Hanoi, Vietnam - November 20:
The KOTO Foundation organized an annual fundraising ride for its 15th time - Dream Ride, which raised a record this year - $8,500. Almost 100 cyclists pedalled more than 60 km on the most scenic roads, experiencing iconic historic sites in the countryside of northern Hanoi whilst at the same time contributing to sponsor scholarships to at-risk and disadvantaged youths in Vietnam. The ride concluded with a hearty meal serving by KOTO trainees. Ms. Cynthia Mann won the first prize, a two day getaway courtesy of Intrepid Travel. The second prize, a dinner for two at Pots’nPans, went to Mr Herve Mangon. And the third prize, a shopping voucher for Emporium, won by Mr Dan Hamer.
Growing from just 30 riders in 2001 to over 100 riders KOTO has been able to raise over $265,000 USD over the last 15 years. Each year the event have attracted around 100-200 riders to fundraise for KOTO trainee scholarships. KOTO Dream Ride 2016 was sponsored by Pan Pacific, Ugether, Furbrew Beer Bar, Starbucks Vietnam, Exotissimo Travel, Chops Vietnam, International SOS, Crown Relocation, Pots n Pans, Intrepid Travel, Emporium.
A number of the participants showed their excitement through this experience. The organizer of the US Embassy Team said:
“On behalf of the US Embassy, I want to thank you for an amazing experience and fun event! We had a lot of fun yesterday. The weather was perfect, the ride was inspiring to ride through the villages and plantations and the food and beer was wonderful! Thank you for making it so easy to register and rent bikes. Count us in next year for joining this event again”.
On behalf of The KOTO Foundation, the founder, Jimmy Pham expresses his gratitude to sponsors, participants and all supporters who have made this event a success: “Thank you very much for your fantastic support for our Dream Ride event this year. Your generosity and participation have made a significant contribution to bringing a dream of new and comfortable facility of the brand-new KOTO training centre in Yen Vien, Gia Lam, Hanoi to a reality.”
KOTO stands for “Know One, Teach One”. It is a foundation and social enterprise, aiming to educate and empower at-risk and disadvantaged Vietnamese youths. There are now over 1000 graduates and 200 trainees and any one time.