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As we look back on 2022, we wanted to share some of the highlights of our year! For the 12 days of Christmas, we’re delighted to bring you 12 inspiring stories: thank you so much for your support which has made them all possible this year.


A weekend of sight-restoring surgery 

34 people from rural Byumba District in Rwanda can see again, after a visit from a specialist eye health team to carry out sight-restoring cataract operations. The outreach clinic in May was part of CBM UK’s See the Way project, which is funded by CBM UK supporters and the UK government. The project works to prevents avoidable blindness in Rwanda by improving eye health services in rural areas.

Watch this video to see what happened during the See the Way weekend, and read more here.


Faith’s Song for the Future

In May, we visited the Supporting Adolescent Girls in Education (SAGE) project in Zimbabwe. The project supports adolescent girls who have never been to school, or dropped out of school, due to poverty, child-marriage and disability.

Faith, a young mother who has been blind from birth, took part in the SAGE programme. She composed a song about her experiences and performed it in front of her whole community and the CBM workers who were present.

Watch this video of Faith’s moving performance and read more here.


Downton Abbey star Penelope Wilton voices support for women living with fistula

Dame Penelope Wilton alongside a banner with part of her quote and call to action, 'Will you help #EndFistula?'.Dame Penelope Wilton spoke out about the devastating impact of fistula on women and girls living in lower income countries, like Nigeria, ahead of International Day to End Obstetric Fistula in May.

Obstetric fistula causes incontinence, leaving women and girls prone to infection. The stigma around incontinence means that many women feel ashamed and isolate themselves from others, not realizing that fistula is a medical condition that can be treated.

Read Dame Penelope Wilton’s call to action here.


Emergency Response to Kenya Food Crisis

“In recent months, CBM has been providing a lifeline to people with disabilities and other vulnerable households, so they don’t go without food, water and medication.” – Kevin Sudi, Humanitarian Coordinator for CBM’s team in Kenya.

Thanks to the amazing generosity of supporters like you, CBM has been able to work with local partners to provide urgent support.

Watch Kevin describe the food crisis in Kenya, and CBM’s support for the most vulnerable people, and read more here.


Steven walks 10,000 steps a day to save sight!

Selfie of supporter Steven Murray outside and wearing a CBM branded cap.

In May, CBM supporter Steven Murray from Angus in Scotland set himself a challenge of walking 10,000 steps every day for the entire month to help restore sight and Light up Lives in the world’s poorest places. Steven was diagnosed with aggressive cataracts last year. After experiencing the life-changing impact of surgery to restore his vision, he is determined to raise funds to help others facing avoidable blindness in poorer parts of the world.

Find out more about Steven’s fundraising challenge here.


Malawi Eliminates Trachoma!

Eye health worker examines eyes of woman with trachomaThe World Health Organisation (WHO) confirmed in September that trachoma, the leading infectious cause of blindness worldwide, is no longer a public health problem in Malawi.

This huge achievement is the result of concerted efforts by Malawi’s Ministry of Health in partnership with many organisations including CBM. Between 2014 and 2019, CBM worked alongside Malawian partners to treat trachoma and reduce its spread, as part of a major initiative funded by the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust, a charitable foundation established to mark and celebrate Her Majesty the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

Read more about Malawi’s major achievement here.


World Mental Health Day 2022

To mark World Mental Health Day in October, our friend Edwin Mburu, a Mental Health Champion from Kenya, shared three top tips for good mental health, based on his own experience. He spoke about the power of self-acceptance, self-awareness, and a good support system, when overcoming mental health conditions.

Mental health champions like Edwin play a vital role in helping to promote understanding of mental health. CBM works in partnership with communities, health authorities and people with lived experience of mental health conditions to improve access to mental health support and tackle exclusion.

Watch Edwin’s tips for mental health and read more here.


Kirsty Smith wins Bishop of Ely’s Etheldreda Medal

Kirsty being awarded the Etheldreda Medal from the Bishop of Ely on 15 October 2022In October, we were delighted to announce that CBM UK Chief Executive Kirsty Smith was awarded the prestigious Etheldreda Medal by the Bishop of Ely. The medal is awarded every two years to individuals who have served their community in generous and outstanding ways. Kirsty was chosen in recognition of her contribution to building an inclusive world in which all people with disabilities enjoy their human rights and achieve their full potential.

Read more about Kirsty’s achievement here.


CoRSU Hospital Appeal Exceeds Target

Makoma smiles, standing straight without using the crutches he holds at his side, outside the hospital building with his mother who holds her baby in blanketsGenerous supporters donated over £40,000 to help provide life-changing treatments for children with conditions like bow legs and clubfoot. The incredible response to our appeal earlier this year for CoRSU Hospital in Uganda exceeded its fundraising target, ensuring that we will be able to continue supporting life-changing treatment and rehabilitation for more children.

Read more about Makoma’s life-changing treatment at CoRSU Hospital here.


Bringing Inclusive Climate Action to COP27

CEO Kirsty Smith standing outside the COP27 sign in Egypt.

In November we joined Disability Movement and civil society partners at COP27, the UN Climate Conference, in Egypt. People with disabilities are impacted daily by the worst effects of climate change. It is vital that their voices are heard and listened to. We are seeking to promote their contribution as technical experts and active decision makers, having the knowledge to offer practical and appropriate solutions in their own contexts.

Read more about our time at COP27 here.


Let’s end disability stigma

In December we released our new film, ‘Let’s end disability stigma’!

The short film features people with disabilities and CBM partners around the world talking about their experiences of disability stigma, the impact this has, and the solutions to tackle it.

Stigma reduction must be at the heart of all we do if we are serious about breaking the poverty disability cycle and achieving inclusive societies.

Watch our video, ‘Let’s end disability stigma’ and read more here.


Diane-Louise Jordan Supports the CBM UK Christmas Appeal

Television presenter Diane-Louise Jordan added her voice to CBM’s Christmas fundraising campaign this year to save sight and bring colour to a child’s world. Diane, well known for presenting iconic BBC shows Blue Peter and Songs of Praise, spoke about her support for the campaign and why she is so passionate about preventing avoidable blindness.

CBM’s Christmas campaign featured 8-year old Yogendra from Nepal, who lost his sight as a result of cataracts. Cataracts can be treated with straightforward surgery, but Yogendra’s family, like so many others living in poverty, could not afford the operation to restore their son’s sight.

Watch Diane-Louise Jordan’s video message and read more here.