A message from CEO Jane Edge

Stories | July 27, 2020 | Author: Jane Edge, CEO, CBM Australia

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 might be feeling now – that we’re not welcome in some places, that there may not be enough beds if we’re sick, that community cohesion may unravel, that thousands of jobs will be lost, that an invisible sickness is moving amongst us – are part of everyday life…every single day.

We have a taste of how fragile society truly is and yet we, and countless others here in Australia now have the most powerful experience through which to deepen our sense of empathy and understanding. And I hope gain a greater awareness of how we are each part of the solution.

The COVID-19 pandemic remains an incredibly challenging time. For people living with disabilities in the poorest parts of the world it is even more catastrophic.

The World Bank now estimates that COVID-19 will push 71 million people into extreme poverty. With the worst case scenario, this increases to 100 million – erasing 30 years of progress in the fight against poverty. And the evidence that disability is a cause and consequence of poverty is well established.

Already, 80 per cent of people with disabilities live in stark poverty. So many of these people face stigma, violence and discrimination. They have less access to health care, rehabilitation and assistive technologies, and less access to education, work and suitable living environments.

Throughout these difficult times, CBM and our generous supporters have remained committed to our goal of transforming the lives of more than five million people each year by tackling poverty and exclusion. We focus on supporting people with disabilities, their families and communities through our advocacy, partnerships and programs.

As a Christian organisation, CBM Australia stands for inclusion, compassion and justice. Now, more than ever, these themes guide us in as we work alongside people with disabilities through COVID-19 and beyond.

For 115 years internationally, and more than 45 years in Australia, we have provided proven programs in the fields of health, medical care and rehabilitation. We have advocated strongly for disability inclusion in development and we provide advice to a wide range of organisations, including policy makers and others who implement programs, to extend our reach far beyond that of CBM alone.

On August 6, we are inviting everyone to help change someone’s life on what we call Miracles Day. On this day we broadcast live with our partners, 33 Christian radio stations around Australia. On this day we give every Australian the chance to restore someone’s sight for just $33.

Having seen first-hand poor people being given the chance to undergo cataract surgery, and been there at the moment they see again, I can say it truly is a miracle.

This year, the impact of COVID-19 mean more people in countries like the Philippines and Nepal are unable to afford the cataract surgery they need to see again. Funds raised on Miracles Day will help us provide urgently needed surgeries in in Nepal, the Philippines, Bangladesh and Indonesia.

Will you join us and give someone the Miracle of cataract surgery?

A $33 donation can give the gift of sight this Miracles Day.

Visit https://cbm.org.au/miraclesday/ to donate.

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