About our founder

In 1908, German Pastor Ernst Christoffel travelled to Turkey and was overwhelmed by the desperate hardship experienced by people living in extreme poverty — including people with disabilities and orphaned children. He began Christoffel Blindenmission (Christian Blind Mission), which more than 110 years later is now a global force for change. 

In Australia, we started mobilising around this work in the early 1970s before joining the CBM International alliance later that decade. In 2020, CBM Australia became a founding member of CBM Global Disability Inclusion, which works alongside people with disabilities in the world’s poorest places to fight poverty and exclusion, and transform lives.

Drawing on more than 110 years’ experience and driven by Christian values, we work with the most marginalised to: 

  • Break the cycle of poverty and disability.
  • Treat and prevent conditions that lead to disability.
  • Build inclusive communities where everyone can enjoy their human rights and achieve their full potential. 
Ernst Jakob Christoffel and his sister Hedwig

CBM Global works 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, advocacy for national and global policy change, and inclusion advice to other organisations.

CBM Global Disability Inclusion and CBM International actively collaborate under the same brand, continuing to work towards achieving our shared vision of an inclusive world in which all people with disabilities enjoy their human rights and achieve their full potential.

A message from CEO Jane Edge

“More than 110 years ago, a German pastor had a vision of a better future for people with disabilities… a vision that embodied the love of God. It’s a love that never gives up as it reaches out to those who are the hardest to reach — the invisible and the forgotten. No-one should be left behind.

“Ernst Christoffel was his name, and it was his vision and his faithfulness in stepping out with those first few small acts of mercy that led to the formation of CBM, a Christian international development organisation devoted to transforming the lives of the world’s most overlooked and neglected people, just as Jesus did when He was on earth.

“Now CBM is a global leader working with and for people with disabilities who live in the poorest communities. We invite everyone to join us in this mission.”

Jane Edge

“But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed.”

Luke 14: 13-14