Fresh off of the successful KOTO dinner at the end of January, the H2H team visited the KOTO Training Centre on Wednesday February 11th. KOTO stands for Know One, Teach One, and it was started by a Vietnamese-Australian man named Jimmy Phan. The training centre that we visited takes at-risk Vietnamese youth and gives them a two year apprenticeship (fully paid for, including room and board) in the restaurant/hospitality industry. This training includes both kitchen and front-of-house, and by all accounts the trainees are in high demand before graduating.
We rode out to the centre in D7 and were able to meet some of the trainers and students. We saw a front-of-house class and an English class run by a volunteer EFL teacher. The kids, aged late teens, seemed pretty happy to see us, and interested in our bike trip - but politely declined when we asked them if they wanted to join us on the 2000km trek.
It was, I think, the first of our visits to centres for the actual people that we'll be supporting, and although it was brief, it brought a smile to our faces. We got a group shot with a few of the trainers and students in front of the picture of the founder Jimmy Phan. The quote reads "The greatest accomplishment for someone who has helped you is to see you stand on your own two feet and in turn help someone else who reminds you of yourself - because when you know one then you should teach one."
Words by Isaac.