Updated: Apr 9, 2021
It feels like the coronavirus came out of nowhere. One day our KOTO on Van Mieu restaurant was packed full with hungry tourists but the next it was sitting empty in a lockdown.
At the same time, out in Yên Viên, there were 134 nervous trainees holed up in our training center. I was worried sick that we might never go back to work. That I might have to send them all home and crush the dreams we had spent so long building.
It was tough and it was scary and, if I’m honest, I’ve never been more anxious in my life - we had no idea what would happen in a week, let alone a month, let alone one year.
But here we are one year on and we’re still puttering along albeit a little slower than we have in the past.
The restaurant on Van Mieu was unfortunately unsustainable when the tourist trade disappeared and closed, sadly, in August of 2020. In November, however, we opened our new restaurant in a quiet alley in Tay Ho serving Hanoi’s expat community a variety of tasty dishes. It has been a hard slog but we are finally beginning to see the fruits of our labour.
But… and there is always a but… it has been costly. Keeping our students fed and clothed and sheltered through this transition period has not been cheap. Our costs have not changed but our income did take a substantial hit.
And so I am asking for your support once again. I am asking that you dig deep but not to donate but rather give us a leg up. We need a boost. We need you to put your metaphorical hands together and create a foot hold so that we can climb back up to where we were before the pandemic.
I know it’s a difficult time for everyone. That money is tight. But you’re not just buying food or blankets or an education - you’re giving hope to a young person who needs it now more than ever. Hope for a brighter future. Hope for a better life. Hope for a better tomorrow.
When the COVID pandemic ends we will be well positioned to bounce back. But in the meantime, your support has never been more important.
Please see the KOTO Covid Continuity Fund Information Pack. For more information.
You can also read more about KOTO's Covid Story.
If you have any questions or concerns please don’t hesitate to ask.
All the best,