23 May 2019
"My father passed away 2 years ago and my mother remarried. Prior to joining KOTO, I was living on my own. I did many jobs such as ironing clothes or working as an internet sales assistant but my income was very unstable.
In my free time, I like playing football and playing with cats and dogs. Sometimes I reward myself with a sleep in. In the future, I wish I could have an opportunity to travel to many places to appreciate cultural diversity. I would also like to try camping and BBQs and endless chit chat with friends. My strength is that, I am quite independent, I dont want to rely on anyone because it might make me lazy".
15 May 2019
"I was born into a family of 6 in a remote area. We are totally reliant on the income from the farm to support us. We are recognized as a semi-poverty household and receive monthly financial support from the government.
My hobbies are painting, cooking and decorating things. I love art and I am pretty handy. I really like creating new things from old and unwanted items that people can enjoy. This, I consider to be my proudest strength. However, sometimes, I do not have faith in my own abilities and this makes me hesitant. I rarely express myself, and I am afraid to communicate with new people.
My feeling is KOTO is the right place for me to start my dream. Joining this family, I have opportunities to study and raise my awareness of the possibilities available. KOTO provides me with a solid foundation to build upon the kindness of every member - the trainees, the teachers, the volunteers and more. Therefore, I feel like I am back in my real home again".
10 May 2019
"I was born into a family of 8 and life has really been a struggle for us. I have worked since I was very young but I have never given up on my pursuit of an education. The one thing that I have always been grateful for is that my family always share unconditional love with each other. That is why I have a strong motivation to live, work and learn for a better life for my family.
From the very first moment I walked into KOTO, I felt that everyone is very warm, genuine and welcoming. The elder brothers and sisters really showed their care for the new members, as if we have been a part of the family for a long time".
10 May 2019
"I am from a family of 4 but in 2017, my father passed away because of cancer. After that, my mum, my two younger siblings and I moved to live in my Uncle's house. We did many jobs in order to make a living. My mom sells vegetables, my younger brother works as a towel wrapper and my younger sister works as a waitress. Despite us all working hard, our total income was around 250USD per month and therefore was not enough for us to cover all the living expenses. I applied KOTO in 2017, but at that time, our family situation was too difficult so I delayed starting to support my mom by working. I study here because I know my future ahead of me is far different to what I have been through".
26 April 2019
"I was born into a family of 9: my parents, my 6 siblings and I. My family relies primarily on my parents’ farming work to surive so we receive aid from the local government.
My hobbies are reading and singing. I also love traveling. I hope that in the future, when I have more money, I can travel to more places within Vietnam and overseas. My biggest strength is that, I like standing on a stage and singing songs. I am also able to easily convese with new people and I like to make new friends. My weakness is that, sometimes, I am a bit sensitive.
I don’t like instant and fatty food because it is not good for my health. Therefore I want to be a good chef and cook wholesome food for my family and I".
26 March 2019
"I have 3 siblings. My mother often gambled and amassed huge debts. She left suddenly and we have no idea where she is now. For many years, my father avoided a 20 year jail senetence but in 2011, he finally decided to complete his sentence. My 3 siblings and I lived with our grandparents. My eldest brother works to support our grandparents to raise us.
I usually spend my free time reading books and watching TV programs which relate to life skills. I love listening to music. When I listen to my favorite songs and I like to sing along.
I believe that, to make others happy, you need to make yourself happy first. Therefore, I will try my best to optimize the chance that KOTO has given me and be a happy person".
26 February 2019
"I do not know much about my father, since he left before my mother delivered me into this world. My mother is now in the Hanoi drug rehabilitation centre No. 2. The Supporting Center No.3 raised me until I was 18. Before joining KOTO, I was living with my aunt and my grandmother and working as a waiter in a coffee shop.
My hobbies are playing soccer, learning English and dancing. I am also keen on learning by observing and following others. Sometimes, I see that I am easily embarrassed and often procrastinate, which I know can prevent me from achieving my fullest potential. Now, I am starting to think about all the difficulties that my mother and I have gone through to push myself in situations where I feel uncomfortable or when I start to procrastinate. I believe that you have to start your task to come closer to reaching your goal. ".
01 December 2017
"My grandmother played an important part in my life, without her, I will not be where I am today. I lived in a pagoda for a while. Her love is what kept me going throughout all these years. Her strength inspired me to go on, to fight for a better future. She is the biggest blessing of my life. She taught to be always grateful, to live a life of love and purpose. If I had one wish, I always want her to be happy and healthy."
