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CBM celebrates anniversary with 21 stories of hope

Christian overseas disability charity CBM UK, is marking its 21st birthday with the launch of a new booklet, introduced by former Home Secretary David Blunkett.

Lord Blunkett, who was Britain’s first blind Cabinet Minister, highlights the huge barriers still facing those who are blind or living with other disabilities in the world’s poorest places and urges continued support for CBM UK’s work.

1 in 7 people globally has some form of disability, with 80% of disabled people living in developing countries. 

Lord Blunkett writes:
“In recent decades, we’ve made great strides in tackling global poverty. Yet in spite of this progress, and the excellent work by a small number of organisations like CBM, people with disabilities have been left behind.

"Too many people with disabilities in developing countries are unable to fulfil their potential, held back by lack of access to education or healthcare, basic assistive devices like wheelchairs or hearing aids, and crucially by social attitudes that isolate women, men and children.

"There are positive signs that the world is waking up to disability-inclusion as a crucial development issue, not least in Agenda 2030, which follows on from the Millennium Development Goals. But the need is huge and will need concerted action. Please join me in working with CBM. Together, we can transform lives.”

The inspirational 21 Stories booklet which is available from www.cbmuk.org.uk, features the stories of people with disabilities whose lives have been changed by CBM, as well as some of the CBM doctors, experts, volunteers, supporters who have shaped the charity’s work, many of whom have been motivated by their Christian faith.

While celebrating the many significant achievements of CBM, the stories also emphasise the major barriers that people with disabilities continue to face in developing countries.

CBM UK CEO Kirsty Smith said: Our 21st birthday is an opportunity to thank our supporters across the UK whose generosity has transformed millions of lives in the world’s poorest places, but also to highlight how much we still need to do.

"The world has made great strides forward in combating poverty but people with disabilities – 1 in 7 of the world’s population – are being left behind. People still go blind because of conditions that could easily be treated. Disabled people are still routinely denied the chance to go to school or earn a living and face prejudice and stigma.

"So while it is very important to celebrate all that we’ve achieved since 1996, we’re also taking this opportunity to share our ambitious plans for the coming years and to inspire people across the UK to get involved.”

Stories include:

  • Editha from Tanzania who suffered with obstetric fistula and was ostracised from her community
  • Rajendra from Nepal, who is paralysed due to polio, who struggled to reach safety when the country was hit by an earthquake in 2015
  • Whitney, aged 8, who was blind for four years due to cataracts as her mother couldn’t afford sight-saving surgery

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