Stories

The results of a rapid global survey of people with disabilities about their experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic have highlighted a catastrophic failure to protect their lives, health and rights.The report, Disability rights during the pandemic: A global report on findings of the COVID-19 Disability Rights Monitor, was published in October.It draws on more than...

John 1:14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth Reflection [caption id="attachment_28520" align="alignright" width="300"] Stevie Wills[/caption]Join us at CBM Australia, as we journey through advent. This year we’re exploring the theme of ‘Hope-filled visions’. We’re exploring...

Australia is one of the world’s most charitable countries – and when we see a natural disaster occur overseas many of us want to support those directly affected.Almost half of all natural disasters around the world happen in the Asia-Pacific region, and in the last few years alone countries including Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea, the...

The Philippines is one of the world’s most vulnerable countries when it comes to natural disasters – and right now the Southeast Asian nation is dealing with a significant crisis.Typhoon Vamco is the third typhoon to strike the Philippines in the last month and its impact has been devastating. At least 67 people have been...

CBM Australia Case Study Partner Organisation: CBM Philippines Country OfficeWhen COVID-19 first reached the Philippines, widespread lockdowns and mandatory mask-wearing were introduced across the country to slow the spread of the virus. For deaf people, this meant that they were cut off from communicating via lip reading, as traditional masks hide people’s faces.Michi, from CBM’s Country...

With the support Australian NGO Cooperation Program, CBM has supported the Aceh Community Based Inclusive Development project, in partnership with two local NGOs. Over three years, the project tackled a range of challenges facing people with disability. One of the most pressing issues that this project addressed was to boost financial independence of people living...

2020 has been an extremely challenging year – but also an opportunity to reflect on what is important to us, such as family, friends and good health.As we approach a festive season like none before, the CBM Gift Shop is offering a range of Meaningful Gifts, which help to change the lives of some of...

In her early childhood Edith was hospitalised with a severe case of measles (later suspected to be Polio) and fell into a coma.  Her parents, both teachers in a remote area in western Kenya, were devastated and prayed their daughter would be saved.  God answered their prayers and Edith survived.  However, the muscles in her...

Image: Lyn with women receiving treatment for fistula in Africa (2015)On Monday (November 2), long-term CBM supporter Lyn Wake is celebrating her birthday, but instead of celebrating the milestone with presents and cake, Lyn is instead asking Australians to dig deep to donate in support of her late daughter Bethany’s remarkable legacy of helping the...

He may be a person with vision impairment, but CBM supporter Prabath Wickramanayake has not held back.Born in Sri Lanka, Prabath grew up in New Zealand, and while experiencing vision impairment himself, he gained no particular knowledge of others with a similar condition.He attended Newlands College, a mainstream school in Wellington, where he was fortunate...

Promoting significant social returns from small investment in Vietnam An important part of the work CBM engages in, is promoting and supporting livelihoods for people with disabilities. Developing livelihoods promotes economic independence and when people can support themselves and their family, this improves confidence. This is especially important for people with disabilities who may have been...

Generating practical and policy support for mental health in West AfricaOver two five-year projects between January 2010 and the project’s completion in December 2019, CBM, supported a mental health leadership project designed to support and bolster the mental health services and combat stigma associated with mental illness and create national stakeholder councils across five countries...

Leading disability-inclusive international development agency, CBM Australia, has described tonight’s apparent cuts to the disability allocation within the Australian aid budget as short-sighted and bewildering.The Federal Government has removed more than 25 per cent of the disability budget, which is contradictory for a government promising to protect the most vulnerable.CBM CEO Jane Edge said people...

Applying the lessons from Ebola to the COVID-19 crisis As countries rapidly formulate appropriate responses to the global coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has issued an urgent statement noting, “Unless governments and communities take action discrimination against people with disabilities could increase during the COVID-19 pandemic”.  It is useful to examine...

Celebrating corrective eye surgery in Nepal on World Sight Day Twenty years on from the first World Sight Day and October 8 continues to  provide a chance to reflect on just how life changing corrective eye surgery is for people around the world.  CBM Australia in collaboration with CBM Germany and Italy funds cataract surgery...

