Jan 3, 2019

Bethel China End of 2018 Report

A note from Guillaume, our founder:

Dear friends of Bethel

Delphine and I first wish to thank you for supporting this cause that is close to our hearts. We were 25 when we started Bethel in China and started to learn Mandarin. It has been an adventure for sure! If you have ever tried to do anything in China, you must learn to be flexible, to adapt quickly and be ready for anything. All in all, whatever the landlords, village chiefs or government threw at us we have always moved forward, and for one good reason: the children we care for are worth it. As the old saying goes "when life throws lemons at you, make lemonade", the Chinese would probably say "when life throws dough at you, make jiaozi (dumplings)"! In the last 15 years we have had to move our larger site several times. During this period, we also broadened our scope of operations from "exclusively" caring for visually impaired (VI) orphans to also train other institutions in this field. A milestone was the publication of a manual we made from scratch in Mandarin, which was the first in China of its kind. We also started an online community for families with VI children. We advocate for these VI children in the Chinese society via national TV ads and printed ads which were published in trains and airplanes. We also advocate for our children to be adopted, which is the best gift of all. We have widened our target population to include not only VI orphans but also Vi children with families, many of whom are from poor families. We included these children in our preschool and have seen families move from hundreds of miles away just so that their child could have an education at Bethel. We have opened satellite centers in Zhengzhou, Nanjing, Jiaozuo and plan to open several more in 2019. 

In the beginning of 2018, Bethel China became officially registered in China. This is a good step, but came with its own set of challenges. Just recently, the government asked that most children in Beijing be returned to their local orphanages. I am so thankful that 10 years ago we planned for that day and started to open satellite centers in local orphanages. We knew this day would come so we were prepared. It remains a challenge as some children have specific medical/educational needs and some of them come from orphanages where we don't have a project. We are working hard to either start projects there or partner with existing organization who can help us in the mean time. Another effect of the registration is that the government wants Bethel to relocate our school. So we had to move again and found an amazing building in the city which has been approved by the government and we have signed a 10 year lease last week! We need to find $3,000 per month for the rent.

Finishing 2018, we were able to provide care for 52 children throughout four provinces. We were able to host a special simulcast conference on Turst Based Relational Intervention (TBRI) to other NGO's in China, to help them better care fore children that deal with trauma. Six of our children were matched to amazing families and were adopted.

We are looking forward to 2019 and thankful for all that was accomplished in 2018, thanks to you. 

From all of us from the Bethel team we'd like to send you our best in the new year. 
Delphine & Guillaume

Links:

Oct 8, 2018

Bethel China Fall Update Report IX

Fall Updates!

As Fall is underway we want to send our warm greetings from all of us from Bethel! These last few months have been quite busy with some exciting moments and news to share with you.

As of this week, Bethel's centers are supporting 61 children (25 in Dou Dian, 20 in Zhengzhou, 10 in Jiaozuo, and 6 in Nanjing). This year, we've had five wonderful adoptions, with three adoptions currently pending. 

At our Dou Dian project site, Bethel recently accepted two new children, Ming Zhi and Xin Qin. Ming Zhi is a handsome 5 years old boy. His dietary habit was not great before arriving to Bethel. He cannot walk and talk. We do know that he loves to be hugged, and we will give him the best care possible. Xin Qin is a beautiful seven year old, who loves to smile and is very curious. 

Medically, one of our boys, Qiu Shi, was having extreme difficulties breathing through his nose and needed medical intervention. This past quarter, he went through multiple surgeries and now we are happy to say that he can now breathe through his nose with freedom. 

 

Bethel Camp

Several weeks ago, Bethel invited 10 visually impaired children from all over the country and 10 children from the United States and China to take part in a summer camp retreat at Bethel.

For this event, Bethel invited a professional teacher for the visually impaired from the United States (The professor, Haley, is visually impaired and travels with Tasha, her seeing eye dog), and an American family with four children.

The theme of the camp was to use both nature and sport as learning tools to positively promote good social and educational skills. During the camp, the children created books by using natural materials, learned traditional Chinese Tai Chi, and went on an educational field trip to Bayer. The camp was culminated by an ultimate challenge of having the children all work together to build a birds nest, to feel the deep connection between humanity and nature thorugh the added benefit of teamwork. 

