Guillaume & Delphine Gauvain (the Founders) do some research on NGOs work in China and try to find a people group that is not being reached. They decide to help orphans with visual impairments
G&D open the first house in Lang Fang, Hebei and receive 3 blind orphans from Tianjin orphanage, and employ 8 members of staffs
G&D open the second home, and care for 12 children with the help of 18 staff?Board of Directors established
The third home was opened to care for 24 children with 40 staff?Bethel school established with 2 teachers?Partnership with Children’s Hope International Social Work Committee (?)
Opening of the 4th home, care for 31 children (60 staff)?Expansion of Bethel school (6 staff)
Signed a long-term lease on land in Dou Dian, Fangshan District. Rennovated the premises and set up the farm to be self-sustainable?Children and Staff move into their new homes?Registration of Bethel Foundation Ltd. In HK?Registration of Bethel China ltd. Rep. office
Construction of 7 foster homes for children
Launch of Project 555, and the first training for state run orphanages took place, teaching them how to care for blind orphans.
Opening of Beijing Office?Operation size: 80 staff, 45 children (60 by the end of the year)?Project 555: 5 trainings were held with the attendees from 40 orphanages, representing 10,000 children across China.
Partnership with Beijing school for the Blind?Zhenzhou project established and home renovated. ?Beijing City Life Project was launched as 9 children moved into group homes in the city to attend the Beijing School for the Blind.
Bethel was founded in 2002 by Guillaume and Delphine Gauvain, a French couple in their early twenties. While in France, Delphine studied sociology and Guillaume studied English. They left France at 19 to continue their studies in the US, where they graduated in 1999.
After getting married in France, they moved to Canada, New Brunswick to head a humanitarian project called “The Shelter”, which supported young people, drug addicts and prisoners, helping them to reintegrate in society.
A Canadian friend told them about the opportunities waiting for them in China. They decided to start learning Mandarin and moved a few months to Hong Kong, from where Guillaume was able to visit many cities in Mainland China.
In 2001, their family of three (Emilie was born in Canada) now moved to Beijing, where Guillaume made both ends meet by teaching Jazz piano. While volunteering in a foster home, he met their adoptive son David. David’s adoption triggered a chain of decisions that led to the foundation of their family project.
Seeing that no adequate assistance was offered to orphans with visual impairment, the family moved to Lang Fang, Hebei where they rented a large house and started fostering 3 blind orphans. Soon the house was full of children, and a second house was opened. The next year, they had a total of 5 houses and a school.
In 2008, the project moved to a farm on a beautiful piece of land, the produce of which can help provide funds to make the charity a little more sustainable.
Guillaume and Delphine are known as “Faguo baba” and “Faguo mama” (Papa France and Mama France). They live in Beijing with their three children, Emilie, David and Benjamin.