Heather Maddy’s late mother Thelma had two great passions – craft and charity – and she is determined to continue her mother’s legacy of generosity and support for those in need, through COVID-19 and beyond.“Mum was passionate about helping others in need and held a firm belief that everyone should have access to clean water,”...

Father in the name of Jesus, I pray may you meet every person with disability around the world living in poverty. You are our provider, provide them the comfort they deserve and give them channels for which they can be able to uplift themselves from poverty and make them be able to work. Lord we...

I grew up in a village in Papua New Guinea and attended a native church. My grandfather was Catholic, so my parents went to Catholic Church. The Bible was with us, but it was not the doctrine or the book that we would take to the church; rather it was the songs that formed the...

We learn so much from our close family and friends and on Father’s Day we recognise the contribution of fathers can play in the new normal of the COVID-19 pandemic.In Cameroon, Richard is an innovative entrepreneur living with disability. He manages his small stall where he can sell a variety of items including sweets and...

Clubfoot is one of a number of relatively common congenital anomalies that can be present from a baby’s birth.Affecting one or both feet, clubfoot is a deformity of the foot, which sees a baby’s foot or feet twisted inwards.This is due to the tendons that connect a baby’s leg muscles to its foot being shorter...

River blindness – or onchocerciasis – is one of the leading causes of blindness worldwide and has a devastating impact on the lives of people primarily living in tropical African nations.The parasitic disease can be transmitted to humans if they are repeatedly bitten by an infected blackfly – most commonly found in close proximity to...

What is a fistula?  A fistula occurs when an unborn baby’s head puts too much pressure on a mother’s maternal tissues, cutting off the blood supply. The tissue dies and leaves a hole, or fistula, which causes urine and sometimes faeces to leak uncontrollably.In the poorest places, malnutrition can affect the growth of the skeleton,...

Lord, I lift to you all persons with disabilities. Give them additional strength. I pray that they will trust in you and be strong. Lord, I pray that the carers of persons with disabilities will have the patience and knowledge on how to encourage them. I lift all these to you, through Jesus Christ. Amen.   ...

‘This life is an opportunity This life is to serve God Don’t waste what God has given This life must be a blessing’I am the ninth child in a family of 10 children. I grew up in a small city in Indonesia called Magelang.When I was young, I was taken to hospital for surgery on my backbones. After...

Hi my name is Barbara Armstrong.I live in South Australia on the Fleurieu Peninsula in a little town called Yankalilla. I would like to talk to you today about CBM and the wonderful work they do around the world.I was first introduced to CBM by a friend who invited me to a meeting in Victor...

Big dreams back for Sudip Returning to school after his second cataract surgery was a big milestone for Sudip. When he initially stopped going to school, the five-year old’s vision problems prevented him from being able to read the blackboard or learn with his classmates.Now, after successful cataract surgeries and with a new pair of prescribed...

Combating the stereotypes: COVID-19 response in Nepal Sarita Lamichhane (pictured centre), Gender Equality and Social Inclusion expert of Support Activities of Poor Producers of Nepal (SAPPROS) Nepal“Persons with disabilities are usually looked at as passive receivers of humanitarian aid during disasters. Being a visually impaired woman, I strive to change these attitudes on a daily basis.”Sarita...

CBM Donor’s Engineering Success Greg Fawbry, one of our valued supporters, is an engineer drawn to our work in inclusive eye health. Graeme Turner finds out why.It was challenging to handle surveying equipment, to read the calibrations in a time long before digital readouts. This might not seem a huge deal, but Greg Fawbry, one of...

World Humanitarian Day: Making Humanitarian Action Inclusive At time of crisis, people with disabilities are often among the worst affected and the last to receive help. They may not hear about the best ways to protect themselves or be able to reach help. They may struggle to access essentials like clean water and food – and...

Author: Alison Dean, Director of Public EngagementOn my first overseas project visit with CBM, I wept.Now let me be clear, I am not the crying type. For 30 years I have held myself to the discipline of not crying at work, and certainly not this type of crying. This was silent, body-shaking, eyes-leaking crying.Why?I was...

Author: Jane Edge, CEO of CBM AustraliaPictured: Joanna with her mother Frenil at their shop.For 110 years around the world, and more than 40 years in Australia, CBM has provided impactful and sustainable support to people with disabilities living in the poorest countries.From here in Australia, this work transforms the lives of up to 10...

