cbm Expanding its Mandate

    TORONTO, Jan. 5 /CNW/ - 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
    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.

    /NOTE TO PHOTO EDITORS: A photo accompanying this release is available on
    the CNW Photo Network and archived at http://photos.newswire.ca.
    Additional archived images are also available on the CNW Photo Archive
    website at http://photos.newswire.ca. Images are free to accredited
    members of the media/

For further information:

For further information: Lindsay O'Connor, CBM International, Media
Manager, 1-800-567-2264, (905) 640-6466 ext 289, loconnor@cbmicanada.org

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