Many Intrepid travellers to Vietnam have enjoyed great food and service at the marvellous KOTO on Van Mieu restaurant in Hanoi. On Sunday October 31, KOTO trainees were honoured by an extra special lunch guest, the Hon Julia Gillard MP, Prime Minister of Australia.
“We’re all thrilled that the Prime Minister chose to come to KOTO during her short stay in Hanoi and we were privileged to meet her,” said Jimmy Pham, KOTO International CEO and founder (and former Intrepid group leader).
“The trainees’ faces lit up the instant I told them we were having such a special visitor – I think they were nervous and excited. They really enjoyed the experience and are very lucky to have met the Australian Prime Minister. At KOTO, a big part of what we do is provide trainees with an environment where they can develop into confident young adults, and having the Prime Minister come today is validation that what they’re doing is working and that they should be proud of themselves,” said Jimmy.
The Prime Minister, accompanied by Australian Ambassador to Vietnam, Mr Allaster Cox, talked with KOTO front of house and kitchen trainees, graduates, and was presented with the KOTO cookbook by Jimmy as a gift (photo below).
KOTO graduate and KOTO on Van Mieu staff member, Mr Le Van Trieu, met the Prime Minister and said it was a wonderful experience. “The Prime Minister was very nice. She seemed very pleased to be here and to meet everyone. She made everyone feel very proud to be part of KOTO,” said Mr Trieu.
KOTO (Know One, Teach One) is a not-for-profit hospitality training organisation that has trained in excess of 300 street and disadvantaged Vietnamese youth in Hanoi over the past 10 years, and has recently established KOTO Saigon in Ho Chi Minh City. Its 24-month program includes both front-of-house and kitchen, as well as English and life skills. We welcome donations to support the trainees at KOTO’s new Saigon Training Centre via The Intrepid Foundation.
The Intrepid Foundation – travellers making a difference
Help support KOTO and other great grassroots organisations via the Intrepid Foundation, plus find out how your donation can be matched* by Intrepid Travel!
* Donations will be matched by Intrepid Travel up to AU$5000 (or equivalent) per donor and a total of AU$400,000 each financial year.