A Journey Home – The Story of Sahaya Vietnam


Forced to flee Vietnam as a child, Chung Truong went on to create a beautiful life and family in the US. But as career and family was settling in, an emptiness overtook him, eventually leading him back to the country he barely remembered but ran deep in his blood. There, with a band of courageous nuns and some unlikely, tough-as-nails volunteers, he built a house for an impoverished family. Then another. Soon there were hundreds… Educational programs would follow. But the best was yet to come.

Andy Lauer and Paul Dano, recording the narration (July 24, 2022)

Documentary status:

The documentary is in the final stages of post-production; submissions to film festivals for 2023 are in progress. Stay tuned for the 2023 film premiere!

Narrator: actor Paul Dano

Paul Dano is known from movies such as “Little Miss Sunshine” (2006), “There will be blood” (2007), “Cowboys and Aliens” (2011), “12 years a slave” (2013), “Love & Mercy” (2014), “The Batman” (2022), and is in the current Steven Spielberg movie “The Fabelmans“.

Director: Andy Lauer/ReelAid

ReelAid founder/filmmaker Andy Lauer is directing the film. For 14 years ReelAid has made professional videos for nonprofit organizations. ReelAid’s work has covered HIV/AIDS, deaf youth, and women’s health rights among other topics, and has included the talents, pro bono, of  Jeremy Irons, Brad Pitt, Adrien Brody, Sidney Poitier and director Peter Berg.

Andy Lauer, a feature and TV writer/director has mentored under filmmakers Oliver Stone, Michael Bay, comedic master, James Burrows and action/drama wiz, Peter Berg – most recently directing two projects for his company (Friday Night Lights). He has shot on every medium in the toughest of conditions (The North Pole) and the most unique (underwater, inside shark cages).

He is also the resident director on the single-camera hit comedy The Adventures of Velvet Prozak. Lauer’s project The Hill That Chris Climbed won Best Feature at LA Film and Script Festival and Best Direction at NY International. The film follows fallen High School footballers and features Taylor Kitsch (Friday Night Lights) football legends Mike Ditka, Kurt Warner, Deacon Jones, Dallas Cowboys Owner, Jerry Jones and Commentator Al Michaels. And a sister-documentary film Tackling, Executive Produced by Peter Berg (Friday Night Lights, Battleship).  He also had triple duties directing/writing/producing The Tehuacan Project, a tender story about deaf children defying incredible obstacles in rural Mexico (Brad Pitt executive producer). He serves on the board of Sahaya International.

Editor and Sounds Design: Luke Charles Fisher

Director of Photography: Erik Lauer/ Nash Hagen

Original Score: Damir Price/ Bernard Kane

Sahaya International:

Sahaya International is a 100% volunteer-based 501(c)3 non-profit organization, based in Davis, California. It was founded in 1999 by HIV researcher Dr. Koen Van Rompay after an inspiring trip to India.

Nearly 10 years ago, Sahaya International and ReelAid first teamed up to produce the film Sahaya Going Beyond about the early days of Sahaya’s partnership with the people of rural India in their struggle for education, economic opportunity and healthcare, including treatment for children and adults suffering from HIV/AIDS. The film, narrated pro bono by Academy Award winner Jeremy Irons, spotlighted the inspiring transformation of a rural Indian community rising up to shatter the stigma and spread of AIDS, build schools and micro-businesses, and live with greater health, dignity and hope.

To view the documentary for free, click here or click on the DVD cover image.

The film Sahaya Going Beyond, with its focus on India, took Sahaya International to the next level by widening our ripple effect of “making a difference”. It has proven successful by increasing Sahaya’s visibility and furthering Sahaya’s programs of healthcare, education and socio-economic development in India.

Sahaya International and ReelAid have teamed up together once again to produce “The Journey Home, the story of Sahaya Vietnam” , which features the inspiring journey of the programs of Sahaya Vietnam. The story of people who triumph over despair: families moving from makeshift shelters to a sturdy home and more dignified life; children gaining access to schools, and then thriving; and communities previously isolated, now building much-needed bridges to safely cross rivers. The film reveals what we can achieve – supporters, donors and communities across the world – when we join together to overcome obstacles and build a better future. Together, more than 200 homes have been built, and more than 250 scholarships have been given to needy students.

Andy Lauer and Jeremy Irons working on the narration script of Sahaya Going Beyond.

Behind the scenes during the filming in Vietnam (2019)


Any amount we raise above what is needed to finish the documentary will be used to help children and families in Sahaya’s programs.

You can use this form below for online donations. To mail a check, make it payable to “Sahaya International” with mention “movie” and mail it to Sahaya International, 1504 Portola Street, Davis CA 95616. Click here to download the sponsorship form  to mail with your check. or add a note on how you like to be acknowledged, and provide us with your email ID so we can e-mail you the receipt.

Thank you in advance for your support.

Koen Van Rompay (Founder; Secretary); Chung Truong, Board member and Sahaya Vietnam coordinator; Ramin Yazdani (President)



$20 or more = Supporter

You will get your name in our online list of supporters and be invited to the premier screening of the video documentary.

Current list: Heidi Levitt, Jennifer Watanabe, Judy Newberry, Banafsheh Sadhegi, Kittie Ferguson, Gloria Partida, Ida-Maria Skavhaug, Autumn Labbe-Renault, Don Sodora, Virginia Thigpen, Steve Burns

$100 or more = Producer level I

All the benefits of Supporter, plus you will get your name in the video credits and website as Producer level I, and you will receive a copy of the DVD or free online access.

Current list: Senthil Cheetancheri, Geri De La Rosa, Vinita and Calvin Domier, Linda Sternberg, Ray and Verena Borton, Adele and Joab Maldonado, Danielle Newberry

$250 or more:  Producer level II

All the benefits of the Producer Level I, plus you will get your name in the video credits and website as Producer level II, plus you will be invited to a reception prior to the premier screening of the video documentary.

Current list: Mary Loibl, Nancy Foytik, Ronald Grafton, Louise and Till Angermann

$1,000 or more = VIP Producer

All the benefits of the Producer level II, plus you will get your name in the video credits and website as VIP Producer, plus you will be invited to a private dinner with Koen Van Rompay (founder of Sahaya International) and several Sahaya board members.

Current list: Bradley Lemonds, Paul Lauer, Peter Hull, Pierre Smit and Herb Jeong, Ramin Yazdani, Jeff Vo

$5,000 or more = Executive Producer

You will get all of the VIP Producer perks, plus your name & website in the film credits as Executive Producer.

Current list: Tony Swarthout, Koen Van Rompay


Students from underprivileged families reeive not only tuition scholarships, but also receive bicycles so they can more easily go to and from school.

Some of the pictures taken on the  trip in April 2019 when the documentary was recorded (click on the pictures to see a larger version)