In Vietnam we support KOTO, an amazing project which takes disadvantaged children off the streets of Hanoi, provides vocational training in the hospitality industry for them – AND produces incredible food which you can enjoy on our adventure tours to Vietnam.
KOTO (Know One, Teach One) is a not-for-profit training centre and restaurant set up in 1996 to break the cycle of poverty by helping disadvantaged young people in Hanoi get off the streets and into a stable living and working environment. Every six months KOTO takes 25 children off the streets to undertake a two-year life skills, English language and hospitality training programme.
Since it started, KOTO has grown from a small sandwich shop to a 120-seat restaurant and training programme. KOTO continues to grow and develop as many more street kids and disadvantaged youths pass through its doors. We are proud to be associated with KOTO.
Each year an integral part of the training is a field trip in Vietnam. This builds teamwork and allows the young people to see more of their own incredible country. We support KOTO by fundraising through our Community Trust to sponsor part of, or the complete, field trip each year, at a cost of between US$5,000 and US$7,000.
“The aim is not only to build teamwork but also to ensure the young people at KOTO get the chance to see more of their own incredible country. We want to teach a responsible attitude to the environment and give the trainees an opportunity to learn and grow through the experience. We also want to reward their hard work,” explains founder, Jimmy Pham.
KOTO greets every Imaginative Traveller tour group that comes to Hanoi with their fantastic menu and friendly service. All the staff you meet at this café have come from poor backgrounds. From them you will be able to learn about the differences in the northern Vietnamese food, which is less spicy and relies more on its natural flavours than that of the centre and south, as well as try some incredibly tasty dishes!
Respect for local people and the environment is at the heart of everything we do at Imaginative Traveller. We aim to minimise our impact and maximise respectful interaction. Not only is ‘going local’ the best way for you to enjoy an authentic adventure travel experience but working with local tour leaders and local people, staying in family-run hotels, using local transport and supporting local businesses means that the economic benefits derived from your trip remains with the communities that you visit. And you get fantastic, insightful knowledge and an authentic adventure holiday in return!
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