What we do

People with disabilities in developing countries face enormous challenges including stigma, violence, and profoundly diminished access to physical and mental health care, food, education and assistive devices. Together these mean that people with disabilities commonly live in extreme poverty. And people living in poor communities are more likely to have or to acquire a disability.

At CBM, we have more than 115 years’ experience developing proven community-based programs that help millions of people with disabilities benefit from real and lasting change.

80% of people with disabilities live in poverty

A child with her blind grandmother.

What is the cycle of poverty and disability?

Poverty and disability go hand-in-hand, making people with disabilities some of the poorest in the world. As disability inclusion advocates, our aim is to ensure we empower and support those most in need living in situations of vulnerability. A combination of people’s attitudes, poor legislation and a physically-limiting environment can also stop people with disabilities from having the same opportunities as everyone else. This is a human rights issue. And one we cannot ignore. 

Health care and rehabilitation

CBM works with local partners to prevent and treat avoidable causes of blindness such as cataract, river blindness and trachoma, and treat conditions like clubfoot to avoid permanent impairment.

Equality and opportunity

Our work opens the door for people with disabilities to gain an education, open a business, earn a living, make friends and be part of their community, often for the first time in their lives.

Influencing and advocacy

Positive societal change happens when people with disabilities are free from unfair obstacles. This means changing attitudes and beliefs, as well as physical environments, systems and policies.

Join CBM Australia to Build a Better World for All

How we work

CBM’s proven approach means we work with partners to amplify our impact, creating a ripple effect that extends the reach of our message far beyond what would be possible on our own. Our partnerships exist at both a grassroots and strategic level so that we can be a catalyst for making immediate and lasting change possible. This includes:

Our field programs

We partner with local community organisations, NGOs, and governments*, bringing the best possible combination of CBM’s international resources together with deeply relevant local knowledge, relationships and influence.

Inclusion Advisory Group

We partner with the disability movement to influence governments, organisations and institutions, and we provide proven and trusted technical advice with quality-assurance mechanisms to ensure rights-based, disability inclusive development. 

Our advocacy

CBM Australia is well placed to leverage our evidence base and technical expertise to influence key decision makers in government and the development sector to ensure Australia leads the way in disability inclusion being a strong focus of the Australian aid program.

Global alliance

CBM Australia, part of CBM Global Disability Inclusion works in partnership with the disability movement. This and our wider partnership approach is key to achieving our mission. We believe that cooperation and collaboration are crucial to achieving our impact and your charitable donations form the foundation to help us continue to advocate for disability inclusive activities ensuring long-term funding for those most in need. 

Our Vision, Mission and Values

CBM is a Christian charity organisation devoted to supporting people with disabilities living in poverty

CBM Australia works alongside people with disabilities in the world’s poorest places to fight poverty and exclusion, and transform lives.

Drawing on more than 115 years’ experience, we are values driven and work with the most marginalised in society to:

  • End the cycle of poverty and disability;
  • Treat and prevent conditions that lead to disability; and
  • Build inclusive communities where everyone can enjoy their human rights and achieve their full potential.

We work in more than 20 countries, investing in long-term, authentic partnerships with the disability movement and multiplying our impact by delivering a combination of inclusive community-based programs, health system strengthening, advocacy for national and global policy change, and inclusion advice to other organisations and governments.

Our Vision and Mission

At CBM Australia, we have a vision for an inclusive world in which all people with disabilities enjoy their human rights and achieve their full potential.

We are devoted to our mission to end the cycle of poverty and disability.

We do this because we are an international Christian development organisation.

Our Values

We strive for justice

We work for positive change, inspired by a vision of a just and equitable world. We will model justice and faithful love as Jesus did, serving those in greatest need, regardless of race, gender, age or religious belief.

  • I stand up for human rights.
  • I advocate for fairness and equality.
  • I work alongside people with disabilities to promote their rights.
  • I recognise and call out injustice.

We champion inclusion

We believe everyone is equal before God. We are passionate about working with people with disabilities to build a world in which all people are included, valued and respected.

  • I embrace diversity.
  • I acknowledge I can unintentionally contribute to exclusion.
  • I proactively educate myself and others about inclusion, modelling inclusive practice.
  • I ask people with disabilities specifically how they want to be included, and act accordingly.
  • I embrace and work respectfully with people of all faiths and none.

We embrace partnership

We achieve more when we work with others. We commit to partnership, listening and learning together. We collaborate creatively with partners, supporters, governments and colleagues to achieve lasting change.

  • I am an effective ally, guided by the disability movement’s objectives and priorities.
  • I value the expertise, contribution and commitment of all those we connect with.
  • I communicate honestly and respectfully, seeking to understand before being understood.
  • I collaborate, listen and learn with others.
  • I navigate problems and power dynamics with curiosity, empathy, compassion, and courage.