COVID-19 is having devastating impact on lives around the world. Those living in poverty with a disability are even more impacted. You can help.In many ways our current experience of living with the COVD-19 pandemic is normal life for the vast majority of the world’s people. In the places where CBM Australia works, fears we...

On Miracles Day last year, Lucy travelled to a remote village in Nepal to meet patients at Nepal’s largest eye hospital where sight-saving surgery takes place multiple times each day. During her trip she and co-host Kel broadcast their Brekky Show live from Nepal and encouraged listeners to donate to Miracles Day.As part of her...

The sight of the CBM partner Eye Hospital, based in a remote region of Nepal, inspired hope and optimism in five-year old Sudip and his father Sher Bahadur.Sudip’s eyesight had deteriorated to the point he could no longer attend school, socialise with his friends or play with his siblings. The little boy and his parents...

Author: Mariska MeldrumNever in my wildest imagination, would I have pictured myself standing in a small shack on a remote island in the Philippines, watching someone have eye surgery.But there I was, a mum of three small kids - known for running out of the room during operating scenes on TV - watching in awe...

Author: Frenil, Joanna's Mother.Our lives changed when Joanna woke up one day without sight. It felt as though our family fell down really hard. But as a mother, I had to be strong for my family…for my daughter. I walked her to school every day. I copied notes for her. I helped her eat, get...

Author: Lyn WakeTravelling to Nepal in 2019, as an ambassador for CBM, was a heartfelt mission taken on behalf of our late daughter, Bethany. Generous and compassionate, Bethany dreamed of becoming a nurse and journeying to remote places to help the most marginalised and the ‘poorest of the poor’.However, Bethany did not get to fulfil...

On Miracles Day, Australians are asked to donate $33 to give someone the Miracle gift of sight-saving surgery. CBM Australia uses this money to fund eye-health projects in countries like the Philippines. Dr. Reden Rabino is a celebrated ophthalmologist at Eye Hear Foundation, a CBM partner in the Philippines. Michi from the CBM Country Office...

Scott Curtis, 107.9 Life FM's Content Director, shares his Miracle Memory from his 2017 trip to the Philippines for Miracles Day.  I stood in awe, microphone in one hand and phone in the other trying to best capture this miracle that was unfolding before me. Alfredo had been experiencing a deterioration in his sight for the past...

Many young children have big dreams about what they want to be when they grow up, like becoming a footballer, a firefighter or a doctor.For five-year old Sudip, who lives with his parents and four siblings in a remote village about 600km east of Nepal’s capital Kathmandu, his big dream was to be a police...

Over the past decade, we have seen natural disasters and humanitarian emergencies increase in number, scale and duration, having considerable impact on the world’s most vulnerable people. CBM Australia plays a vital role in ensuring humanitarian action and disaster response includes people with disabilities – in our immediate region and globally.Common experience reveals that people...

Julian Eaton, CBM’s Global Advisor for Mental Health, answers questions about mental health, and how CBM is helping those most in need.What is mental health?When we talk about mental health, we often immediately think about mental illness, whereas in fact mental health is actually a good thing! Being mentally healthy is what allows us...

Bethany Wake was a remarkable 15-year-old Australian girl who loved God and people with a passion. Bethany was devoted to helping the poor and disadvantaged.  She had a particular heart for women suffering from obstetric fistula and she dreamed of becoming a midwife one day. In her life she began fundraising and awareness (the Blue Box) –...

Preventing the transmission of COVID-19 remains for now one of the best methods of combating the virus. CBM has been involved in curbing the spread of COVID-19 through the distribution of prevention kits to the communities we work with in Cameroon, in West Africa. These prevention kits include sanitation products like soaps, buckets and face...

Community Education Officer Stevie Wills’ hopes for inclusive communities as we begin to emerge from lockdown. In Australia, we haven’t seen a crisis like COVID-19 in our lifetime. In late March it dawned on me that I couldn’t ask my parents (or anyone else) how they had managed similar circumstances in the past. We have collectively...

Responding to COVID-19 in Indonesia In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic one way in which CBM has been working in Indonesia is to build initiatives that will assist people who might otherwise struggle during this time. One of these initiatives was through a partnership with a social crowdfunding platform. One of the campaigns on this...

