Jul 17, 2017

Education for Blind Chinese Orphans Report IV

Doudian Project Site Move Update!

Since our last report, Bethel urgently had to find a new training center project site to move to, because the area that the Doudian project site was in was being reclaimed by the government for development purposes. Within weeks of being notified we had to source a new project site that could:

  • serve as a functional, safe and loving home for our children
  • run the Bethel School in its full capacity
  • serve as a facility that can be used for our national and international training's
  • be in close proximity to the Doudian site in order to retain our local, valued staff


Several months later, I am happy to report that Bethel was able to secure a new project site in Fangshan and with a lot of hard work we have already successfully moved in. The project site now operational includes the children's housing, the Bethel School, a full music room and office. In the future, if funding is secured, the site has room for Bethel to expand. Our new site is now called the Fangshan project!

 

Bethel Outreach Summer Activities

In July, there will be an international forum held by Bethel in Beijing. 150 parents, students and professionals in the field are expected to attend the forum. Six expert speakers will come from the United States to present. The seminars will cover: communicating with children with BVI and additional disabilities, inclusion, parent adjustment, and more. 

This summer, Bethel's new Fangshan project site will hold a summer camp for children ages 8-16 with BVI. The camp is a wonderful experience for children who are blind or visually impaired to participate in fun and engaging educational games and projects that will help them develop and gain confidence, while being surrounded by their peers. 

 

Sneak Peak!
Recently Bethel just wrapped up filming a short inspirational video. The video will be released very soon and when it does we will let you know. Attached in our photos, you'll see one photo that is a screen grab from that video (Can you guess which one?).
 

Thank you for your continued support. Thank you believing in our children! Your support is changing lives and building dreams! 

Links:

Apr 19, 2017

Education for Blind Chinese Orphans Report III

Dear friends of Bethel,

"When my wife and I started Bethel we thought we would "only" take care of visually impaired children. As years passed, we built a team of qualified people who opened a school to educate them, started a choir, tried to train them for jobs, but a question was always bothering me: How can we get to the root of the problem? How do we stop having to take care of blind orphans? 

This is when we thought that to really solve the issue we had to look higher in the chain of events that resulted in a child getting abandoned because he is blind. We started by turning our methods into a training that we took to 60 orphanages in China. Families with blind children heard about these trainings and started to attend. One day a couple who was attending a training came to talk to Susan Qu, Bethel's director and told her that they had given birth to a blind child and were feeling overwhelmed with the lack of resources. They told Susan that they had planned to abandon their child when they heard of a training being held at their local orphanage. When they met our team, heard about the resources available and saw how even orphan blind children could grow into independent people, this couple changed its mind and kept their child. This is for me the reason why I founded Bethel. To come to the point where what we do can challenge a couple who feels hopeless, to change their mind and give them some courage to take up the fight and not give up on that child. This story encapsulates the very heart of why we started Bethel: To give a little hope, to challenge a little and to encourage to never give up". 

Guillaume Gauvain, Bethel Founder

 

Bethel Outreach Training 

Bethel has conducted two outreach trainings so far this year. The goals of our outreach project are to: Identify visual impairment in children by conducting eye screenings in orphanages in cooperation with local hospitals. Support caregivers, including orphanage staff and parents, by building a platform to share experience and a community to encourage one another. Educate and increase availability of free educational materials in the form of manuals, videos, trainings and workshops. Raise Awareness of visual impairment in Chinese society to show that visually impaired children can live fulfilling lives with dignity. Partner with other organizations and people who share our same vision.

Our first training of 2017 took place in Dalian, China, where our special educators conducted trainings for both preschool teachers and parents of visually impaired children. For our second outreach training of 2017, Bethel launched an online platform where 170 Chinese parents of blind and visually impaired children received free training’s.

 

We had 5 adoptions so far in 2017!

Since the start of the year, Bethel has helped facilitate five loving families for five of our amazing children. We are expecting that the number of adoptions will be higher in the second half of the year. To learn more about adoption feel free to email us at: adoption @ bethelchina.org for more info.

 

Doudian Project Site Move

Bethel has been recently notified by the landlord of our main training center located in Beijing that the government will be utilizing the area all around us for development, requiring us to find a new facility site to move into. Our Doudian site, which comprised of seven children’s houses, a full school, a gym and volunteer dormitory and 15 acres of farmland, was the perfect site for many years, providing care for hundreds of children’s lives throughout the years. To retain our valued staff, we are doing everything to look for a new project site that is situated within the same vicinity. This major move will most likely take place within the next couple of months, and will require a great deal of support. For more information on the status of the move, or for additional ways to help, please contact Zach at: zach @ bethelchina.org.

Thank you for your care and support. It is only with your generous support that we are able to give these children the dignified upbringing and skills that each child deserves. 

Links:

Jan 19, 2017

Education for Blind Chinese Orphans Report II

So many children adopted in 2016!
So many children adopted in 2016!

The whole Bethel team hopes you had a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

We couldn't do a fraction of what we do without the generous support of our sponsors, donors, and volunteers. Please enjoy our thank you video, "We've got you!" Found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E-vjvszikRw

Dear friends of Bethel,
Delphine and I started Bethel because we wanted to be the voice for those who have no voice, children who are orphaned and blind. You have responded in many incredible ways over the years for which we are ever grateful. As in life, challenges and blessings mingle together. The struggles of a child with cancer fighting through chemotherapy, the caregiver pressing through, the beauty of adoption, new centers being opened.... You have witnessed and supported all of that this past year. 2017 will be a year to strengthen our standards of care across all our sites, to advocate for each child, to better equip our staff to manage trauma and to increase our presence in every way possible towards the fulfillment of our vision: Visually impaired children living life to the fullest! 

Delphine and I wish you an abundant and meaningful new year!

Guillaume § Delphine
 

We had 24 adoptions in 2016!
We are thrilled for each of these children who are now a part of a loving forever home. If you are interested in adoption but aren't sure that you are ready, we have a whole list of resources we'd love to share with you! You can email adoption@bethelchina.org for more info.

The Zhengzhou Project
Our Zhengzhou Project is a mini-Bethel within the Zhengzhou Social Welfare Institute. The orphanage has 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. Up until this year, this project was almost fully funded by a grant from a large foundation. Our grant has been fulfilled and we are now actively pursuing new sponsors, grants, and donations to fund this program for the future. You can email tabitha@bethelchina.org if you would like to sponsor a child at Zhengzhou, or zach@bethelchina.org if you are interested in fundraising for the Zhengzhou Project.
Developmental Trauma Training 
Our Development Manager, Anna, has been accepted into a ten week course for Developmental Trauma training. The first nine weeks are online, but the last week will have her flying to Texas. All of our children have faced the trauma of abandonment, and many have faced more in their short lives. This training will be very beneficial to ensure that we have the tools to help heal their little hearts!
For a more in depth review of 2016, please watch our video here:
Thank you for your continued support! To continue providing services for 2017 we are still in need in funding. Your support is truly valued and is impacting so many lives. 
Bethel's Founders Guillaume and Delphine
Bethel's Founders Guillaume and Delphine
Anna to attend Developmental Trauma Training
Anna to attend Developmental Trauma Training
The "Aaaaawww" picture of the year-- Kyle
The "Aaaaawww" picture of the year-- Kyle

Links:

 
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