For 20 years, KOTO has enabled 1,000 Vietnamese youth and their families to escape poverty through our holistic hospitality training program. This project will enable KOTO to provide an additional 15 places to disadvantaged youth from ethnic minority backgrounds, particularly women, to complete our 24-month internationally-certified hospitality program. Full board, commercial cookery or hospitality, English language, computer and our crucial life skills program are included.
Despite Vietnam's rapid development, the UN states 90% of the poor live in rural areas and 50% of the ethnic minority population live in poverty. Youth comprise 18.4% of the population, however, they experience very high unemployment rates. Many have not finished elementary school. Without education and training, these youth have very little opportunity and become victims of trafficking or abuse. These funds will provide more places to rural and ethnic minority women to break the poverty cycle.
International recognition of the KOTO 24-month internationally-accredited holistic hospitality training program are numerous. Our trainees are highly sought after by industry as they are well trained and empowered - not simply 'job ready'. This holistic approach contributes to the program's overall high retention rate of approximately 90% for each student intake and a 100% job placement rate for graduates including our rural and ethnic minority youth, who had not completed elementary schooling.
Our 1,000 strong alumni are working across Vietnam and abroad, many now in very senior positions, demonstrating the success of KOTO. An independent evaluation of KOTO alumni found 100% employment rates continued one year after graduation. Our recent female rural and ethnic minority graduates have chosen to remain in Hanoi or returned home to open cafes, homestays or work in local hotels in nearby cities, transforming their lives, their family and their communities and embrace their heritage.