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cbm Expanding its Mandate

TORONTO, Jan. 5 /PRNewswire/ - President of cbm, Prof. Allen Foster announces that cbm has expanded its areas of work to include all persons with disability, not just persons with visual loss.

For the past 100 years, cbm previously known as Christoffel Blinden Mission, and Christian Blind Mission, has worked to prevent and treat blindness and provide education and rehabilitation services for persons with visual loss.

"The organization has decided that its purpose and work is to improve the quality of life of all persons with disability, which includes those with hearing or physical impairment and mental ill health as well as those with visual loss," says Prof. Foster.

The evolution of the organization's name to cbm "allows us to build on our history, while maintaining the same identity. We will address the rights of persons with disability and their access to services which are issues relevant to people with all forms of disability."

cbm has also developed a new motto - "together we can do more".

"Together" emphasizes partnership - working together with organizations in low income countries to deliver services to the people in need; as well as working with like-minded development organizations and UN agencies in international alliances, for example with the World Health Organization in VISION 2020: the right to sight global initiative.

"We can" emphasizes "ability" rather than "disability"; and "do more" challenges us with the fact that by far the majority of persons with disability in low income countries do not receive the medical, education and rehabilitation services which could improve their quality of life.

cbm advocates for the inclusion of people with disability as equals in all aspects of society, and cbm believes that people with disability have the same rights as everyone else to healthcare, education, and livelihood opportunities.

cbm together with its 700 partners in over 100 countries currently reaches 18 million people annually with services. "It is only a drop in the ocean compared with the great need," says Prof. Foster. "There is an urgent requirement to work harder to double our impact." It is estimated that more than 500 million people have disability in low and middle income countries.

cbm is the leading international organization whose primary purpose is to improve the quality of life of people with disabilities living in the poorest countries of the world.

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