In 2015, CBM Australia supported 40 projects in 17 of the world’s poorest countries.
Together we can do more
Partnerships are central to CBM’s development approach. We believe we can achieve greater change by working with others. Through partnership, efforts and resources are united to influence policy making, fund projects/programs , exchange information and learning experiences, to facilitate cooperation and increase long-term sustainability.
In the field, the best way to achieve transformation is to work with local partners who can create and will continue to drive local change over time.
CBM Field Partnerships
CBM works with several levels of partners in the field:
CBM Regional and Country Coordination Offices
CBM has six Asian and African regional offices which coordinate all the CBM work in their region. Many countries also have a Country Coordination Office to oversee and monitor the work in that country, especially where there are large programs.
Field partners include local NGOs, local Disabled Peoples Organisations (DPOs), churches and government departments in field program countries. They may be small local organisations, or large international development organisations. Field partners enter into a formal partnership with CBM International to implement projects on their behalf. CBMI supports these partners financially and technically, although partners are often chosen because of their specialist expertise.
What is the role of CBM Australia?
CBM Australia works with field partners to develop projects that will restore life and hope to the world’s poorest and most marginalised people who are living with disability. After work begins, CBM Australia works closely with country offices and partners, monitoring the work being done to ensure that the projects achieve their plans. CBM Australia has a team of program officers who work with regional and country offices to monitor the work of the project. They also visit the projects annually to observe the work first hand, and to ensure that the projects achieve the best possible outcome.
What sort of work do partners do?
We firmly believe no one should be left behind, so we’re always working to change negative attitudes and perceptions of disability, as well as the physical barriers that people face. This is done through community education programs which teach people about the true causes of disability seeking to dispel the myths and stigma that surround it. Our partners also work to empower the poorest people with disabilities through livelihood opportunities and access to education, showing that people with disability are able to achieve, be independent and fully participating members of their local communities.
We also work with partner organisations to ensure people with disabilities are never forgotten when disaster strikes.
Some examples of the work we do are:
Community Based Rehabilitation
Community Based Rehabilitation (CBR) is at the centre of much of our work, and focuses on empowering people with disabilities and their families within their own communities. This means long-term social change to develop disability inclusive communities.
CBR focuses on all aspects of a person’s life – physical, educational, livelihoods, social and empowerment. This approach helps to break down the physical and attitudinal barriers, keeps people in their own environment, and enables better community understanding of the potential for people with disability.
This means bringing information, raising the profile and role of people with disability within the community, addressing discriminatory practices and attitudes. CBM finds this is most successful and uplifting when people with disability are themselves leading.
Providing medical care and support
Living in poverty, especially in rural areas, means that the poorest people with disabilities don’t have access to basic healthcare because the services are not available, or when they are, it’s difficult to afford the cost.
Through our projects, we’re bringing vital treatment, care and support to those who need it most by providing life-changing surgeries, rehabilitation, physiotherapy and ongoing after-care. These interventions often enable the person to lead a better life. Where that is not possible, CBM also enables access to mobility aids and ongoing care to help the person become more active and achieve their potential.
We also work to prevent diseases that cause disabilities through vaccines, medication and community education.
Education and Livelihoods
Receiving an education and having opportunity to earn an income are important factors in enabling people to get out of the cycle of poverty. Children and adults with disability are usually excluded from these activities because of attitudes that they are unable to achieve anything.
Our partners work with families, teachers and schools to educate them about disability and advocate for children with disability to be able to attend their local school. This may involve building ramps and overcoming physical barriers to enable them to reach the classroom.
With our local partners, we’re working to provide people with disabilities with the training and new skills they need to earn an income. We’re also working together with local Disabled People’s Organisations (DPOs) to develop self-help business groups for people with disabilities, where they can combine their knowledge and resources to empower themselves and each other.
Finally, we are helping people with disabilities to create their business dreams and goals by connecting them with a loan provider or in some cases providing small business loans to get them started!
Through this we achieve our goal of improving the quality of life for people with disability and bringing an end to the cycle of poverty and disability.