Cover Photo

KOTO International

Rhys Williams


Become part of the incredible KOTO story!

In the late 1990's KOTO founder Jimmy Pham, OAM, a Vietnamese Australian, returned to Vietnam, to work as a tourist guide. While in Hanoi, Jimmy struck up a friendship with a group of young people living and working on the streets to support their families. He used his salary to help them but knew this was only a temporary fix. Jimmy’s dream was to create a sustainable development program, rather than hand out charity. Disadvantaged youth needed a family environment, modern skills, a job and income to become independent and self-sufficient. From this humble start, the concept of KOTO- Know One Teach One- was born.

Now in its 21st year, KOTO operates its renowned two-year hospitality traineeship program (chef or front of house manager). It is a fully residential program at the KOTO Centre in Hanoi comprising: an Australian hospitality certificate awarded by Box Hill Institute, Melbourne, life skills, English language, placement in the famous KOTO Van Mieu restaurant and in 5 star hotels. The program is also holistic- in a family environment, medical/dentistry, counselling, mentoring from alumni, family support and living allowance. 

The outcomes are spectacular: almost no drop outs; nearly 1,000 graduates, 95%+ in good jobs or increasingly establishing successful businesses, and living and working across the globe.

You have the opportunity to become involved in this world leading program!

KOTO operates two annual classes (40-45 trainees in each) of disadvantaged youths between 16 and 22 years of age, including trainees with a disability and from minority groups. Trainees are selected through a comprehensive process over 6 months to ensure the fit is right.

Sponsor a trainee through KOTO International (KI)

The best way to support KOTO is to sponsor a trainee. Sponsors are corporates who sponsor a KOTO class or individuals/families/work or social groups who sponsor an individual.

There are four trainee sponsorship programs: Dream Maker ($300/month), Education or Health/Wellbeing ($150/month), International Training ($100/month) and Health & Wellbeing ($50/month). Along with the revenues from KOTO's enterprises- KOTO Van Mieu restaurant and catering- sponsorship funds assist meet KOTO's operating costs. KI sends 100% of the sponsorship to Vietnam and all donations (over $2.00) are tax deductible for Australian tax payers. 

To sponsor an individual trainee, please click 'Give a Monthly Donation' on this page. Follow the instructions to sign up for a Give Now account to provide the monthly amount you wish to.

What are the benefits and components of sponsoring a KOTO trainee?

  • The satisfaction of providing an at-risk youth the chance of a self-sufficient future
  • Receiving your trainee’s biography and regular progress reports from KOTO
  • If you wish, communicating directly with your trainee and vice versa, via KOTO
  • Meeting your trainee if you visit Vietnam at some stage (the graduation ceremony which occurs each June is a great experience)
  • Communicating with other sponsors
  • Receiving a Welcome Pack from Jimmy Pham, OAM

Alternative donation options

KOTO welcomes all donations of $10 and above, and especially regular donations. Not everybody can afford to sponsor, but can help according to their means.

To do so click on 'Give a donation', for a one off or recurring donation of your choosing.

Other project funding opportunities are also available. Please contact Rhys Williams, KI Board Chair for more information:  or +61 (0) 401 694 806. 

KOTO International Limited

  • Over 15 years of raising funds and providing management support for KOTO
  • Registered Australian not-for-profit company
  • Holds DGR (deductible gift recipient) status with the Australian Taxation Office recognising its professional operations
  • A highly qualified and expert Board

Further information about KOTO

SBS Dateline Program with Adam Liaw:

Video: KOTO trainee stories


KOTO Information Packs (English & Vietnamese)

Contact Details

PO Box 528


Are donations tax deductible?


Will I receive a receipt for my donation?

Yes, as soon as your donation is processed.