Saturday, October 3, 2009

About Bethel...

Bethel is where Chun Yan is right now. They have updated their web site, and here is a little bit about how Bethel was founded...

Bethel was founded by a young French couple. While in France, Delphine studied Sociology and Guillaume studied English. They continued their studies in the US for three years. Their adventure took them to Canada, New Brunswick where they headed a project called "the shelter"; a place to help youth as well as drug addicts and prisoners. After a few months in Hong Kong they moved to Mainland China. In 2003 they moved to Lang Fang to start Bethel. In December 2003, they received the first three orphans in their own house alongside their other three children (Emilie 7, David 6 and Benjamin 3). With time they received more and more orphans. Today they care for 35 blind children.
Here is some more info if you want...


Bethel is a not-for-profit organization that provides foster care, education and professional training for Chinese orphans who are blind or visually impaired. The Project’s training center, named The Love is Blind Project, is located on a 17-acre property, near a small village outside Beijing. The organization was founded in 2002 by a French couple, Guillaume and Delphine Gauvain.

In addition to providing quality care and education for blind orphans, the Project envisions the development of a community that is self-sustaining and respectful of the environment. We are currently producing our own eggs, fruits and vegetables, as well as raising chickens, goats and cows. Our use of the raised-bed gardening method, allows our visually impaired students to work independently in the garden.

This is a model we hope to reproduce in other parts of China and the greater Asian community.

The Project in its current location offers services for up to 70 children at a time, and includes these aspects:

1. Foster Care: seven separate houses where we strive to create a family atmosphere, providing 24-hour care for our children

2. Education: our school offers classes in English and Chinese Braille, Conversational English, Chinese, Mathematics, Science, Orientation and Mobility, Daily Living Skills, Physical Education, Social Studies, etc…

3. Professional training: in farming, gardening, language translation and piano tuning

4. Training for state run orphanage staff which allows Bethel to touch hundreds of thousand of children

5. Farming: Our project is self sustainable as we grow our own vegetables and fruits. We have several gardens and raise goats and chickens

We place great importance on providing a variety of exciting activities for the children, including sports, arts and crafts, field trips, music and entertainment, all of which are especially designed for the blind and visually impaired.

Organization Profile and History

2002 Guillaume & Delphine do some research on NGOs work in China and try to find a people group that is not being reached

2003 G&D open the first house in Lang Fang, Hebei and receive 3 blind orphans from Tianjin orphanage (8 staff)

2004 G&D open the 2nd home, care for 12 children (18 staff)
Board of Directors Set up

2005 Opening of the 3rd home, care for 24 children (40 staff)
start of Bethel school (2 staff)
Partnership with Children’s Hope International Social Work Committee

2006 Opening of the 4th home, care for 31 children (60 staff)
Expansion of Bethel school (6 staff)

2007 Move to new facility in Dou Dian
Set up of a farm (food self sustainability)
Renovation of the premises
Registration of Bethel China Ltd. In HK
Registration of Bethel China ltd. Rep. office

2008 Construction of 7 foster homes
Build second floor to adjacent building (on-going renovation)
Operations size (80 staff)
Purchase agreement with the landlord

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