can make the biggest impact. This is a chance for our trainees, also from disadvantaged backgrounds, to be the ones who give rather than receive. A wonderful part of their new lives at KOTO.

Any donation, large or small, will make a big difference to KOTO and the work we do. This is a wonderful opportunity to spread smiles and bring joy to more than 1,500 disadvantaged children and local people — and to easily be the change you want to see around you.

Event Date: 29th to the 30th of December
How can you help? We are looking for donations to purchase the ingredients to make the Pho and the value of the 841 gifts.  We also need to cover the cost of the bus to transport the 100 strong team and 2 meals on the way.
For more information, please contact:
Ms. Lee at volunteers@koto.com.au or Ms. Trang at alumni.co@koto.com.au

We would also like to take this opportunity to wish you, your colleagues and your family a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from all of us at KOTO !

During the recent APEC Summit in Da Nang City, KOTO Founder, Jimmy Pham, and two KOTO alumni, Quan Nguyen and Tam Nguyen joined the dinner to welcome Prime Minister of Australia, Mr. Malcolm Turnbull, to Vietnam.

It was a real honor for KOTO to attend the event and share with the Prime Minister the work we do in Vietnam. The great relationship between KOTO and the Australian Government and their strong support has made KOTO who we are today.

Quan, who was the winner of Taste of Australia in Vietnam in 2017and Tam who was a finalist, participated in cooking for the event with Pullman Hotel team. Tam said “It was an amazing experience to be part of the event and meet the Prime Minister of Australia. Never in my wildest dreams have I dreamed of one day meeting such high profile governmental officials, thanks to the support of KOTO and Australian Embassy in Vietnam”.

As part of the APEC Summit, the Ministry of Education, Open University of Hanoi and Institute of APEC Collaborative Education (IACE) Korea organised the first Edutainment Conference, where Jimmy Pham and KOTO International Partnership and Engagement Manager, Huong Dang were invited as keynote speakers.

The conference committee also launched a social entrepreneurship competition to bring out the potential of students who will be the future change makers in Vietnam.

Jimmy was delighted to share with them his journey of coming back to Vietnam and starting KOTO,“the social enterprise model was still undefined 20 years ago, and it was a challenging journey” Jimmy said, but he encouraged the audience to be persistent, to make mistakes, to learn and stand up again because that is a social entrepreneur’s journey.

Huong, provided a different angle, sharing her story of becoming a KOTO trainee. From a street kid to becoming the first Victorian International Student of the Year in 2013,she is now returning the favour to KOTO, the organization she said changed her life. Both Jimmy and Huong’s speeches aimed to empower the young generation of Vietnam to take a leadership role and bring out their entrepreneurial spirit.

Meet Phinh – our trainee from class 30.

“I am the oldest brother in a five-child H’Mong family. As many H’Mong ethnic minority people, my family lives on agricultural work. It was not enough to maintain education for five of us so I had to drop out of my high school.

Coming to KOTO has turned my whole life to a new page. I could not even speak Vietnamese properly before, and now I just won Trainee of the Month Prize for my accountable progress in studying English.

I love playing football and playing chess in my free time. I treasure the priceless opportunity that KOTO gave me and I am trying my best to achieve my dream to be an international chef.”

Read more KOTO trainees’ stories at:
KOTO Dream Ride is our annual fundraiser in Vietnam. Now in its 16th year, Dream Ride 2017 was held in Hanoi on the 25 November, and what a dream ride it was. Over 100 riders made their way along the55km route through villages and rice paddies, and arriving safely at the KOTO Training Centre for a well earned lunch.

This year for the first time Dream Ride was also proudly supported by riders across the globe with sponsors riding in Singapore, Melbourne, Adelaide and China. Together, with our 28 corporate partners and sponsors, we raised just over $14,000.

We appreciate the support and sponsorship of British International School, AIM Academy, United Nation International School of Hanoi, Crown Relocation, Raffles Medical, Dao’s Care, Alfresco, Peak Adventure, Suntory Pepsico, Viet Café, Navitas, Experian, Singapore International School, Future Tradition, Rice Kitchen, Le Cordon Bleu, EXO Travel, Ugether, Cousins, Hotel De l’opera, Movenpick Hotel Hanoi, Fermented, Intercontinental Hanoi Westlake, Hilton Garden Inc, Chapi Vietnam, Laguna Langco, Loughborough Grammar School, Naforimex, KOTO staff, volunteers, alumni and trainees.

The first rider to cross the finish line was Mr. Ed Gilbreath from UNIS, a new KOTO trainee was second, and our youngest rider was only 10 years old. The highest fundraiser, for the second year in a row was Ms. Cynthia Mann, and the biggest fundraising group was Peak Adventure. Our most royal rider is Mr. Daniel Hamer, who has participated in Dream Ride for 10 years.

We thank everyone for their efforts and tireless commitment making KOTO Dream Ride 2017 a most memorable event.

Click here for photos of the ride.
Congratulations to the 32 trainees of Class 32 who recently joined the KOTO family and started their life-changing journey.
The trainees come from different parts of Vietnam and like many other disadvantaged youth, they have been through a lot in their lives. Now is the time for them to make the most of their opportunity, and to make a difference in their lives. We are proud of our staff and recruitment committee for spending nearly three months working through our rigorous recruitment process and selecting 32 seeds to plant.

We wish Class 32 a great journey ahead, may it bring them love, laughter, happiness and success !