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This article is about the charitable organisation. For other uses, see KOTO (disambiguation).
KOTO logo

KOTO is a not-for-profit restaurant and vocational training program based in Hanoi, Vietnam. Its staff consists primarily of former street children who have received training in catering through KOTO itself or other similar charities.

The organisation was started in 1996 by an Australian of Korean-Vietnamese origin[1] Jimmy Pham. He asked street children what they needed to make a start in life and their answer was "we need skills so we can find stable jobs". KOTO is now a 120-seat restaurant, and an organisation teaching life skills as well as culinary ones.

The name of the organisation comes from the phrase "Know One, Teach One", part of a quote by its founder:

"The greatest accomplishment for the person who has helped you, is to see you stand on your own two feet and then in turn help someone else that reminds you of yourself, because if you Know One, then you should Teach One."[2]

By 2008 KOTO had become one of the biggest and best known restaurants in Hanoi. As well as the Hanoi training school, KOTO also now has a restaurant and training school in Saigon.[2] KOTO's operation was featured in a BBC documentary film.[3]

Street children and disadvantaged youths within the KOTO program study hospitality skills, the English language, and essential life skills. The practical skills are gained at the KOTO restaurant.[4]

After such education many of the young staff are invited to work in top hotels and restaurants in Hanoi.[5]


  1. ^ Know One, Teach One, Christopher R. Cox, April 2010, Reader's Digest
  2. ^ a b NY Times Travel Guide, Asia, Vietnam, Hanoi, Where to eat, KOTO, Frommer's Review, Frommer's Vietnam, 3rd Edition
  3. ^ "KOTO - training Hanoi street kids in restaurant skills", "Profitable Hospitality" web-site
  4. ^ "Know One, Teach One", Jimmy Pham, CNN News, March 2007
  5. ^ Street Voices Organization

This article is related to the List of non-governmental organizations in Vietnam.