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Visual impairments are more common in the developing world due to quality of water, sanitation and nutrition, the availability of health care and basic medicines. Often simple interventions bring a large increase in quality of life.
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This image shows a young Indian girl with 3 older women, attending a self-help group
© Robin Wyatt 2013: see www.robinwyatt.org
India- When her mother is unable to attend, Padma (far left) stands in for her at their local self-help group (SHG) meetings. This is made up of people from their locality who either live with a disability or have a close family member who does. In their case, Padma's brother Shesh Naik lives with multiple disabilities, including cerebral palsy.

CBM works together with partner organisations to reduce barriers to employment for people with disabilities in low income communities worldwide.

Barriers to ‘decent work’

Disability is both a cause and a consequence of poverty, contributing to increased vulnerability and social exclusion. Women with disabilities in rural communities are particularly exposed to extreme poverty and abuse.

People with disabilities in low- and middle-income countries are not only exposed to the same factors that cause poverty for others – they also face barriers that limit equitable access to health care, education, skills development, social participation and other services, further reducing their chances of securing what the International Labour Organisation terms ‘decent work’.

Inclusive livelihood opportunities through Advocacy

©Marianne Schulze/IDDC
CBM's Lars Bosselmann calling for inclusion of persons with disabilities in all processes defining development priorities - UN panel discussion, 2012
Work is the means by which individuals can escape poverty and secure the necessities of life.

Using the human rights model of disability as its framework, CBM, together with its local partners and other stakeholders, engages in advocacy to raise awareness about the needs and rights of persons with disabilities, and works for inclusive livelihood opportunities.

Full inclusion of persons with disabilities into all aspects of life and work requires changes in the way communities think and act, to overcome the physical, attitudinal and policy barriers that result in exclusion.

Development programmes

Amadou, from Niger, works as a salesman and can support his family through his earnings
Parallel with its advocacy work, CBM also supports and promotes economic empowerment through skills development, job placement, micro-enterprise development, creation of self-help groups, and access to financial services and social protection schemes.

CBM supports over 100 livelihood development programmes in low- and middle income countries, and is well-placed to contribute to knowledge sharing and evidence-based advocacy for change.

Ongoing strategy

Although CBM and its local partners enable over 100,000 persons with disabilities each year with livelihood development, the need remains high. Raising awareness of this need at all levels of society is CBM’s ongoing strategy to make services more responsive and inclusive. It is our vision that every person with a disability has the right to earn a living, and is able to exercise that right, freely chosen.

Poverty will never be history until people with disabilities are given equal opportunity to contribute towards economic development instead of being seen as passive recipients of charity or tax-funded social assistance.


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