Photo: Recent students graduating from KOTO
For 15 years, Box Hill Institute and KOTO have shared a strong partnership to change the lives of disadvantaged Vietnamese youth through hospitality training centres in Vietnam. Know One Teach One (KOTO), established by Vietnamese-Australian Jimmy Pham is the first social enterprise recognized by the Vietnamese government.
Founded in 1999, KOTO is a free of charge, 2-year holistic training program, which provides Certificate III in Hospitality, English and Life Skills training to selective, at risk kids and disadvantaged youth in Vietnam. KOTO has grown from a small sandwich shop, into a hospitality training centre and two training restaurants in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.
Box Hill Institute has contributed to positive change by providing the resources needed to deliver training such as teacher development sessions, online e-learning resources (Futura Online), teaching and learning skillsets classes, OHS training, graduation sponsorship, and yearly KOTO scholarships. The scholarships allow students to come to Australia to study at the Box Hill campus with the aim of becoming future leaders for KOTO Vietnam.
The two year program in Vietnam provides trainees an opportunity to change their lives through vocational training and personal development so they become work ready and equipped to support themselves and their families, and they can inspire their communities.
Through the commitment and dedication of the KOTO team and Box Hill Institute, this partnership has allowed nearly 1,000 street kids and disadvantaged youth in Vietnam to change their lives and break the cycle of poverty. There are nearly 200 trainees in training and 62% of KOTO operational staff are KOTO alumni. The program has 100% job placement and a 90% retention rate.
Today, 10 of the Box Hill Institute scholarships have helped grow KOTO graduates into KOTO leaders including General Manager, Head Chef, and Partnership Manager, thanks to the solid partnerships that we have built. The KOTO social enterprise model is a great example of how businesses can work to solve the social issues.
At a recent graduation ceremony, Jimmy Pham said, “For the KOTO kids who are still in the program, graduation is motivation. To our supporters – graduation is results. To our donors – it’s an investment into youth development. To our partners – it is reassuring for your future employees and perhaps managers.
“To the KOTO staff – graduation is emotional goodbyes and good luck. To the parents and guardians – graduation is pride and a promise of a better tomorrow for them and for their child. To me – graduation is about making sure that we have done all that we can to prepare our youth for their tomorrow. Because after all tomorrow is a whole new chapter.”
Box Hill Institute is proud to celebrate the 15th anniversary of our partnership with this very worthy organisation.