Corporate social responsibility

Corporate Social Responsibility

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is increasingly being recognised as something that not only business but also institutions, educators and students should be involved in.

THE-ICE recognised that the best contribution we could make was to identify and support a number of hospitality training initiatives that support disadvantaged youth in developing countries.

Being committed to supporting such initiatives, THE-ICE has partnered with KOTO and Sala Bai, each chosen for their demonstrated and continuing success and their remarkable dedication to their causes.

They offer both personal and professional inspiration to those who have become involved with them.

KOTO, Vietnam

koto-logo-400wKOTO is a vocational training organisation for street and disadvantaged youth in Vietnam. KOTO’s mantra – Know One, Teach One – reflects the belief that if you’re in a position where you can help someone less fortunate than yourself then you should help them.

KOTO accepts youths who are mostly orphaned, homeless or poor from both the city and rural communities – in Hanoi alone, it is estimated that there are some 19,000 young people living on the streets. With multi-locations in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, KOTO utilises their 200-trainee capacity training centres to support youths and teach hospitality (either Front of House or Commercial Cookery), English language, and life skills such as personal hygiene and money management.

Born in Ho Chi Minh City and raised in Australia from when he was two years old, Jimmy Pham returned to Vietnam in 1996 aged 23. Shocked by the number of young homeless, a chance meeting with four street kids changed everything for a man who had studied tourism in Sydney and had been working as a travel agent in Melbourne. His determination to support these disadvantaged youths resulted in KOTO being established in 2000 and continuing to grow since that time.

KOTO trainees enter free-of-charge into a 24-month programme which begins with a family environment where they feel safe, happy and cared for and where they can develop into confident young adults. Provided with ongoing health care, vaccinations, uniforms, laundry, meals, and a monthly training allowance – the trainees are also provided with accommodation for the first 18 months, then sourcing alternative accommodation for the final six months as an integration into life after graduating.

Every six months KOTO recruits up to 30 young people from the streets, between the ages of 16-22, following recommendations coming from a wide network of sources, including individuals, local orphanages or other organisations dealing with poverty, trafficking, physical abuse, alcoholism and other addictions. The training is hard at times, but the trainees’ journey is an amazing one: they can experience their transformation from abandoned, neglected, insecure young individuals with low self-esteem to empowered, knowledgeable and optimistic young men and women.

KOTO International Ltd is a registered not-for-profit organisation in Australia that raises funds to directly support the KOTO Project in Vietnam through events, sponsorships and donations. KOTO sees itself as being more than a charity, and that its unique structure offers a social enterprise model that can be applied anywhere in the world. Vocational training is the key to a sustainable future for street kids and disadvantaged youth throughout the world. It is a model based on not only providing youth with training and jobs but providing them with valuable life skills to ensure they can contribute to their community.

THE-ICE and its accredited members are proud to support the efforts of KOTO and continue to financially support its Trainee Sponsorship Programme.

For more information, or to donate, help or visit the KOTO training restaurants please visit the KOTO website


Sala Bai Hotel & Restaurant School, Cambodia

Sala Baï Hotel & Restaurant School was founded in 2002 by the French-based NGO Agir pour le Cambodge. With the long-term goal to reduce poverty in Cambodia through social and professional training of young under-privileged Cambodians, Sala Bai offers free hotel school education to students coming from under-privileged families in rural districts from all over Cambodia.

Each year, the School trains around 100 young disadvantaged Cambodians to be restaurant staff, cooks, receptionists and/or housekeeping attendants. During the 12-month training programme, the school covers all training fees and daily expenses – including accommodation, food, transport, insurance and medical expenses – for the students.

Priority is given to female students who make up about 70% of each intake, however all students are drawn from under-privileged social and economic family backgrounds in Cambodia, are aged between 17 and 23 years, and meet a minimum education level.

Sala Bai operates a 4-bedroom training hotel (costing US$15 per night to stay) and restaurant with the proceeds of these activities supporting the student training programme. Over 1,000 trainees have graduated and all have secured a job within one-year of graduating.

THE-ICE and its accredited members contribute funds to support a student through the ‘Friends of Sala Bai’ network. This not-for-profit organisation is supported by individuals, companies and other community-based organisations whose sole purpose is to raise funds in support of the Sala Bai Hotel & Restaurant School in Cambodia.

For more information, to donate, help or visit the School please visit the Sala Bai Hotel & Restaurant School website