Danish donation assists Vietnamese youth

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Danish donation assists Vietnamese youth

The Danish Ambassador to Vietnam, John Nielsen presenting the royal foundation’s funding to Mr. Jimmy Pham.

The Danish Ambassador to Vietnam John Nielsen presented the donation from the Danish Queen and Prince’s Foundation to Jimmy Pham, founder and manager of KOTO at a ceremony in Hanoi on March 14. KOTO is a not-for-profit restaurant and vocational training program for street and disadvantaged youth in Vietnam.

“The funding is the result of the State visit of Queen Margrethe and Prince Henrik of Denmark to Vietnam in 2009, after the royal family had witnessed the efforts of this organization in helping street children in Vietnam,” said the Danish Ambassador.

It is hoped that the funding will help KOTO to continue providing vocational training and employment to disadvantaged youth in Vietnam. Expressing his gratitude , Mr. Pham stated that the grant is a great encouragement to KOTO in continuing with its mission of helping street and disadvantaged youth improve their situation.

Jimmy Pham, a Vietnamese born Australian founded KOTO in the late 1990s. In March 2011 he was honoured as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum in Switzerland.

KOTO stands for Know One, Teach One which reflects the organization’s belief that if you are in a position where you can help someone less fortunate then you should help them. KOTO’s website explains that 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 now is a popular restaurant in Hanoi and its success has been replicated in Ho Chi Minh City with the KOTO Saigon Restaurant opened last year. At least 500 street and disadvantaged youth in Vietnam have graduated from KOTO, found employment in top hotels and restaurants; changing their lives and in many cases also their family’s lives, forever.

Tran Hang

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