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Center for blind orphans celebrates national project with charity concert

November 23, 2009

Bethel Center for the Blind, created to provide foster care, education and professional training to blind and visually impaired orphans, will be holding their already traditional annual charity concert on December 5th at the Westin Chaoyang Hotel.

From 2pm, the Bethel Choir will sing some of their flagship songs including “Jingle Bells” and “Gloria”. They will also be joined at the stage by the Instant Noodles Jazz Band, with Bethel’s co-founder Guillaume Gauvain at the keyboards.

In this event baptised as From darkness to light, an experience that touches the spirit, the music will be followed by a presentation on Bethel and a tea reception, during which attendants will also have the chance to buy Bethel-made scarves, T-shirts and jewelry.

The concert will give Bethel’s team a chance to explain their mission to the general public, but it will also be an opportunity for the children to have fun, something considered essential in the centre’s philosophy.

“No matter the difficulties these kids have faced in the past, a good dose of fun, love and safety will do miracles”, says Guillaume.

However, those are not the only reasons that make this year’s event special. For Guillaume and Delphine Gauvain, Bethel’s 2nd Annual Charity Concert is also a way to celebrate a turning point in the project’s path.

Under the wings of the Save the Children Project launched by the China Social Workers Association (Ministry of Civil Affairs) and with the help of many staff members, volunteers and sponsors, what started six years ago as a small-scale initiative has turned into a growing project that now aims to go far beyond Bethel’s walls.

The Gauvains, who started taking care of the first three blind orphans in their own home in 2003, now have under their care more than 35 children of all ages, from 20 state-run orphanages across China living in a near self-sustainable and environmentally-friendly facility located in Doudian town, in Beijing’s Fangshan district.

After six years of expanding their knowledge of foster care, specialized education, children’s psychology, orientation and mobility and even hippotherapy, Bethel’s team feels the time has come to share their experiences with orphanages across the country so that they can help improve the quality of life of the hundreds of blind or visually impaired children that still live in those centres.

Under the project “5-5-5″, their goal for the next five years is giving 5.000 orphans free access to information, education, mobility and vacation. They will also strive to train carers from a total of 500 orphanages.

The challenge is great, but so is their determination and enthusiasm. Join the Bethel team at the Westin and see how far children can go with the right kind of support.

RSVP

If you are interested in attending the event or you would like to make your contribution to Bethel through volunteering, teaching or sponsoring, please contact Zach Johnson at zach@bethelchina.org or call 80310383.

Location: Westin Beijing Chaoyang (See map).

Written by Julia Sorribes in collaboration with the Bethel Team

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