Shadishori's Story: Disability Rights and Education. Shadishori heard about a disability project  in 2007 when CBM's partner organisation, NBJK were doing a survey in her village to find out how many people with disability there were. There were opportunities to get training, and she took up the chance to get 3 months of training as a...

Creating Work Opportunities for People with Disability. Mangal got involved with CBM partner organisation, MSS’s work in 2014, when the organisation was linking people with disability with training in mushroom production. He does this work with others, and together the group has now developed a good business – mushrooms sell for 200 rupees ($4)/kg, and they...

Suman's Story: Changing Attitudes About Disability and Sport. “When I was at school, I watched other kids get medals and prizes for sport, but because of my disability, I got nothing” says Suman. That changed in 2002 when schools in Ranchi decided to mark Disability Day by involving children with disability in athletics competitions. Suman came...

In lower-income countries, the repercussions of COVID-19 will place additional strain on health services, leaving many people more vulnerable.  CBM Australia has sought to assist and strengthen health systems and community infrastructure to ensure people with disabilities in India can meet their continuing and additional needs in a time of uncertainty caused by COVID-19.By mobilising...

In addition to responding to COVID-19 challenges, the CBM Australia and CBM Italy teams have been assisting in the Amhara region in Ethiopia to build resilience in communities at risk of food insecurity. The Amhara region currently faces a number of challenges to food security from locust swarms and recent floods and landslides, threatening livelihoods...

29/05/2020CBM Australia welcomes Australia’s international COVID-19 response, though warns that ambition without investment will leave people with disabilities further behind. The Australian Government today released its Partnerships for Recovery COVID-19 development strategy, and made tangible commitments to prioritising the inclusion of people with disabilities and women and girls. CBM Australia – Australia’s largest international development organisation...

LATEST REPORT FROM THE FIELD  HYGIENE CRISIS: SOAP IS LIKE GOLD DUST NOWHere in Australia we’re well used to the public health advice on washing our hands to break the COVID-19 cycle. But simple hand soap is a luxury item for millions of people living in poverty. So rare that many people are having to use...

I write to you from Dhaka the capital of Bangladesh asking you please to help us now, today. Our situation is desperate. If I had to use just one word to describe the atmosphere in this city at the moment, it would be “fear”.Everyone is afraid. Especially the poor, who live in vast slums, and...

Cucu Saidah’s work as a disability advocate and inclusion advisor has taken her from her homeland Indonesia to Japan, the US, Australia and Norway. But, as a person with a disability who sees barriers to social and economic participation every day, she believes her work will never be complete.“My passion is accessibility and disability inclusion,...

Gerard Ybanez looks up from his work desk. He stops soldering microchips in his outdoor electronics repair shop at his parents’ sprawling house on the road from Madredejos. “I fix cellphones, TVs and sound equipment.  I love sound equipment – and I love music." Gerard is 28 and twelve years ago he joined a home-based rehabilitation program...

What does 26,500 hours of donated time look like?The answer can be seen in the ongoing success of CBM Australia’s work – as that is the number of hours generously donated to the organisation by volunteers between January and December 2019.“In monetary terms, the hard work and dedication of our volunteers save CBM Australia an...

Ibu Mariti looks lovingly at her son, something she wasn’t able to do when she had cataracts.Ibu Mariti lives in East Java with her two sons, one of whom is still in school. She is a masseur and is very well respected in her community as a healer, especially for babies and small children.When we...

Advocating to governments to improve their policies and programs so they are more disability inclusive, CBM Australia works hard to ensure that wherever people living with disabilities are, they are not left behind. Erly, CBM programme manager in the Philippines, highlights the precarious position of people living with disabilities during the pandemic, and the critical...

When we arrived at this school in East Java there was much excitement as we interrupted the routine of the school day. Approaching the classrooms, kids’ faces peered through windows, ignoring their teachers’ requests to pay attention. We were soon welcomed by the school’s principal and encouraged to enjoy a generous morning tea before meeting...

In light of the devastating COVID-19 pandemic, CBM Australia’s projects have temporarily changed focus to provide immediate assistance to those in need. In the Philippines, a community project initially designed to prepare persons with disabilities and their communities for natural disasters such as typhoons has now adapted to prepare for new and ongoing challenges. Prior...

