Education  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
Olympian, Crystal Wu
Olympian, Crystal Wu

Teaching and Research

As a leading professional education institution for VI children throughout China, teaching and research also occupies an important position in the operation of the institution. 

Bethel’s Beijing Training Center, is where our professional educational team lead our school with our own pioneered educational curriculum, it is also a place where we host quarterly trainings, summer camps, and events year round.

Bethel’s teachers have been leaders in the creation of educational curriculum for children 0-7 years of age. Combining the learning characteristics of visually impaired children and multi-visually impaired children, the teaching team makes adjustments and modifications on the basis of existing courses every year. 

This year, under the supervision of the expert teacher, Li Shu'e, Bethel’s educational team focused on developing speech therapy assessments to make it clearer for parents, caregivers, and professionals to evaluate their child’s improvements.

 

Bethel’s Satellite Centers 

95% of the orphans in the orphanages are disabled children. The need for special education and rehabilitation is very urgent. There is a lack of professional special education teachers throughout the orphanages. There is a lack of professional special education supervision team for the visually impaired. 

Bethel secures partnerships throughout provinces in China with State orphanages. Bethel is given our own education wing, where we support all of the orphanage’s children that are blind and visually impaired. Bethel provides and pays for our own specialized teachers, educational supplies and specialized needs for our children. 

Bethel also has the added advantaged of integrating our resource network to help our orphans in the satellite sites to look for adoptive families to help orphans find their eternal home. Bethel currently has four satellite centers in Zhengzhou, Jiaozuo, Nanjing, and Jingdezhen. All of the schools in the centers are currently running and operational. Bethel actively cooperates with the epidemic management regulations of the orphanage. During the epidemic, Bethel and supplied epidemic safety materials to the satellite center’s orphanages. 

Bethel currently provides direct care for 83 children, and hundreds more throughout different initiatives.

 

Beijing Trainings (March ’21) Teaching Music to the Blind and VI with Crystal Wu

Since its establishment in 2003, Bethel has been deeply engaged in the field of early intervention for visually impaired children. Early intervention needs comprehensive, multi-dimensional, multi-disciplinary support, not only to support children, but also to support the whole family. 

Therefore, Bethel has launched a series of trainings through our parent support program, which unites many excellent organizations and people to bring new ideas and productive activities that parents can do with their children with VI. 

For these trainings, we also invited Ms. Wu Jing, an old friend of Bethel, to share with the groups in Beijing some of her valuable insights, experiences and successes (Below you will find excerpts from Crystal’s amazing story). 

 

Crystal Wu, mentor, role model, and supporter of Bethel, shares her story:

“When I was born, my eyes were shining and bright, and everyone loved me. Just because. Therefore, my parents named me "Jing", which means "Crystal". But life is full. It’s full of irony, and I'm not immune. 15 months after I was born, I got eye cancer, Blind. In an instant..

Before school, I didn't even know that I was "blind". At that time, my parents always went to ordinary schools and tried their best to get me accepted to school, but the other party always answered "No, she has to go to a school for the blind."

I started to think, what is "blindness"? After many years, I realized a question: How much potential do I have to make the world a better place? Especially to help those who are in the same situation as me live a better life? To do this, I must learn to work for myself.

When I was 10 years old, I tasted the sweetness of success for the first time. Standing on the stage, I wanted to sing with a microphone in hand, and I was very nervous. I sang well and won a provincial singing competition. Slowly, I learned to overcome fear and stick to my dreams bravely. Back then, I wanted to be a musician, but others said I could only be a fortune teller. In China, blind people usually do this, and I thought I would go beyond this.

Walking on the street, I don’t want to hear someone whispering, saying that I’m a blind woman, why is it a shame to not see? I continue to bury my head in music, and then in sports, these activities are something that no one can think of blind people can do. So I attended. I began to prove to myself and to others that I am a normal person and blindness is just one of my signs. After a while, I got the flute and my flute performance certificate and toured all over China. After achieving these achievements, I know that I am changing, I am growing, I am influencing the people around me, and I am using practical actions to refute everyone's doubts about the ability of the blind.”

 

Bethel in 2021

1. Bethel has four satellite centers  (Zhengzhou, Jiaozuo, Nanjing, and Jingdezhen) that have successfully replicated Zhengzhou’s original site. Bethel has just secured a partnership with Jiangxi Shangrao Welfare Institute and have added a new center for Bethel, which is expected to serve 30 orphans.

