Transforming lives together

We work alongside people with disabilities living in the world’s poorest places to fight poverty and exclusion, and transform lives.

Drawing on more than 115 years’ experience and driven by Christian values, we work with the most marginalised communities 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.  

We do this because one in seven of us have disabilities, which is more than a billion people around the world – 80% of whom live in developing countries. In fact, 20% of the poorest people living in developing countries have disabilities.

And we do this because the COVID-19 pandemic is disproportionately affecting people with disabilities, further entrenching the isolation, stigma, violence and access to life-saving health care and information. 

Community-based inclusive development

People with disabilities are routinely excluded from health, education, livelihood opportunities and the chance to fully participate in their communities. We work in partnership with the disability movement at all levels to promote inclusion. Our life-changing community development programmes across Africa, Asia and Latin America establish the foundations for inclusion; improve access to inclusive education, employment and healthcare; and improve quality of life for women, men and children with disabilities and their families. We use evidence and learning from our community-based work to support the disability movement in advocating for inclusive national laws and policies, and achieving global change.

Inclusive eye health and neglected tropical diseases

A billion people worldwide live with avoidable blindness or visual impairment due to lack of access to eye health services. For many women, men and children living in poverty, access to straightforward interventions such as cataract surgery or a pair of glasses are out of reach. We work to improve access to inclusive and comprehensive eye health services for all, strengthening national eye health systems, making services affordable and accessible to the poorest and most marginalised people, and helping eliminate neglected tropical diseases, even for the most vulnerable groups.

Community mental health

Mental health conditions are a major cause of disability and ill-health worldwide. Those living in poverty are at greatest risk and least likely to access treatment or support. Many people experiencing mental health conditions and psychosocial disability face stigma, discrimination and even abuse. With decades of experience in the field of global mental health, CBM Global recognises the central role of mental health in wellbeing and works to promote good mental health, challenge the exclusion of people with psychosocial disabilities and strengthen mental health systems, so that mental health needs are recognised and addressed.

Humanitarian action

People with disabilities are among those most affected by humanitarian crises and often the last to receive help. When disasters strike, we work with local organisations of people with disabilities and other partners to deliver urgent aid. We promote the participation of people with disabilities in reducing the risk of disasters and preparing and responding to humanitarian crises. We share technical expertise and learning with mainstream humanitarian organisations to help them include people with disabilities in their response, through consultancy, tools and guidance, and advocacy at local, national and international level.

Inclusion Advisory Group

The rights set out in the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) are often not enjoyed in reality. Persons with disabilities routinely face discrimination and barriers to their full inclusion and participation in society. Our Inclusion Advisory Group provides advice to governments, UN agencies, development banks, management contractors, NGOs and others, so that they actively practise and promote inclusion and protect rights under the CRPD. In partnership with the disability movement, we help create change in organisations and institutions through technical advice, change facilitation, capacity strengthening and sharing evidence of what works.

Further resources

To read more about how we work to end the cycle of poverty and disability, download our Programmatic Strategy, Approach to Partnership, Programme Quality Framework and our Theory of Change.