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Vietnam! Moving Ahead Together | TOTO Delivers Schools to Rural Children as Japanese Toilet Culture Gains Popularity

TOTO has been instrumental in bringing Japanese toilet culture to the world, but its corporate culture of kindness has delivered a whole lot more.



Happy children at an opening ceremony of a new school building in 2023, the 14th school built in Na Pan village, northwest of Hanoi. (Photo courtesy of TOTO)

Read the full story on Japan 2 Earth - TOTO Delivers Schools to Rural Children as Japanese Toilet Culture Gains Popularity

"I never imagined I could help children attending rural schools through my work at this company, I feel incredibly happy." The passion of Mr Hai, who heads up the labor union at TOTO Vietnam, came through clearly even through the online platform. I was virtually attending a press briefing about the TOTO Group's social contribution activities. Mr Hai's words left me with a lasting impression.

Vietnam is a country experiencing rapid economic development. That is why growth rates compared to the same month of the previous year are always a central topic at management meetings. I've heard of executives at leading IT companies, a key industry in Vietnam, that achieved a 200% increase in quotas for three years straight. But they were let go when the goal was not reached the fourth year.

I was acquainted with one of these executives, so I couldn't believe my ears when I heard her news. At the same time, I understood it was a likely occurrence in today's Vietnam. The country's momentum is directly connected to Vietnam's appetite for growth, driven by the pursuit of profit.

In a society where such a perspective is taken for granted, TOTO Vietnam engages in volunteer initiatives to renovate and build schools in declining rural areas.

Fulfilling a Girl's Dream

Nearly 50 years have passed since the end of the Vietnam War. While industry is booming, schools in impoverished villages in remote areas of Vietnam have been deteriorating due to a lack of maintenance funds. 

In some schools, pillars have been eaten away by termites bringing buildings to the verge of collapse. Classrooms are unprotected from rain and wind. Distance from schools and hunger and poverty are other reasons that children cannot attend school. The situation is dire.

The front of an old, rundown school building with a falling-apart wooden fence and people standing in the courtyard
Binh Minh Kindergarten in Na Pan Village before the building was rebuilt. (Photo courtesy of TOTO)

TOTO Vietnam has been steadily engaged in volunteer activities to support schools, including donating school supplies and winter coats. But it was in 2016 that the company encountered a girl who dreamed of going to school but couldn't. 

"I want to go to school and study to become a teacher." These were her words.

From that time, TOTO Vietnam began to firmly focus its social contribution activities on education. With the cooperation of partner companies, it began building schools in 2017. To date, 15 schools have been built, realizing the dreams of over 2,000 children. 

Continue reading the full story on Japan 2 Earth to learn more about how TOTO is also bringing Japanese toilet culture to Vietnam.

And find more great articles on the environment and the challenges of achieving the SDGs on our affiliated website Japan 2 Earth (J2E), sparking a transition to a sustainable future.


(Read the article in Japanese.)

Author: Tsuneo Taguchi