2. Bethel’s Beijing Center continues to provide weekly and quarterly rehabilitation services and training for visually impaired children in the family.

3. The Lego Foundation and The Trinity Foundation are currently working with Bethel on possible future educational collaborations.

4. Bethel’s Beijing Center will host a summer camp for blind children over 8 years old, through a parent-child summer camp.

5. Continue to expand the existing online service model of Bethel. Expand the service scale, and provide high-quality online training services for parents of visually impaired children.

 

Thank you for staying with us in 2021! We are currently below our fundraising goals for the year, so any type of support would go so far. Blessings! 

Bethel Music Training
Bethel Music Training
Paper art crafts
Paper art crafts
Chinese New Year Lanterns
Chinese New Year Lanterns

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This is our teacher Guo with student CiCi
This is our teacher Guo with student CiCi

Covid Update

Since our last update, we are happy to announce that the Bethel Training Center in Beijing has reopened! Susan Qu, Bethel China's Country Director said it best:

"During Covid, We learned that no matter how restless and turbulent the outside world is, as long as we persist in serving the hearts of visually impaired children, everything will change for the better.”

The Beijing center is now reopened to 22 visually impaired children whom come from all over the country (the furthest of them coming from Xinjiang province). The Beijing center is essential for Bethel as it is not only the headquarters for the Bethel School but it is the central hub for our satellite project sites and home to most of our national trainings. Bethel would like to give a special thanks to Gulf For Good for their immediate support to help Bethel make the facility Covid compliant with the new regulations and keep our children safe. 

 

National Training focussing on family depression, anxiety, and acceptance 

Every time Bethel does a training, we collect data from parents, teachers, and health care professionals to better understand how Bethel can support the VI community. The vast majority of families said that their biggest difficulty was dealing with depression, anxiety and acceptance of their child’s condition. Families reported that their depression and anxiety was affecting how they were interacting with their child and educating their child at home.

To respond to this need, Bethel teamed up with doctors to develop a program that focus on parent's depression and anxiety. The program consisted of three online training courses and launched tailored groups to provide continuous support. Session topics included, nonviolent communication techniques, how to recognize the needs of your visually impaired child and how to teach life skills to visually impaired children. The multi-day online training's were launched on August 14th and were attended by 1,197 people

Parents who participated in the support groups reported that having a group of other parents who could relate to their experiences and the psychological support alongside the informational trainings made a much larger impact on them and how they interact with their child. 

 

Bethel USA

This past January, Bethel launched a monthly partnership project with the Children's Tactile Art Club based in Colorado. The project distributes free tactile art projects each month made by the Children's Tactile Art Club to Bethel adoptive families in the US. Unfortunately because of Covid, production of the educational materials had to be suspended. I'm proud to say there is positive momentum to the project resuming. If you are interested and want to know more please feel free to email Zach (zach @ bethelchina.org).

 

2021 Bethel Calendar

Each year Bethel develops an annual calendar comprised of the amazing art work that our children have created throughout the year. Sales from the calendar help pay for things that it is tough for us to fundraise for (teachers salaries, utility bills, etc). Inside the calendar you'll see our children's pictures, their beautiful artwork and you'll also find a quote from Bethel's founders, Guillaume and Delphine. Even though the calendar has not come out yet and it's not quite Christmas yet, the next newsletter will come out next year so I thought it would be fitting to end with Guillaume's 2021 quote to everyone: 

"This year, all families from around the world have had to learn to cope with Covid, Bethel included. We have always been the biggest cheerleader of children with visual impairment in China no matter what. All of our centers have now reopened and we want to say a special thank you to our staff for not giving up, and our supporters for standing by us. We look forward to 2021 with hope and wish you all good health!

Guillaume and Delphine

Geng mama and her great heart for the children.
Geng mama and her great heart for the children.
Fall fun with Cici and Bei Bei
Fall fun with Cici and Bei Bei
We upgraded some of our VI educational kits
We upgraded some of our VI educational kits
Guillaume and Delphine, Bethel Founders
Guillaume and Delphine, Bethel Founders

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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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Organization Information

Bethel Foundation Limited

Location: Hong Kong - China-Hong Kong SAR
Website:
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Project Leader:
Zachary Johnson
Hong Kong, China-Hong Kong SAR
$72,164 raised of $79,125 goal
 
712 donations
$6,961 to go
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