Jul 17, 2021

Q2 2021 Bethel Spring Update

Bethel's Love is Blind Project Update

Bethel’s mission is to empower children who are blind or visually impaired by: Providing high-quality care, education, life skills and livelihood opportunities to children who are blind or visually impaired.

In the last quarter, Bethel provided direct care for 88 blind and visually impaired children throughout our five sites in our Love is Blind Program. Bethel’s unique curriculum our children receive include: English and Chinese Braille, conversational English, Mathematics, Science, orientation and mobility, daily living skills, physical education, social studies, computer literacy, aqua therapy and more.

A breakdown of Bethel's current projects and children currently receiving Bethel's services:

Zhengzho Project: 9 Girls, 18 Boys. 27 Children total. 

Jiaozuo Project: 3 Girls, 7 Boys, 10 Children total. 

Nanjing Project: 1 Girl, 8 Boys, 9 Children total. 

Shangrao Project: 15 Girls, 11 Boys. 26 Children total. 

Beijing Headquarters: 7 Girls, 9 Boys, 16 Children total.

Family Building

In late May, our Beijing School invited 18 families of VI children to go on an educational trip to a local farm. Our teachers conducted different family building exercises that utilized aspects of the nature around. The feedback from the parents proved to be a valuable and needed experience that Bethel will look to follow up with next year.

Bethel's Outreach Program

During the same period, Bethel’s Outreach Program was able to conduct 5 VI-based trainings throughout the last quarter, directly reaching 1,540 people.

Trainings conducted:

4/8/21 Technology will change the future of the visually impaired. High tech visual aids and how the visually impaired can share with mobile phones and computers. Number of attendees: 489

4/23/21 World Book Day. Reading and making touc accessible books for visually impaired children. Number of attendees: 299

5/14/21 Hand drum learning for visually impaired children. Number attendees: 158

6/4/21 First aid training. Number of attendees: 45

6/26/21 School preparation and Braille learning for visually impaired children. Number of attendees: 549 

Supporting Critical Needs

This past June, Bethel identified 495 families from our preexisting networks that were in critical need of early intervention support. To support them, Bethel individually shipped each family the Bethel School's updated manual that teaches families how to raise their VI child during the most critical time of their early life. The book touches on the anatomy of th eyes, questions and checklists to ask doctors, educational and cognitive care, etc. The books were distributed free of charge. 

Supporting Bethel 

Thank you for your continued support! We could certainly not accomplish any of the milestones mentioned above without you. To continue providing services for 2021 we are still in need in funding. Your support is truly valued and is impacting so many blind and visually impaired children.

Links:

Mar 22, 2021

Q1 2021 New Year- Bethel Project Update

Olympian, Crystal Wu
Olympian, Crystal Wu

Teaching and Research

As a leading professional education institution for VI children throughout China, teaching and research also occupies an important position in the operation of the institution. 

Bethel’s Beijing Training Center, is where our professional educational team lead our school with our own pioneered educational curriculum, it is also a place where we host quarterly trainings, summer camps, and events year round.

Bethel’s teachers have been leaders in the creation of educational curriculum for children 0-7 years of age. Combining the learning characteristics of visually impaired children and multi-visually impaired children, the teaching team makes adjustments and modifications on the basis of existing courses every year. 

This year, under the supervision of the expert teacher, Li Shu'e, Bethel’s educational team focused on developing speech therapy assessments to make it clearer for parents, caregivers, and professionals to evaluate their child’s improvements.

 

Bethel’s Satellite Centers 

95% of the orphans in the orphanages are disabled children. The need for special education and rehabilitation is very urgent. There is a lack of professional special education teachers throughout the orphanages. There is a lack of professional special education supervision team for the visually impaired. 

Bethel secures partnerships throughout provinces in China with State orphanages. Bethel is given our own education wing, where we support all of the orphanage’s children that are blind and visually impaired. Bethel provides and pays for our own specialized teachers, educational supplies and specialized needs for our children. 

Bethel also has the added advantaged of integrating our resource network to help our orphans in the satellite sites to look for adoptive families to help orphans find their eternal home. Bethel currently has four satellite centers in Zhengzhou, Jiaozuo, Nanjing, and Jingdezhen. All of the schools in the centers are currently running and operational. Bethel actively cooperates with the epidemic management regulations of the orphanage. During the epidemic, Bethel and supplied epidemic safety materials to the satellite center’s orphanages. 

Bethel currently provides direct care for 83 children, and hundreds more throughout different initiatives.

 

Beijing Trainings (March ’21) Teaching Music to the Blind and VI with Crystal Wu

Since its establishment in 2003, Bethel has been deeply engaged in the field of early intervention for visually impaired children. Early intervention needs comprehensive, multi-dimensional, multi-disciplinary support, not only to support children, but also to support the whole family. 

Therefore, Bethel has launched a series of trainings through our parent support program, which unites many excellent organizations and people to bring new ideas and productive activities that parents can do with their children with VI. 

For these trainings, we also invited Ms. Wu Jing, an old friend of Bethel, to share with the groups in Beijing some of her valuable insights, experiences and successes (Below you will find excerpts from Crystal’s amazing story). 

 

Crystal Wu, mentor, role model, and supporter of Bethel, shares her story:

“When I was born, my eyes were shining and bright, and everyone loved me. Just because. Therefore, my parents named me "Jing", which means "Crystal". But life is full. It’s full of irony, and I'm not immune. 15 months after I was born, I got eye cancer, Blind. In an instant..

Before school, I didn't even know that I was "blind". At that time, my parents always went to ordinary schools and tried their best to get me accepted to school, but the other party always answered "No, she has to go to a school for the blind."

