Bethel China’s Zhengzhou project is a very special center. After building a relationship with the Zhengzhou Social Welfare Center, we were invited to open up a center for blind and visually impaired children on the orphanage premises. Love is Blind Zhengzhou was opened in December 2011, and we welcomed six children into a daily education program. In July 2013, 14 children moved into newly renovated apartments, and Bethel began to care for these children on a full-time basis.
We have seen some incredible changes in the children since they moved into Bethel’s care. Each child has an Individual Education Plan to help them work towards goals in areas including cognitive skills, language, socialization, self-help, fine motor and gross motor skills. The Zhengzhou project is designed to be an Early Intervention Center for children aged 0-6. Early intervention in the life of a child is extremely important, and we are so excited that these children are introduced to love at a very early age.
Bethel’s Zhengzhou project was a pilot project and has proved very successful! As the children have blossomed, people around them have started to take notice of them. People around them have been able to see just how much a blind child is capable of. As a result of these achievements, our staff have been asked to hold a number of trainings for staff from other orphanages in China. We hope to begin to open another center, similar to this one, in another orphanage in late 2014.