Speaker turns tragedy into success

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By Grace Delgado

 

Peace activist Le Ly Hayslip visited campus on Monday to share her memories of surviving the wartime in Vietnam.

Hayslip’s life in a village in central Vietnam was turned upside-down when American soldiers landed on China Beach. This turbulent time in her life inspired her book When the Heaven and Earth Switched Places, in which she discusses her experiences in torture camps, being raped and being displaced from her home. She claims to have endured her hardships under the guidance of Buddhism, which teaches that the past cannot be changed.

After the war, Hayslip was motivated to spearhead two NGOs, The Global Village Foundation and The East Meets West Foundation. These organizations provide humanitarian relief to build schools and medical facilities for women, children and the disabled.

The peace activist claims to be a “one woman show.” At the age of 65, she is raising three children of her own and 17 Vietnamese foster children. She also continue s to oversee both of her foundations, which have improved hundreds of infrastructures throughout Vietnam and have boosted the quality of life for over 25 years.

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