Provide 15 women in Vietnam with chef training

by KOTO Company Limited
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Provide 15 women in Vietnam with chef training
Provide 15 women in Vietnam with chef training
Provide 15 women in Vietnam with chef training
Provide 15 women in Vietnam with chef training
Provide 15 women in Vietnam with chef training
Provide 15 women in Vietnam with chef training
Provide 15 women in Vietnam with chef training
Provide 15 women in Vietnam with chef training
Provide 15 women in Vietnam with chef training
Provide 15 women in Vietnam with chef training
Provide 15 women in Vietnam with chef training
Chef training with a restaurant's kitchen manager
Chef training with a restaurant's kitchen manager

Covid19 has taken a great toll on the hospitality industry in Vietnam, and therefore affected KOTO's training program directly. However, KOTO has shown its strong commitment by keeping all trainees at our training center during government lockdown in March 2020 and organizing different programs to make up the loss of practical opportunities caused by the closure of restaurants/bars and international borders, such as in-house cooking and mixology competitions, empowering trainees to operate an in-house café, etc. Despite the downturn caused by covid19, 100% of class 34 trainees got full-time jobs at restaurants/hotels/resorts across the country as the pandemic situation in Vietnam has improved and KOTO has been staying closely in touch with them to provide timely employment support. 

The pandemic affected KOTO's restaurant business tremendously and therefore affected our revenue. Facing the financial difficulty, KOTO had to think creatively and have succesfully mobilized different sources of income to keep our commitment of feeding, training and caring for 140 trainees during this challenging time. We tapped into emergency relief funding from our long-standing partners, organized fundraising events and campaigns, and engaged KOTO alumni in fundraising. It is worth noting here that the KOTO Alumni Community have together raised 17,000USD to provide food for all trainees following our call for support. In addition, during this time, we focused on building capacity for our staff, so that we will get back stronger. 

KOTO has moved fast to weather covid19. We have closed down our Training Restaurant on Van Mieu, which mainly attracted international tourists, and moved to a new location targeting expatriates and more affluent locals. We diversified our income streams by building joint ventures with corporates, doing catering and business consultancy, etc. With a whole new strategy, menu and location, we are hoping to revive our restaurant business soon to retain a valuable training environment for our trainees. 

KOTO alumni continue to demonstrate the KOTO's philosophy "Know One Teach One" and giving back, as well as be the role models for their fellow trainees. They continue to grow even after they graduate from KOTO and give back to their community and KOTO. A KOTO alumni just got a full scholarship to study for a bachelor's degree in Professional Communication at RMIT University in Ho Chi Minh City. Another KOTO alumni from class 6, who is now a Hotel General Manager in Australia is raising funds for KOTO's annual fundraising event. He, together with 3 other KOTO alumni, are currently sponsoring KOTO trainees. 

We would like to share with you a story of one of our amazing trainees:

Ha comes from the Ha Tinh province in central Vietnam. Ha Tinh is a central province and one of the poorest in Vietnam due to the harsh natural climate. Many of the 39 human trafficking victims found dead at the back of a lorry in Essex, the UK, hailed from the Ha Tinh province.

Ha was orphaned from a very young age where she spent years in a support centre until the age of 18. She then returned to her hometown to live with her grandfather where they lived on just a monthly pension of USD $13.00. Despite growing up with unfathomable hardship, Ha is one of the friendliest, positive and energetic trainees you'll meet!

"I feel so grateful to be chosen to study at KOTO. After all the misfortune and challenges life has given to me, I truly believe that KOTO provides me with an amazing opportunity for my future. KOTO gives me a family, where there is lots of love, all the sisters and brothers are so warm-hearted. I do not see any discrimination. Every day, I am excited to go to the training restaurant to observe and practice what we have been taught. More wonderfully, my training is totally free. I believe after two years of living and studying at KOTO, I will have a chance to create a better life".

A better life is what Ha deserves and with your support, KOTO's vocational training program will change the life of Ha and the lives of many more.

 

Trainees making mid-autumn mooncake
Trainees making mid-autumn mooncake
English tutoring session
English tutoring session
Ha, a KOTO trainee
Ha, a KOTO trainee

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Female trainees completing their culinary cooking
Female trainees completing their culinary cooking

In December 2019, KOTO commenced training a small number of marginalized women to become chefs. They are currently learning the importance of hygiene and sanitation; awareness and understanding of different dietary and allergy requirements; correctly using food preparation equipment; preparing dishes using basic methods of cookery, including appetisers and salads as well as stocks, sauces and soups. 

In addition to their commercial cookery studies, KOTO is providing these young women with English classes, computer skills and life skills to ensure they are not only ‘job-trained’ but empowered to determine their futures. Please meet two of our trainees in a recent documentary shown on Al Jazeera.

Whilst their training was interrupted during the government-mandated three-week Covid-19 lockdown in Hanoi, we were delighted to see all the trainees participate in small group self-study sessions and extracurricular activities to keep all 150 trainees entertained and engaged. They also organised barista, bartending and cooking competitions to ensure they had opportunities to practice and finesse their skills. Some of our volunteers continued to provide English classes via zoom during the lockdown too. Once the lockdown was lifted, we were delighted to see the trainees more focused on their studies and training. 

According to the World Bank, poverty rates could double,from 18% to 31% in Vietnam as a consequence of Covid-19. Recent analysis by CARE and Plan International states Covid-19 “could disproportionately affect women and girls” and “even after the outbreak has been contained, women and girls may continue to suffer from ill-effects for years to come”.UNICEF has recognized the importance of “access to continuous education” for women as one of their key priorities during and post the pandemic.

These women are at increased risk of being exploited, trafficked or finding themselves further marginalized with the expected and sustained economic downturn following the Covid-19 pandemic. Consequently,empowering women to participate actively in the economy is critical to reducing poverty and building a sustainable economy in Vietnam.

We are receiving many more calls for placement but this is only possible with the generous financial support of people like you.   Again, thank you for enabling KOTO to help break the cycle of poverty in Vietnam. Please help us to spread the word!

Females trainees in the kitchen
Females trainees in the kitchen
Trainees preparing a dish
Trainees preparing a dish
Trainees preparing a dish
Trainees preparing a dish
Trainees enjoying their chef training
Trainees enjoying their chef training
Life skills class - empowering our trainees
Life skills class - empowering our trainees

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Organization Information

KOTO Company Limited

Location: Ha Noi - Vietnam
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Project Leader:
Thao Nguyen
Ha Noi, Vietnam
$13,357 raised of $50,000 goal
 
69 donations
$36,643 to go
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