KOTO has strategic, reciprocal partnerships that help uphold the work that KOTO does. Macquarie University, one of Australia’s leading universities, has a partnership with KOTO that has stood the test of time: the PACE Volunteer Programme. Every six months a new set of volunteers visits KOTO in Vietnam. In July 2015, eight volunteers from the university traveled to KOTO in Hanoi to do volunteer work across various departments. Below, are some short stories about this year’s volunteers’ ways of helping KOTO this summer.
Vanessa and Dharshini have been working in the Welfare and Training departments, by teaching life skills classes, developing guidelines for a trainee committee and collecting statistical data for use in the support of monitoring and evaluating the mental health of the trainees.
Rosa-Clare and Corey supported the KOTO Marketing departments in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi. They teamed up to develop new marketing collateral, and t-shirt designs for the KOTO 2015 Dream Trip. Rosa-Clare and Corey also generated engaging marketing materials to help push both the Enterprise and Foundation aspects of the KOTO social enterprise.
Sharon and Charlotte used their skills to provide English instruction for the KOTO Training Department, to further advance the trainees conversational skills, in preparing them for the future job market. As native speakers of English, the ability to hold conversational lessons is a benefit to trainees, who would otherwise not be able to have as much practice. This was applied through full classes, and intense, one on one trainee tutoring.
Macquarie University students. Image Credit: Macquarie University
Shibhon and Thorunn worked with the People and Performance department. The team has worked tirelessly to ensure the smooth running of the 2015 KOTO Dream Trip, on both administrative and logistic preparation for the trip. They also worked to improve the KOTO Future Leaders Programme so that the group of twelve trainees in the programme will be able to pursue higher aspirations.
The help provided by Macquarie University PACE Volunteer Programme is greatly appreciated, and such enthusiasm will always be welcome to return to the KOTO community! g with a few kitchen trainee’s from class 26 Ha Noi.