BETHEL CHINA GLOBAL GIVING REPORT
Love is Blind Bethel’s six Chinese centers fall under our Love is Blind project umbrella. The centers currently provide care, specialized education, vocational training and medical services to 130 blind or visually impaired children (the majority of whom are orphans). The children's medical care includes annual health checks, optometry visits, dental care and surgery when needed .
The Bethel School has pioneered a multidimensional curriculum that provides each child with their own Individualized Education Plan (IEP), which serves as a foundation for their critical early development. The school provides classes in English and Chinese Braille, conversational English and Chinese, Mathematics, science, computer technology, mobility skills, daily life skills, etc.
Beijing (started in 2003) Supporting 21 Children
Zhengzhou (2011) Supporting 28 Children
Jiaozuo (2016) Supporting 10 Children
Nanjing (2016) Supporting 8 Children
Jingdezhen (2019) Supporting 10 Children
Shangrao (2021) Supporting 53 Children
1. The “Love is Blind” project has been opened normally since the Spring Festival. With all the prior shutdowns due to COVID we are glad that things seem to be taking a turn for a more normal routine.
2. The “1 on 1” learning group project is being carried out successfully. For now we have one group for natural sciences, 2 groups for German, 7 groups for mathematics, 17 groups for writing, 217 groups for English, and 2,440 hours of reading services has been completed
3. We held an interactive activity with Alipay on March 5th
4. “The backpack project” has been launched and we have started to acquire supplies. The project is designed to come up with a school bag suitable for visually impaired children and its learning equipment, and supporting training content including directional walking, pre-Braille skills, Braille skills, matching of low vision AIDS, etc. These bags are given to the visually impaired students who are about to enter the first grade of primary school.
5. Teachers training: new teachers in the early intervention center in Shenzhen will be trained from July to August.
Love is Blind Project
Bethel’s six Chinese centers fall under our Love is Blind project umbrella. The centers currently provide care, specialized education, vocational training and medical services to 130 blind or visually impaired children (the majority of whom are orphans). The children's medical care includes annual health checks, optometry visits, dental care and surgery when needed . The Bethel School has pioneered a multidimensional curriculum that provides each child with their own Individualized Education Plan (IEP), which serves as a foundation for their critical early development. The school provides classes in English and Chinese Braille, conversational English and Chinese, Mathematics, science, computer technology, mobility skills, daily life skills, etc.
Love is Blind Graduation
This summer, a graduation ceremony was held to celebrate the successful graduation of Kindergarten students and their entry into the first grade of primary school.
U.S. Embassy Invitation
In our Beijing Center, Bethel students were recently invited to the U.S. Embassy in Beijing. At the embassy, Bethel students participated in team and language strengthening Barrier Free Games.
The project, now in its 12th year, uses research and data accumulated through the Love is Blind project to produce academic and medical materials that are exported to communities and networks in critical need of blind and visually impaired resources for high-risk children. To date, the project has conducted over 5,000 eye screenings, trained more than 200 institutions, established local community groups in rural provinces, and distributed thousands of copies of Bethel’s original curriculum (including Bethel’s manual, DVD series, and educational game).
On Children's Day, 100 families of visually impaired children across the country were presented with story books in Braille and Chinese characters.
International White Cane Day
On International White Cane Day, 66 families outside Beijing were presented with audio picture books and low vision story books suitable for visually impaired children.
One of Bethel’s students who was adopted to the United Statues, Michael (Hongfa), has launched his own podcast. We’d like to support him and thought it would be great to end on his updated story:
"Hello, my name is Michael Munn, and my Chinese name is Hongfa. I am 22 years old, currently I live in this cool city in the state of Georgia called Atlanta. When I was 14 years old, an American family adopted me. I have been in U.S for eight years now. My hobbies are running, hosting my own podcast, playing musical Instruments, and watching documentaries. I ran three marine corps Marathons in the past. In addition to running, I also host my own podcast. I have a podcast called Michael’s Weekly Perspective. in this show, I talk about matters that are important for me during the week in the Blind Community. Beside the mentioned hobbies above, I am also able to play twelve musical Instruments. I can play Several Chinese Flutes, Percussion instruments, a little bit of Piano, and I am also able to play Western Flute and Piccolo.
Beside my hobbies, I was also continually active in my school before I graduated. While I was in high school, I am a member of my school’s drum line, a member of Track and Field Team and I was also a member of the student Council. Beside getting active in school, I am also involved with National federation of the Blind outside of school. The National Federation of the Blind is an organization that advocate for the needs of Blind peoples in United States. I was a first board member in the Student Branch within NFB Georgia Affiliate.
In May of this year, I graduated high school. Before I head off to college, I plan to go to a Training Center for the Blind in Minnesota for nine months to learn some more independent living skills. After I finish my training, I plan to go to the University of Minnesota. I want to major in Political Science and minor in U. S History. Once I graduate college, I want to go to Laws school.
Currently, I am working in this company called Techvision, and my job is to teach Blind students like me how to effectively utilize their assistive Technologies such as Screen readers on their computer and how to use it effectively with a Refreshable Braille Display."
You can find Michael's podcast using this link:
Thank you for your support of Bethel, your contributions directly support our children and have helped children like Michael! Any support helps in these financially unstable times. Thank you from all of us!
Healing Those In Need
Lang is a Tibetan boy with congenital cataract from Lhasa, Tibet. Lang's parents are also visually impaired. He came to Beijing from Lhasa for eye surgery, and Bethel provided medical and nursing help for Lang and support for his family. Lang had never seen anything. Now he can write and read. Because of surgery and visual rehabilitation, he and his family have made great changes, and the future is full of hope.
