Bethel China has served blind and visually impaired children for 10 years. Our 'Love is Blind' project is a series of four foster homes for orphans aged 0-15. The different projects cover early intervention, education, specialised therapy and life-skills training. Bethel serves VI children by supporting families and providing them with free educational resources. Bethel partners with orphanages across the country and provides eye screenings and we run a pre-school in an orphanage in Zhengzhou.
Orphans with visual impairments are a highly vulnerable group in China with few opportunities to receive an education or learn independent living skills and rarely have the quality of life that they deserve. Orphans also have little access to the loving care of adults and often fail to thrive. Families who have a child with a visual impairment have little support and resources available to them to help their children, and often feel alone and ashamed of their children.
Bethel's projects ensure that each child is known, loved and cared for. Each child from 0-15 years of age has an individual education plan (IEP) to help them develop and grow in a way most suited to their abilities. Parents with VI children are given tools and are connected with other parents to support their children in effective ways. Children from vulnerable and at-risk situations are transformed through quality care, education and therapy and we believe they will grow up to live equal lives.
Bethel has seen with its previous projects how the provision of high quality care, education, therapy and life skills training to the children in our care have allowed them to flourish. Many people have been inspired by Bethel's example, and negative attitudes towards orphans and children with special needs are continually being changed. We hope to create a foster care model that is able to be replicated across the country so that more vulnerable children will be provided with quality care.