CBM, the world's leading international disability charity, is celebrating after reaching more disabled people than ever last year. In 2009, CBM International helped over 23 million people with disabilities or at risk of disability.
That's a message worth noting with pride on July 31, international Disability Awareness Day. It reinforces the plea by singer Stevie Wonder during his performance at Glastonbury asking for increased accessibility for disabled people. "Make it accessible," says Stevie!
Last year, 2009, CBM International helped 23,733,094 people with or at risk of disability. It provided 923,353 eye operations, 73,600 orthopaedic aids and many other essentials.
The number of people CBM helped was up 15 per cent on 2008. "We are delighted with the latest results," said Dr Bill McAllister, CEO, CBM UK. He added: "There is still much more to be done. Poverty will never be history until we address disability."
CBM today known just by its initials is based just outside Cambridge, UK. It works with people with all kinds of disability, remaining true to the principles that brought it into being 102 years ago.
Dr McAllister said: "Our goal is to empower people to change their own lives and to ensure that people with disabilities are treated as equals within their societies."
CBM sees disability as a development and human rights issue. People with disabilities in the most disadvantaged societies in the world are often excluded from employment or income generating opportunities, social life and community activities, leading to a life of poverty.
CBM a true partnership there for the long term
Partnership and sustainability are central to CBM's work. CBM was there yesterday, CBM is there today, CBM will be there tomorrow.
"There is something special about our partnership with CBM," says CBM partner Rima Canawati, Director of Programme Development at the Bethlehem Arab Society for Rehabilitation (BASR), West Bank.
"It feels like an equal one, that is truly based on trust and is concerned more with the needs of the people with disabilities rather than the egos of the organisations."
Helping All Faiths and None CBM is there to support people of any faith or none. CBM's actions reach from earthquake-torn Haiti to trouble zones in Indonesia, taking in Africa and India on the way. CBM works with over 700 local partners in over 90 countries and reaches more than 23 million people each year.
The Statistics CBM has done major work on river blindness prevention schemes in central and west Africa. And people all over the developing world have received eye treatment from CBM.
Almost a million surgical procedures took place in 2009, including 675,734 cataract removals; 26,977 orthopaedic interventions; and 9,541 ear operations. CBM handed out more than 1.3 million medical aids - including 1,195,138 pairs of spectacles and 73,603 orthopaedic aids (e.g. crutches), plus 48,111 low-vision devices and 17,778 hearing aids.
CBM - at the cutting edge of Mental Health Ever on the lookout for new fields of need, CBM has branched out into community mental health services, supporting 96,405 people in a rapidly growing field of work.
Community-Based Inclusion CBM's favoured approach to meeting the needs of people with disabilities and getting them included in society is to focus on the community. In its community-based rehabilitation programmes, 351,917 people benefited from its help last year.
Education Working on the same lines, CBM helped to provide education for 64,502 children with disabilities in 2009, while another 66,865 adults with disabilities gained support in acquiring skills and getting work.
Sustainable development is a key CBM principle. That is demonstrated in the financial support it provides for training: 79,479 people trained by partners and 14,706 local project staff during the last year. This ranged from eye surgeons to physiotherapists to special-needs educators to programme managers.
All those figures demonstrate that CBM is the world's leading international disability and development organisation. But CBM never rests on its laurels. There's too much else waiting to be done.
To find our more about CBM visit: www.cbmuk.org.uk.
CBM the overseas disability charity
All press enquiries: CBM Tel: 01223 484700 Viv Ayas (mobile: 07986 606025) or Laura Townsend (mobile: 077993 66641) or Gill Godber (mobile: 0771 511 3017)
Cbm UK, Vision House, 7/8 Oakington Business Park, Dry Drayton Road, Oakington. Cambridge CB24 3DQ
Notes to editors: About CBM CBM, the overseas disability charity, works to improve the lives of people with disabilities in the poorest communities. The initials used to denote "Christian Blind Mission". These days, though, CBM works with people with all kinds of disability. Its goal is to empower people to change their own lives. Based on its Christian values and over 100 years of professional expertise and experience, CBM addresses poverty as a cause and a consequence of disability, and works in partnership to create a society for all. CBM helps people regardless of their religious beliefs.
Cause and prevention CBM's focus is on the prevention and treatment of diseases wherever possible, and on education and rehabilitation so that people with disability can be included into their society as equals and lead a largely independent life.
CBM works in partnership with national and local organisations and provides an important advocacy link between people with disabilities and their respective governments.
History over 100 years of commitment and expertise
CBM was founded in 1908 by the German Pastor Ernst Jakob Christoffel, known as the 'Father of Forgotten Children". His Christian faith led him to care for the needs of children with disabilities and orphans in Malatya, Turkey, and Tabriz and Isfahan, Iran.
All press enquiries: CBM Tel: 01223 484700 Viv Ayas (mobile: 07986 606025) or Laura Townsend (mobile: 077993 6641) or Gill Godber (mobile: 0771 511 3017) Cbm uk, Vision House, 7/8 Oakington Business Park, Dry Drayton Road, Oakington, Cambridge CB24 3DQ.
Notes to editors:
- CBM helps 23,733,094 people with or at risk of disability in 2009 a 15% increase on the previous year.
- CBM helps people regardless of their religious beliefs.
- CBM has over 100 years of professional expertise and experience, and addresses poverty as a cause and a consequence of poverty.