I started to think, what is "blindness"? After many years, I realized a question: How much potential do I have to make the world a better place? Especially to help those who are in the same situation as me live a better life? To do this, I must learn to work for myself.

When I was 10 years old, I tasted the sweetness of success for the first time. Standing on the stage, I wanted to sing with a microphone in hand, and I was very nervous. I sang well and won a provincial singing competition. Slowly, I learned to overcome fear and stick to my dreams bravely. Back then, I wanted to be a musician, but others said I could only be a fortune teller. In China, blind people usually do this, and I thought I would go beyond this.

Walking on the street, I don’t want to hear someone whispering, saying that I’m a blind woman, why is it a shame to not see? I continue to bury my head in music, and then in sports, these activities are something that no one can think of blind people can do. So I attended. I began to prove to myself and to others that I am a normal person and blindness is just one of my signs. After a while, I got the flute and my flute performance certificate and toured all over China. After achieving these achievements, I know that I am changing, I am growing, I am influencing the people around me, and I am using practical actions to refute everyone's doubts about the ability of the blind.”

 

Bethel in 2021

1. Bethel has four satellite centers  (Zhengzhou, Jiaozuo, Nanjing, and Jingdezhen) that have successfully replicated Zhengzhou’s original site. Bethel has just secured a partnership with Jiangxi Shangrao Welfare Institute and have added a new center for Bethel, which is expected to serve 30 orphans.

2. Bethel’s Beijing Center continues to provide weekly and quarterly rehabilitation services and training for visually impaired children in the family.

3. The Lego Foundation and The Trinity Foundation are currently working with Bethel on possible future educational collaborations.

4. Bethel’s Beijing Center will host a summer camp for blind children over 8 years old, through a parent-child summer camp.

5. Continue to expand the existing online service model of Bethel. Expand the service scale, and provide high-quality online training services for parents of visually impaired children.

 

Thank you for staying with us in 2021! We are currently below our fundraising goals for the year, so any type of support would go so far. Blessings! 

Bethel Music Training
Bethel Music Training
Paper art crafts
Paper art crafts
Chinese New Year Lanterns
Chinese New Year Lanterns

Links:

Nov 23, 2020

Q3 2020 Summer Covid Update

This is our teacher Guo with student CiCi
This is our teacher Guo with student CiCi

Covid Update

Since our last update, we are happy to announce that the Bethel Training Center in Beijing has reopened! Susan Qu, Bethel China's Country Director said it best:

"During Covid, We learned that no matter how restless and turbulent the outside world is, as long as we persist in serving the hearts of visually impaired children, everything will change for the better.”

The Beijing center is now reopened to 22 visually impaired children whom come from all over the country (the furthest of them coming from Xinjiang province). The Beijing center is essential for Bethel as it is not only the headquarters for the Bethel School but it is the central hub for our satellite project sites and home to most of our national trainings. Bethel would like to give a special thanks to Gulf For Good for their immediate support to help Bethel make the facility Covid compliant with the new regulations and keep our children safe. 

 

National Training focussing on family depression, anxiety, and acceptance 

Every time Bethel does a training, we collect data from parents, teachers, and health care professionals to better understand how Bethel can support the VI community. The vast majority of families said that their biggest difficulty was dealing with depression, anxiety and acceptance of their child’s condition. Families reported that their depression and anxiety was affecting how they were interacting with their child and educating their child at home.

To respond to this need, Bethel teamed up with doctors to develop a program that focus on parent's depression and anxiety. The program consisted of three online training courses and launched tailored groups to provide continuous support. Session topics included, nonviolent communication techniques, how to recognize the needs of your visually impaired child and how to teach life skills to visually impaired children. The multi-day online training's were launched on August 14th and were attended by 1,197 people

Parents who participated in the support groups reported that having a group of other parents who could relate to their experiences and the psychological support alongside the informational trainings made a much larger impact on them and how they interact with their child. 

 

Bethel USA

This past January, Bethel launched a monthly partnership project with the Children's Tactile Art Club based in Colorado. The project distributes free tactile art projects each month made by the Children's Tactile Art Club to Bethel adoptive families in the US. Unfortunately because of Covid, production of the educational materials had to be suspended. I'm proud to say there is positive momentum to the project resuming. If you are interested and want to know more please feel free to email Zach (zach @ bethelchina.org).

 

2021 Bethel Calendar

Each year Bethel develops an annual calendar comprised of the amazing art work that our children have created throughout the year. Sales from the calendar help pay for things that it is tough for us to fundraise for (teachers salaries, utility bills, etc). Inside the calendar you'll see our children's pictures, their beautiful artwork and you'll also find a quote from Bethel's founders, Guillaume and Delphine. Even though the calendar has not come out yet and it's not quite Christmas yet, the next newsletter will come out next year so I thought it would be fitting to end with Guillaume's 2021 quote to everyone: 

"This year, all families from around the world have had to learn to cope with Covid, Bethel included. We have always been the biggest cheerleader of children with visual impairment in China no matter what. All of our centers have now reopened and we want to say a special thank you to our staff for not giving up, and our supporters for standing by us. We look forward to 2021 with hope and wish you all good health!

Guillaume and Delphine

Geng mama and her great heart for the children.
Geng mama and her great heart for the children.
Fall fun with Cici and Bei Bei
Fall fun with Cici and Bei Bei
We upgraded some of our VI educational kits
We upgraded some of our VI educational kits
Guillaume and Delphine, Bethel Founders
Guillaume and Delphine, Bethel Founders

Links:

 
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