Jul 24, 2020

Q2 2020 Spring Covid Update

Covid Update

Throughout the last quarter school’s in Beijing have been closed due to Covid, which gave Bethel an opportunity to focus on outreach, while being able support our children in other ways. Because Bethel’s main school has been closed for several months now, expenses continue, and we’ve had to furlough and lay off several of our amazing staff members due to the shortage of scholarship and sponsorship funds that support the school. We are really hoping that the guidelines will permit the school to open up as soon as possible. Outside of Beijing, our satellite school centers have now all opened back up (Zhengzhou on March 16th, Nanjing on April 13th, and Jiazuo on May 18th). 

 

Supporting Our Centers 

While in the midst of the outbreak, Bethel’s China Director Susan Qu and the Bethel Team helped source and distribute hundreds of much needed supplies to our partner sites in Nanjing, Zhengzhou, Jiazuo and Jingdezhen. Bethel was able to send supply kits, which included masks, cleaning supplies and toilet paper to the sites to support all of the children and staff in the orphanages.  

 

Reaching the Blind and Visually Impaired Community 

Bethel’s mission is to empower children who are blind or visually impaired and their caregivers. One of the ways we do this is by providing education and support to institutions, communities and families of children who are blind or visually impaired. To continue our outreach, throughout March and into Q2, Bethel launched a new outreach video series networked through Bethel’s WeChat platform, that has already supported close to 600 people. The series, features content from eight of Bethel’s teachers in our Beijing, Zhengzhou and Jiazuo school’s and features new topics on VI early intervention, fine motors skills and speech therapy. To learn more about our new series, visit Bethel’s official WeChat channel. 

 

Hippotherapy 

While the Bethel school is not currently open, we were able to safely take several of our students and family members to hippotherapy on May 27th. Along with aquatherapy, Bethel has used hippotherapy to support our children for many years now. To understand how VI children can benefit from hippotherapy, certified therapeutic riding instructor Wanda L. Ritter states: 

Beyond the freedom and selfconfidence that is gained by riding, visually impaired children reap tremendous physical benefits, as well. Posture is often affected when a child is blind or has low vision. Riding a horse approximates a normal walking gait in the pelvic, trunk, and upper body area of a person. This is very helpful for blind children who shuffle their feet or tend to walk in a circle because of a dominant leg.” (National Federation of the Blind)

This was a great opportunity for our children to be active and connect with the horses especially with school on hold. 

 

Beijing Sinobo Guoan Football Club

On Children’s Day, Bethel was graciously invited by the Beijing Sinobo Guoan Football Club to enjoy a safe sports day. The club spent several hours playing with our children going on sports drills and talking about the game. Bethel has a five year relationship with the team and they have been a joy of inspiration to both our students and teachers. 

 

Thank You

As with everyone, navigating through this situation with Covid has been difficult, but Bethel will keep going. We are preparing to open the school with special guidelines that are now required. Things like automatic temperature machines, sanitizing stations are all mandatory. Financially, things are very tight so any support would go a long way. We thank you for your continued devotion to support us in our endeavor to help the blind and visually impaired. Stay safe and be well. 

Health support supplies sent to one site.
Health support supplies sent to one site.
Bethel's Online Training Platform
Bethel's Online Training Platform
Hippotherapy Lessons
Hippotherapy Lessons
Kicking it with the Beijing Football Club
Kicking it with the Beijing Football Club
Practice makes perfect!
Practice makes perfect!

Links:

Mar 26, 2020

Bethel China Special COVID-19 Update

Current Situation 

The last three months have been an interesting and trying time for everyone in China and around the world. We had just celebrated the first month of our two new teenager vocational skill programs in Jiang Xi Provence and Zheng Zhou, both of which were opened at the end of 2019, when the corona virus began to spread across the country. With the rapid spread of the virus, our school and our partnered satellite site schools (much like many other institutions) have been mandated by the government to suspend operations until cleared to reopen. 

Since then we have been allowed to help children in Beijing and Zheng Zhou where we have been focusing on making sure our children are healthy and well cared for in this quarantine period. Our staff has put special emphasis on keeping the facilities disinfected and clean every day to prevent the chances of the virus in the centers. The children’s safety is our main priority. 

Being Proactive

While the quarantine has slowed everything down, we’ve chosen to be proactive. 

