Danish royal family donates $10,000 for Hanoi vocational project

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The embassy of Denmark Wednesday granted US$10,000 to a vocational charity project for street children in Hanoi.

Danish ambassador John Nielsen handed over the money to Jimmy Pham, the Vietnamese Australian founder of KOTO and director of Australia based KOTO International.

The grant came from the Danish royal family after the prince and the queen visited Vietnam in 2009 and witnessed the project's efforts to help street children in the country, the embassy said in a press release.

KOTO, which stands for Know One Teach One, is a project that helps street children pick up new skills and find jobs.

Jimmy Pham said when he returned to his home country after 22 years, he was shocked by the misery and desperation faced by poor Vietnamese children, and decided to start KOTO to help them.

The project started with a small sandwich shop in Hanoi, training nine street children.

Now, it is a system of one restaurant KOTO Van Mieu in Hanoi and two training centers in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City which have lifted more than 300 street children out of poverty.

The project's graduates now work at famous hotels in Hanoi, HCMC, Hoi An and Nha Trang, as well as Australia and Dubai.

KOTO has been named one of the world's leading social businesses and its founder was honored as a "Young Global Leader" at the World Economic Forum last year.

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