During global pandemics such as the Ebola crisis in West Africa, and now the COVID-19 crisis, people living with disabilities can experience reduced agency and independence with changes in routines and support.“I am a person with disability. I am independent and I like socialising. But the situation now is challenging. Public transport, including the ride-hailing...

“Because of the business and the support, the future is more secure,” says Man with his son interpreting for us.When CBM Australia first heard about Man, he had just sustained a significant spinal injury in the 2015 earthquake in Nepal, resulting in the use of a wheelchair. CBM and a partner organisation worked with Man...

As we practice social distancing and self-isolation in order to limit the spread of COVID-19, many churches have radically adapted the ways that they operate. Church services are being live-streamed and small groups are meeting online.How can churches ensure they are inclusive of people with disabilities as we connect in these new ways?In 1 Corinthians...

In addition to civil unrest, the loss of lives and significant population displacement, the Northwest region of Cameroon is also bracing for the impact of COVID-19, but with so many displaced people, the task of flattening the curve has been made that much harder. “I have been preventing the virus by washing my hands with...

The United Nations recognises that girls and women with disabilities are among the most vulnerable and marginalised members of society. CBM Australia recognises the value of this statement and the necessity of access to water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) practices and facilities in some of the poorest parts of the world.Thorough handwashing practices are the...

Personal hygiene is the number one way individuals can slow or stop the spread of the potentially deadly COVID-19 virus. Rigorous hand washing practices –washing, with soap, for 20 seconds – and regularly using hand sanitiser are now embedded in the daily practices of millions of Australians as we try to prevent ourselves and those...

Please join in quiet contemplation as I pray.Dear God, Our hearts are deeply concerned for communities, people with disabilities and their families, for partner organisations, their staff and leaders facing the pandemic and we want to learn from their grace and perseverance.We bring them to you today. We trust in your goodness, mercy and compassion....

Let us pray. Lord at this time of year we reflect on the challenges and trials you faced over Lent - in isolation for 40 days and nights in the desert. Today, we are faced with our own challenges and trials of isolation, fear, instability and uncertainty. Please help all of us come together in...

Throughout Lent, we have been following Jesus, watching as he restored people physically and spiritually, restoring people back into community. Jesus did not only restore people to community, he taught people to do the same.Jesus taught that when people gather, they should not just invite those who they know and who are like them. He...

As lockdowns come into effect around the globe, CBM Australia remains in close contact with our overseas partners and country offices to monitor the impact COVID-19 lockdowns are having on the communities we work with.“India’s Coronavirus lockdown has left huge numbers of people stranded and hungry. You may have heard in the news that the...

To protect their staff and do their part to #flattenthecurve the CBM Nepal Country office staff have all been working from home. Rita oversees the mental health projects for Nepal – an area that only grows in importance as daily life and access to essential services are impacted by COVID-19.Nepal shares borders with India and...

Amid the COVID-19 crisis, we are glad to report CBM Australia was able to assist in the delivery of assistive devices to nearly 100 children living with disabilities in the Oromia region of Ethiopia, before the crisis hit.Over the last six months devices including wheelchairs, crutches, visual aids, spectacles and hearing aids were distributed by...

As the COVID-19 crisis continues to unfold, CBM remains committed to amplifying the voice of people with disabilities who are increasingly vulnerable to the impacts of COVID-19.Despite government support, there are concerns for people living with disabilities: “There is no regular work,” writes our CBM Philippines Field Coordinator, Evelyn. She agrees that for many people...

CBM Australia has been concerned for the health of our partners and projects in light of the recent health crisis, and we are maintaining close contact. Most offices are closed and staff, like Mai from our Vietnam office, are working from home, in close phone contact with our partners as they work to develop local...

“All of our partners have excellent skills in community mobilisation and disability inclusion and are well connected to the communities they have been working with as well as local health providers. Together we will work to maintain these relationships throughout this crisis and ensure those most vulnerable are not left behind,” states our Indonesia Country...

As the COVID19 crisis continues to unfold, CBM offices everywhere are working hard to contain the crisis. “The situation in India is also not so good but the government has taken precautionary measures and imposed total lockdown across India. Some of the States have imposed a curfew for the safety of the public,” writes our...