Ms. Le Ly Hayslip
Global Village Foundation
The East Meets West Foundation
When Heaven and Earth Changed Places
Le Ly Hayslip has proven herself to be a courageous woman of many interests and has multiple talents as a humanitarian, philanthropist, and peacemaker. Over the last 40 years, she has devoted herself to the children of Asia while building a bridge of peace between the United States and Vietnam. She is the author of two autobiographical bestsellers, “When Heaven and Earth Changed Places” and “Child of War, Woman of Peace,” which were adapted for the film “Heaven and Earth” by Academy Award-winning director Oliver Stone.
Le Ly Hayslip is a Vietnamese-American who grew up in a poor village near Da Nang, Vietnam during the US / Vietnam war. Le Ly witnessed firsthand the horrors and hardship of the war in Vietnam, and overcoming all odds, moved to the US in 1970. In 1986, Le Ly returned to Vietnam and was stunned by the devastation, poverty, and disease left by the US / Vietnam War. Seeing an opportunity to make a difference, she founded The East Meets West Foundation and later the Global Village Foundation and became a bridge-builder by bringing American groups back to Vietnam to help restore her motherland and open the dialogue of peace between the two nations. By 1988, Le Ly was hosting and partnering with several international organizations, universities, and student groups from various countries to support volunteer projects, promote cultural exchanges, and provide critical assistance to the impoverished people of Vietnam, Southeast Asia, India, Sri Lanka, and many more.
In 1989, Le Ly Hayslip published her first of two best-selling autobiographical novels describing her life growing up in war-torn Vietnam – “When Heaven and Earth Changed Places”, followed by “Child of War, Woman of Peace” in 1993. Published in 17 different languages around the world, and as a rare primary source of the US / Vietnam War from the Vietnamese perspective, both novels made their way into the curriculum at numerous Universities across the US for Asian Studies, Woman’s Studies, Literature, and Vietnamese Conflict. In 1994, Le Ly’s autobiographical novels were adapted for the silver screen by Academy Award-winning director Oliver Stone. The film, titled “Heaven and Earth,” as well as her novels, remain among the few published sources describing life during the US / Vietnam War from the Vietnamese perspective.