International Children's Day is a major festival for children in China. Bethel cooperated with the Chinese Braille library and a Braille publishing house to prepare 100 Braille picture books on International Children's Day, which are free to the families of completely blind children. Picture books are visual characters and Braille all presented in the same book. Family members can read together with visually impaired children and experience the beauty of reading together.
After being adopted to the United States, Michael, an orphan of blind children who Bethel once served, graduated from high school in May this year and is about to start his college life. At the end of May, he joined Bethel to share his experience with families of visually impaired children in China. Michael shared his personal story of growth. With his own story, he encouraged families to be full of hope for their visually impaired children.
As of July 2022, Bethel is currently supporting 121 children throughout our project sites. Thank you for your continued support! To continue providing services for 2022, we are still in need of funding. Your support is truly valued and is impacting so many lives.
Love is Blind
To conclude 2021 and move into 2022, Bethel’s Love is Blind project provides direct care for 130 children who are blind or have severe visual impairments (a majority of whom are orphans). The children are very young, the majority being 0–5 years old, and in most cases, it is the first time that they receive specialized care for their disability.
The Love is Blind project has always prioritized quality over quantity. Each child is evaluated and given their own personalized plan to best support their individualized needs and maximize their critical early development.
Bethel’s six centers provide each child with a safe and loving environment where they receive medical care and specialized education that places emphasis on their emotional and cognitive development, communication skills, and fine motor skills.
Bethel’s current centers that provide direct support for blind and visually impaired children:
Beijing Center- 21 Children, 12 Staff
Zhengzhuo- 28 Children, 6 Staff
Jiaozuo- 10 Children, 4 Staff
Nanjing- 8 Children, 3 Staff
Shangrao- 53 Children, 6 Staff
Jingdezhen 10 Children, 2 Staff
Total- 130 Children, 33 Staff
Bethel’s second project is Outreach. The project, now in its 12th year, uses research and data accumulated through the Love is Blind project to produce academic and medical materials that are exported to communities and networks in critical need of blind and visually impaired resources for high-risk children.
Statistics and highlights from the Outreach project over the last year include:
Several of the training subjects taught by Bethel staff include:
Overall, the project conducted 7 online trainings with 3,635 attendees.
To support families and centers in need of blind and visually impaired resources, Bethel donated 629 audio, tactile, and early intervention books to families and organizations such as the China Braille Library, the Shenzhen Early Intervention Center for Blind Children, and the Hebei School for the Blind.
To increase positive public awareness, Bethel published 260 pieces of content across domestic media platforms, totaling 449,222 views.
As Bethel’s Outreach project enters its 13th year, the dream of exporting Bethel’s training and materials to different countries is becoming a reality. Currently, Bethel is developing materials that can be utilized outside of China. Attached is a photo of Bethel’s manual that is being updated and translated into English, in both book and video formats. The manual, originally funded by C COM, is an early intervention resource book written in Chinese. The free resource book is for parents and caregivers of blind and visually impaired children to learn more about:
Bethel is currently researching a specific region of high-risk blind and visually impaired children in need, in which Bethel’s educational materials and training will be tailored.
If you’ve made it this far, you are in for a sneak peak of our brand new website that Fuel Made is graciously helping Bethel build. The website, will make it easier for parents of VI children, volunteers, advocates, and gracious supporters like you to navigate and learn more about Bethel’s projects and free resources. Stay tuned!
2021 was a difficult year financially. Unfortunately, due to health requirements, many of our sites were only permitted for essential staff. Bethel lost the ability to have many of our visitors, adoptive parents, volunteers, and supporters. With limited resources, Bethel would ask for your support, whether that is through grants Bethel could apply for, corporate funding, or supporting our children through our sponsorship program. Anything helps. If you don’t have the means, sharing this newsletter goes a long way.
Thank you for your support of our children and our plight to help all children with visual impairments.
Blessings in 2022,
The Bethel team
Bethel's Continued Growth
Bethel now has six full time centers serving blind and visually impaired orphans. Bethel’s headquarters is the Beijing center, with satellite sites in Zhengzhou (Henan Province), Jiaozuo (Henan Province), Nanjing (Jiangsu Province), Shangrao (Jiangxi Province) and Jingdezhen (Jiangxi Province). A total of 125 children are being served, with the majority of them being blind orphans, in addition to several children with cerebral palsy and down syndrome.
Bethel Children Working with Animals for Theraputetic Benefits
The Animal Welfare Association has been working with our children in Beijing to mentor them on how to care for the animals at the center. Throughout the years Bethel has had many animals at the different project sites. These animals provide invaluable therapeutic benefits to the children’s growth. The organization will continue to bring dogs and cats to the Beijing project site to work with our children.
Bethel Curriculum Going Digitial and Multilingual
Internationally, Bethel is seeking to export our Chinese educational curriculum and knowledge that we have developed for years. We are currently developing materials that can be useable to countries of various languages, with the intentions of reaching blind and visually impaired children in critical need. More importantly, we are looking to take these projects digital, making them interactive, leading the way in the VI educational- technology sector. Bethel is looking for professional partners that would be interested in the development of this project.
Special Thanks to the Chengpin Dental Clinic
Bethel would also like to thank the Chengpin Dental Clinic. Over the last six years, the Chengpin Dental Clinic has been providing free dental services to Bethel children. The dental clinic conducts checkups and treats the children’s dental needs. Through six years, the Chengpin Dental Clinic has provided 573 services for 191 children.
With the slowdown of the worldwide economies and companies, Bethel has had a tougher time raising funds this year. For the end of the year, Bethel still needs financial support to help cover heating utilities, a portion of our Beijing center’s rent, and staff salaries. Support of any amount would be so greatly appreciated. If you would like further information please contact Zach@bethelchina.org.
Thank you for your continued support of the precious lives that you are investing in. May this find you well. Blessings from all of us at Bethel.
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