Jimmy Pham

Founder at KOTO
Viet Nam

Jimmy Pham’s journey is a testament to resilience and compassion. Born during the Vietnam War to a Vietnamese mother and Korean father, he fled with his family to Australia, overcoming poverty and adversity with his mother’s unwavering dedication. After studying tourism, Pham returned to Vietnam in 1996 and was deeply affected by the widespread poverty among children.

Recognizing the need for practical, sustainable support, he founded KOTO in 1999, starting with a small sandwich shop to train homeless children in culinary skills. The concept grew into KOTO Van Mieu Restaurant, a six-story establishment in Hanoi that employs over 90% of its staff from KOTO’s alumni network.

Despite challenges like COVID-19, Pham expanded KOTO into a vocational training school, embodying the “know one, teach one” philosophy. His unwavering belief in empowerment has transformed countless lives, demonstrating that compassion and vision can ignite positive change.