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 Children  China Project #24652

Education for Blind Chinese Orphans

by Bethel Foundation Limited
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Education for Blind Chinese Orphans
Education for Blind Chinese Orphans
Education for Blind Chinese Orphans
Education for Blind Chinese Orphans
Education for Blind Chinese Orphans
Education for Blind Chinese Orphans
Education for Blind Chinese Orphans
Education for Blind Chinese Orphans
Education for Blind Chinese Orphans
Education for Blind Chinese Orphans
Education for Blind Chinese Orphans
Education for Blind Chinese Orphans
Education for Blind Chinese Orphans
Education for Blind Chinese Orphans
Education for Blind Chinese Orphans
Education for Blind Chinese Orphans
Education for Blind Chinese Orphans
Education for Blind Chinese Orphans
Education for Blind Chinese Orphans
Education for Blind Chinese Orphans
Education for Blind Chinese Orphans

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!

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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

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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! 

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Bethel's Annual International Conference
Bethel's Annual International Conference

Summer Months
With school being on holiday during the summer months, the Bethel team conducts most of our domestic and international trainings in this period. Our goal is to directly teach both parents and caregivers of children with blind and visual impairments so they can not only have a direct impact on their own children, but be a resource in their communities from the provinces where they live.

Bethel's Annual International Conference
Bethel hosted our annual international conference in July. Mary Anne Roberto, a specialist in Cortical Vision Impairments (CVI) presented for two days to over 100 teachers, parents and orphanage workers on how to identify VCI and best practices. She also visited our Beijing and Zhengzhou centers and did assessments on Bethel's CVI children.

Family Preservation Training
At the end of July, Bethel hosted a 10 day training for parents of blind and visually impaired babies in Beijing. Part of our family preservation program, the goal of this 10 day intensive training was to give parents the tools they need to help their children grow into fun loving, healthy and independent children, and then adults. 10 families attended. 

Outreach Training
In August, Luo Wenyin, an expert in visual impairments from Taiwan, came to Bethel's center in Beijing and also did a training for parents on CVI. All of the families were families who attended the international conference and were grateful to have more resources for their children.

Bethel Children
We have two new children in our Beijing center! We've warmly welcomed Titus and Harper. Harper is 13 and we are urgently trying to find him a family before it becomes too late for him to be adopted. Through the last quarter we have had three adoptions. Grace Timmy and Parker! We'll have two more in October. With the new school year starting on September 2nd, Bethel accepted 17 scholarship students into our classes. 

New Satellite Center
Bethel will be opening a new center in collaboration with the Jing De Zhen CWI in Jiang Xi province for teenagers. There will be 10 children in the program, with various special needs. The teachers start training in October. 

Expanding Zheng Zhou Project
We are also adding a third classroom to our Zheng Zhou program for teenagers. There  will be about 10 children in the new classroom. Renovations were completed in September and we are currently in the process of hiring additional teachers for the project. We are excited to provide educational opportunities for children who are transitioning into adult life.

From everyone at Bethel, thank you for your continued support. Thank you believing in our children. It is with your support that we are able to reach the lives of this amazing but vulnerable population. 

Luo Wenyin, an expert in Visual Impairments
Luo Wenyin, an expert in Visual Impairments
Training for Bethel's Family Preservation Program
Training for Bethel's Family Preservation Program
Bethel's new child Titus!
Bethel's new child Titus!
Bethel's new child Harper!
Bethel's new child Harper!

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Li Ying the Barista!
Li Ying the Barista!

Bethel hosted three trainings in the last few months for families across China. Our blind ambassador, Valerie, taught parents how their children can engage with art without seeing. Valerie, along with our Bethel Outreach team, conducted trainings in both Beijing and Shaanxi as a means to provide support for parents with VI children with limited access to resources. During our third training, the head of the Occupational Therapy program at Rutgers University, Sandra, joined the Bethel team and gave a training to parents on how to meet their child's sensory needs in Beijing. 

Bethel China is proud to update that one of our oldest graduates Li Ying (Bridget) has been doing an amazing job as a Barista for Miam Miam coffee shop. She's very happy and grateful to have this opportunity and to all of her coworkers who have been so open and welcoming to her! 

In Zhengzhou, we have several new faces. Meet Sophia and Leonardo! Sophia is a beautiful 5 year old girl who is very serious, and Leonardo is an adorable 1 and a half year old boy with hair that we can't seem to get to stay flat and likes to be help up in the air! We also have a new boy in Beijing called Matthew! Matthew is almost 5 and has already stolen the hearts of all of his nannies!

Several weeks ago, we learned that Bethel China is the charity recipient of Chi Fan for Charity in Beijing. This event is the collective effort of over 60 restaurants to raise funds for a charity in Beijing each November. With these funds Bethel will be able to fund 11 scholarship VI students (from families) to attend our early immersion preschool for one year! 

2 of our boys were adopted in April, Jackson and Spencer. We anticipate at least 2 more adoptions this summer! As you know, we truly advocate and try our best to help our children get matched into a loving home so if you know anyone that might be interested in adopting please have them contact us!

Thank you for your continued support! We could certainly not accomplish any of the milestones mentioned above without you. To continue providing services for 2019 we are still in need in funding. Your support is truly valued and is impacting so many children's lives. 

Sending our best, 

Bethel China Team 

Valerie teaching how VI children can engage in art
Valerie teaching how VI children can engage in art
Beijing Outreach training with specialist from US
Beijing Outreach training with specialist from US
Li Ying (Bridget) hard at work :)
Li Ying (Bridget) hard at work :)
Matthew the nanny heart stealer!
Matthew the nanny heart stealer!
Serious Sophia!
Serious Sophia!
Leonardo and his electric hair!
Leonardo and his electric hair!
Jackson, living the good life!
Jackson, living the good life!
Spencer with his new family!
Spencer with his new family!

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Organization Information

Bethel Foundation Limited

Location: Hong Kong - China-Hong Kong SAR
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Project Leader:
Zachary Johnson
Hong Kong, China-Hong Kong SAR
$52,379 raised of $79,125 goal
 
369 donations
$26,746 to go
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