Our work

What we do

People with disabilities in developing countries are far more likely to be isolated, experience inequality and live in extreme poverty. At CBM, we have over 110 years experience developing proven community-based programs that help millions of people benefit from real, lasting change.

Why the disability-poverty crisis?

Poverty and disability go hand-in-hand, making people with disabilities among the poorest in the world. 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. We believe this is a human rights issue.

of people living with disabilities live in poverty.

We do this through:

Health, medical 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 club foot 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 disability are free from unfair obstacles. This means changing attitudes, beliefs as well as physical environments, systems and policies.

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:

Partnering 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.

Advising governments and other organisations to promote an approach that clearly includes people with disabilities in their policies and programs, as well as building the technical capability of their teams to integrate a Disability Inclusive Development approach.

Advocating for the inclusion of people with disabilities in all Australian international development efforts. We work in partnership with other NGOs, community campaigns and key influencers to achieve transformational change.

Strategic alliances

Joining forces with key partners to increase the reach and impact of our work. This includes the World Health Organisation (WHO), the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB), the International Disability Alliance, and a variety of international NGOs and governments.

*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 a portion of its field projects.

Where we work

CBM International is one of the oldest and largest global development organisations focused on ending poverty for people with disabilities. CBM has Member Associations in 11 countries, including Australia, and funds hundreds of diverse projects on four continents.