According to statistics, China has 20% of the world's blind population. The least fortunate among the blind are the blind orphans. Launched in 2003, Bethel is a not-for-profit organization which focuses on empowering the visually impaired Chinese orphan community by providing foster care, education, therapy, and livelihood opportunities. Bethel's school provides our blind and visually impaired orphans the education necessary so that one day they can lead a fulfilling, independent life.
Bethel China was launched after research showed that there was an explicit need to provide specialized services for the blind and visually impaired child population, with a focus on the orphan population. To provide these services, Bethel recruited educated professionals and created a school curriculum to be implemented. From there, Bethel pioneered it's own school which exclusively served children who are blind and visually impaired.
The blind and visually impaired orphans are one of the most vulnerable groups in China. Currently, many of the blind and visually impaired children will live their life in the orphanage and then after aging out they will go directly to a retirement home. The Bethel school receives these children and teaches them all of the life skills needed so that one day they may graduate, get a good job and become productive, fulfilled members of society.
The project will immediately serve the 50 children that receive services at Bethel's three project sites each year. The children will participate in specialized classes, and also take art classes, music classes, sports and field trips. Secondly, Bethel's school faculty will continue to use Bethel's sites to host outreach workshops. From 2011, orphanages and families representing thousands of children have received training in foster care, daily living skills, orientation and mobility.