Susan Qu, China’s Country Director and Bethel’s School Principal, Fang Laoshi are taking online classes at Perkins School for the Blind, which will help implement new concepts and ideas into Bethel’s Programs. Our staff have been busy designing and building new sensory equipment that can be used in the VI community, while also preparing for upcoming trainings. In January, Bethel launched a monthly partnership project with the Children's Tactile Art Club, which distributes free tactile art projects each month made by the Children's Tactile Art Club to Bethel adoptive families in the US (with hopes for the project to expand to multiple countries in the coming years).

Future Plans

At this time, Bethel currently has seven trainings scheduled for 2020. Due to the uncertainties of the current epidemic, if need be, we have made the proper arrangements to hold the training’s online. Bethel’s annual summer camp is currently pending. There are 432 people planned to receive the free trainings this year. Once the quarantine is lifted and we have permission to reopen, Bethel will open our schools that provide education for 88 amazing children! 

Your Support

This has been a tough time for everyone around the world. Bethel’s fundraising this year has been hit especially hard, so any support or sharing of our project would be greatly appreciated. Bethel’s projects  support the foster care, medical care and education of orphans throughout multiple Provences in China. We are only able to continue to support these wonderful children with your support. 

If you have time in the next coming weeks, please check out our new Bethel website that we just launched at bethelchina.org. If you have any feedback on the website, fundraising questions or anything else please feel to email us at any time.

In this time of uncertainty, we do hope this finds you and your loved ones safe. We are all in this together. From all of us at Bethel, we send our blessings. 

 

New Sensory Ideas
New Sensory Ideas
Bethel with the Children's Tactile Art Club
Bethel with the Children's Tactile Art Club

Links:

Dec 27, 2019

Bethel China 4Q Update 2019

Bethel Christmas Party
Bethel Christmas Party

A Message from Bethel's founders:

Dear Bethel friends, 

We are celebrating 16 years of service to the children with Visual Impairments in China. When we started, we had to envision what Bethel has grown to become. 

Now 16 years later, Delphine and I met with a family who adopted a little girl from Bethel. She was preparing for an audition at her school play. Another one of our Bethel teenage boys is now on his high school track team. Another just rented her own apartment and is finishing college. One works in a successful restaurant in Beijing. And another Bethel graduate just gave birth to a beautiful girl. 

All these are normal things in life. But it took a whole team of care givers, teachers, specialized educators, adoptive families and donors to make it possible. As they say in Africa "it takes a whole tribe to raise a child". Well, for our children, you are part of the tribe that made it possible for them to grow into independent young adults. Nobody makes it through life on their own. We couldn't be more thankful that you are part of our children's story. Thank you for being their tribe and thank you for your generous support. 

We wish you blessings in the new year. 

From Guillaume, Delphine and the Bethel Team

Bethel Zhenghzou Project Expansion

Our Zhengzhou Project was Bethel’s first satellite project site that was opened inside the Zhengzhou Social Welfare Institute. The orphanage partnered with us by giving Bethel two classrooms and two apartments, where we provide 24/7 foster care and education for up to 14 visually impaired children. The pioneer project has been such a success that during this past quarter, Bethel and the Zhengzhou SWI opened a third classroom providing specialized education for the blind and visually impaired teenagers living at the center. 

 

Bethel’s New Jingdezhen Project

Bethel’s main center is located in Beijing, where we provide foster care, medical care, and education to both orphans and children from lower income families who receive Bethel’s services on scholarship. To expand, we launched our first pioneer satellite in Zhengzhou (above). The project was a cost effective way for Bethel to positively reach many more blind and visually impaired children, whom would otherwise have limited opportunities. Because this model has worked so well, we are now excited to announce that Bethel is currently training teachers for our new Jingdezhen project. This will be Bethel’s fourth satellite project site, and will be operational early 2020. We would not be able to do it without your support! 

Thank You

On behalf of the Bethel team, we’d like to thank you for being so supportive in our ongoing mission of helping orphans who are blind and visually impaired. We truly believe that this unique population deserves every opportunity to be cared for, loved and fulfilled in their life. You are helping them build the foundation to their dreams. 

In our next update, we will send you our goals for 2020 and our 2019 annual statistics. If you need any information about Bethel, or would like to sponsor a child directly, please email me at zach@bethelchina.com I will leave you with photos from our Bethel Christmas party we had at Jindingxuan’s restaurant on December 24th. Thank you for your continued support of Bethel, we could not do it without you- may you be blessed in the new year! 

Links:

 
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