We pursue excellence

We are committed to achieving the greatest possible impact from the resources entrusted to us, attaining high quality in all our work. We challenge ourselves to constantly learn, innovate and improve.

  • I demonstrate leadership, considering opportunities and issues wider than my immediate responsibilities.
  • I overcome silos and ego to co-create integrated and sustainable solutions.
  • I contribute to equitable generation, use and sharing of knowledge.
  • I relentlessly prioritise the activities which will have greatest impact.
  • I hold safe space for myself and others to name problems, learn, innovate and evolve.

We live with integrity

We show God’s character by seeking to live by our values and fulfil our commitments. We hold ourselves accountable to our supporters and those we serve, seeking to live authentically, responsibly and honestly.

  • I practise servant leadership, seeking what is best for our work.
  • I value our resources; I am a good steward of time, finances, relationships and environment.
  • I am responsible, reliable and consistent even when no one is watching.
  • I own my mistakes and am accountable for my commitments and actions.
  • I step up to difficult conversations and have the courage to initiate them.

At CBM we live out our values, which underpin our determination to end the cycle of poverty and disability.

Our values reflect the teachings and example of Jesus Christ who modelled and promoted inclusion and sought justice and dignity for those marginalised and excluded.

We affirm that all people are created equally in the image of God; we follow Jesus’s example of love, inclusion, justice and impartiality, and we work with all people irrespective of race, gender or spiritual beliefs.

CBM Australia Values with CEO Jane Edge

Achieving our mission to fight the cycle of poverty and disability

CBM Australia is a Christian international disability development organisation. 

Our disability inclusive advocacy ensures people with disabilities are empowered and included in planning and decision making. We keenly advocate for justice and a generous Australian aid program.

We are driven by our vision for an inclusive world in which all people with disabilities enjoy their human rights and achieve their full potential.

We do this because people with disabilities living in poverty face stigma, violence and discrimination, and have reduced access to health care, rehabilitation, assistive devices, safe and accessible living environments, education and employment. In emergencies, people with disabilities are often the worst impacted and face a higher risk of being injured or losing their lives during a disaster.

Find out more about the link between poverty and disability

We build authentic partnerships with the Disability Movement

We draw on more than 115 years of experience, seeking out the most effective and innovative approaches to realise our mission. 

We create concrete and sustainable change for and with people with disabilities, their families and communities through our three vehicles of change: field programs, external advisory and advocacy.

We practise and promote disability inclusion in contexts ranging from humanitarian preparedness and emergency response to long-term development and system change.   

We are partnership based, working in authentic partnership with the disability movement and with other key organisations at the local, national, and global level. 

In partnership with and accountable to the Disability Movement


Disability advocacy, both in the field and in Australia, is central to CBM Australia achieving its mission of transforming the lives of people with disabilities in the world’s poorest communities. Our disability rights advocacy service ensures CBM Australia can make an even greater impact.

Field programs

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the world had been making progress in tackling poverty. Despite this, people with disabilities were being left behind. The pandemic now threatens to undo progress towards ending extreme poverty and is revealing the extent of the exclusion and discrimination experienced by people with disabilities.  

External advisory

We partner with the disability movement to influence organisations, institutions and systems to realise the rights of people with disabilities. We believe that tailored input, communicated effectively, with the right people at the table can help make inclusion a reality.

How our Christian faith and values guide our work

We are Christian; our values reflect the teachings and example of Jesus Christ: 

  • We Strive for Justice
  • We Champion Inclusion
  • We Embrace Partnership
  • We Pursue Excellence
  • We Live with Integrity

CBM Australia’s Annual Report 2023

Together we continue to achieve extraordinary things alongside people with disabilities and their representative organisations in the poorest communities across the globe.

Australia, our region, and the world continue to wrestle with great uncertainty, fuelled by climate, conflict, and broader health anxieties. It is our ability to live with uncertainty, while being diligently constructive with the things we can control, that makes all the difference. People with disabilities in the poorest communities need us to make that difference by being their undaunted allies.

Andrew Ellis, Board Chair

“We are truly blessed to be part of a global movement that is harnessing our amazing gifts (dollars and talents) in a variety of different ways that amplify our diversity of lived experience.”

As seen in the 2023 Annual Report.

Jane Edge, CEO 

“Ours truly is a movement of the heart. A movement that needs your continued prayers and support, so that CBM Australia together with our CBM Global Disability Inclusion Federation can continue to work towards lasting change.”

As seen in the 2023 Annual Report.

*CBM Australia is accredited by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), responsible for managing the Australian Government’s aid program. CBM Australia receives support through the Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP) for 28 field projects.