With overwhelming positive feedback, Bethel will look to expand on the camp's success and bring it back next year. 

 

Outreach

In the past quarter, Bethel researched and marked out either Nanchang or Baotou SWI (Social Welfare Institute) to set up the next Bethel satellite center. Bethel is in the process of approaching these two SWIs for future satellite projects. 

In mid October, Bethel will have a meeting with the officials of Guangzhou Can Lian which serves individuals with BVI (Blind and Visual Impairments). It is to discuss a project with Bethel's help to establish a BVI Early Intervention program in Guangzhou. It will involve teacher trainings, curriculum production, special teaching equipment purchase and setups. The follow up consultancy from Bethel may also be applied in the discussion. 

 

Special Visitors

Our Bethel children and staff had the amazing opportunity to welcome the Beijing Sinobo Guoan Football Club (or Soccer, depending on where in the world you might be reading this from :). Everyone from the team was very nice and good to our children, spending quality time with them. We were even lucky enough to get onto National Chinese TV with them. Thanks Beijing Sinobo Guoan Football Club!

 

Thank You

I'd like to send a special thanks to you for taking the time to read our update. Our school, foster care, camps, outreach trainings, medical surgeries- none of this would be possible without your valuable support. We wish that you could personally visit our projects and see what we do first hand, but if not, we hope that these updates show you how your gracious support goes so far. We currently still have several needs, such as sponsors for our new children. We truly appreciate your support and blessings. 

Sending our blessings,

Zach

 

Links:

Jul 9, 2018

Bethel China Summer Update Report VIII

Children's Day!
Children's Day!

A letter from the Founders: 

Dear friends of Bethel China,

I am amazed at the work Bethel China is doing. Delphine and I moved out of China in 2012 and as founders it felt like we were saying good-bye to our daughter in front of the college's dorm (I hate those scenes in movies). At first it was difficult because for 11 years I was the go-to guy to solve problems and set the vision for the foreseeable future. I learned how to let go and let the local team courageously shape the future of Bethel China into what it is today. 

The environment for NGOs in China is ever changing and Bethel has had to reinvent itself a few times. However, at the heart of what we do will always be children who see differently. Delphine and I are so proud of every staff in China and are always so touched when a child who was adopted from Bethel write to us to let us know they graduated from college or are signing the lease on their first apartment. 

Recently Bethel has been contacted by Airbus so they can collaborate on how to make planes more visual impairment friendly. What an honor to see that after 15 years of working in this field, Bethel can influence global issues relating to people with visual impairments.

We are forever grateful for your support in allowing us to be a voice for those who have none.      

Guillaume & Delphine


Children's Day Celebration!

June 1st is International Children's day and we at Bethel like to use this day as an opportunity to celebrate with our children, staff and volunteers. This year the 1st conveniently fell on a Friday so everyone put the school books away and spent this special day with music, games, some special food and of course laughter! If you look close you will see our new development manager Allie taking training classes to be Rocky!


Shenzhen Trainings

Over the last quarter, Bethel has been conducting 2-day outreach trainings in Shenzhen. These trainings are are focused towards parents raising their Blind or Visually Impaired child through different workshops ranging from practical orientation and mobility trainings to education based curriculum. Once completed, Bethel provides follow up materials and support to the families. Through these outreach trainings and seminars we find that often times, Bethel is the first support system that families have. 


Other News

So far in 2018, Bethel has had five adoptions, with three adoptions currently matched. As Guillaume mentioned above, Bethel partnered with Airbus to help them engineer new aircrafts that are VI friendly. In the second half of the year we are launching a second outreach project called: Bethel Education and Rehabilitation Program for Youths with Visual Impairments. The program will be the first of its kind in China to provide rehab services to youth who have congenital or acquired blindness. The quarterly trainings based in Beijing will provide teenagers in need the opportunity to be taught by professionals the necessary skills utilized in everyday life. 


As always, Bethel can only provide these services thanks to your support. We've attached Bethel's 2018 Organizational Profile where you can read more about the services you are helping us to provide. We still are in need of support for 2018 and any donation helps. If you ever have any questions, please feel free to contact us. Thank you for taking the time out of your day to read this. From all of us at Bethel, we send you our blessings and hope you have a great summer! 

Founders, Guillaume and Delphine Gauvain
Founders, Guillaume and Delphine Gauvain

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