25 November 2017
"I told my brothers that I wanted to get a job as soon as possible, so I could start making money. They told me off for that naive and immature thought. My brothers regretted not having the privilege to study more and reminded me to never take any learning opportunities for granted. That memory taught me one thing, that as human beings, everyone has this eagerness to learn more and more. And I think, it is a beautiful struggle we have, wanting to know so much about the world around us."
20 November 2017
"My parents divorced when I was very young. My younger sister and I had to live with my grandmother; we did not receive any support from my parents after the divorce, and our life was really difficult. My grandmother wasn't able to two grandchildren, so I was sent to Light and Warm House when I was 11 years old. I worked in a restaurant in Cao Thang street. I dream to one day become a professional chef so I can explore the hospitality world and also able to support my family."
15 November 2017
"The biggest lesson I have learnt is to appreciate every single thing around me. This dusty motorbike, this beautiful lightweight bicycle, the greenest garden with a bunch of fresh herbs and vegetables, this old television, the gifted cooker, and of course, the 153-square meter house that sheltered me as I slept come rain or shine. It is kind of different, isn’t it?"
05 November 2017
"Even though I up without a family, I think I am still luckier than people I met during my time with disabled people. I appreciate the time I spent with them, they showed me the different colours of their lives. Fortunately, in this very sad family situation, I still found the positive energy to live through those years, to be humorous and friendly."
30 October 2017
"I have a dream to become a chef. So, during the summer vacation, I worked part-time as a waiter in a small restaurant. In my spare time, I read books and watch news about food and the catering process to enhance my knowledge. Additionally, I accumulated much practical experience such as working as a waiter in Pho 24, just to realise my dream."
23 October 2017
"I am the youngest in the family. My elder brother left home and we have no clue where he is. My elder sister is still attending school. Unfortunately, my mum suffers from cranial neuropathy and does not recognize us at times. I never knew the reason for my brother's leaving. Maybe he could not handle the pressure with mum? Maybe he wanted to start a new life and pursue his own happiness?"
17 October 2017
"Although life was hard, my dad always taught me and my brother to be a good person. Therefore, I grew up with love to do good things and always try to help people to the best of my ability. I really miss my dad now and also I want to keep him staying with us longer. I cherish the opportunity KOTO has offered me."
12 October 2017
"Family is my top priority. But if I have to answer the "tell me about yourself" question, I would confidently describe myself as a learning individual. I believe that education is the most powerful weapon to change the world. Therefore, I always try hard when it comes to my studies. Fortunately, my hard work paid off! I got good academic results throughout school and received a full from Vietnamese-Lao T78 Friendship School."
07 October 2017
"I grew up in a small family with my parents and a younger brother. I thought I was lucky because I still have a family to care about. However, life became tougher because my dad was addicted to gambling. He gambled away all our valuable property in the house. It made my poor family even poorer. I applied at KOTO with one intended purpose: to learn a vocation and earn more money from that so I can support my family."
01 October 2017
"When I was a child, my mother passed away leaving me alone. Despite the help of my uncle, I was adopted by a stepmother in the same town. She was very caring and loved me as her child. Since then, my life was full of happiness and I promised I will be a good person to show her my gratitude one day. But everything did not last long well. When I was 13 years old, my stepmother also passed away and I had to go to SOS Go Vap, a volunteer organization for disadvantaged children. One day, I will become a good person and be able to help disadvantaged children like me."
25 September 2017
"A friend of mine notified me about KOTO. As a kid, I was taught to sincerely value every given opportunity. Thus, I applied and got admitted. And if you want to know my thoughts about that decision so far, I would proudly say that KOTO has become my life’s second best opportunity, besides my family. For me, life is not and should not be about waiting. So if you want something, follow it with all your heart and passion."
20 September 2017
"I have a kinda, peculiar-but-special hobby: I like to spend time reminiscing and reflecting on my moments in life. My weaknesses are a bit unusual. I am talkative and introverted at the same time. However, that teaches me to respect every relationship I have. What matters to me are happiness and my inner peace. I do not give that much attention to possessions since I can make a simple living anywhere. My parents left when I was just a kid. Therefore, I sometimes yearn for their love."
15 September 2017
"I was born in Cambodia. When I was 3 years old, my dad was addicted to gambling and he went away, and our family was in a huge debt. My mum grasped at straws to bring me to Vietnam and we became homeless. Luckily, we were adopted by the kind people in the Loc Tho temple. We did not want to surrender to this fate, my mum and I worked hard to earn a living. I worked as a waiter in Nha Trang restaurant and took responsibility for taking care of motorbikes and cars in the pagoda."