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Faith sits, smiling, with her son by her side.

As we look back on 2023, 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.

Our BBC Radio 4 appeal raises £28,689

In February, author and broadcaster Gyles Brandreth presented our appeal on BBC Radio 4. Gyles shared the story of seven-year-old Memory from rural Malawi. When Memory lost her sight to cataracts she stopped going to school, but thanks to our supporters her cataracts were diagnosed at an outreach clinic and successfully treated. The appeal raised an incredible £28,689 for our sight-saving work.

Read more about our BBC Radio 4 appeal


CBM opens Country Office in Zimbabwe

In May, CBM Global opened its new Zimbabwe Country Office in Harare. CBM UK’s Kirsty Smith joined CBM Global Zimbabwe’s team, along with representatives of organisations of people with disabilities, our partners, the Zimbabwean government and national press at the opening event, celebrating many years of CBM’s work in Zimbabwe.

Read more about the opening of the Zimbabwe Country Office


Five years of disability inclusive education in Zimbabwe

Over the past five years, CBM supported girls with disabilities to access education. This was as part of the Supporting Adolescent Girls Education (SAGE) project, led by Plan International which has supported 13,460 girls to go to school.

We had the opportunity to meet participants in the project, like Martha, who told us about going to school and the opportunities that have opened up for her:


Faith’s story: The importance of quality maternal healthcare to #EndFistula

In May we marked the International Day to End Obstetric Fistula. We are working with our partners to #EndFistula by improving maternal healthcare for women in Nigeria. Every woman and girl has the right to quality healthcare – especially during pregnancy and childbirth.

Faith started leaking urine three months after a prolonged labour. She came across an outreach activity in her community and had successful surgery. She has now started her own business, following baking, catering and event management training.

Read Faith’s story


CBM’s disaster response mobile app is shortlisted for the Tech for Good Award 2023

In May, our Humanitarian Hands on Tool (HHoT) app was shortlisted for a Tech for Good award at the Cambridge Independent Science and Technology Awards 2023.

Developed with Cambridge-based digital agency Studio 24, HHoT is a ground-breaking mobile app helping people with disabilities to access life-saving relief services during emergencies. The app has been translated into several languages and has been used in numerous areas of humanitarian crisis such as the Rohingya refugee camps in Bangladesh.

Read more about HHoT


Showcasing Disability Inclusion at the Bonn Climate Conference

In June we were pleased to attend the Bonn Climate Conference, where we hosted a side event and launched our newest publication, “Disability Rights and Climate Change”. The report seeks to amplify the voices of people with disabilities in areas affected by climate emergencies, as well as providing firm recommendations for positive ways to make climate action more disability inclusive.

Read more about our time at the Bonn Climate Conference


New chair Tim Morris </2>

This year we welcomed our new Chair of Trustees, Tim Morris!

Tim is a former diplomat who served as British Ambassador to Morocco, Mauritania and South Sudan. Tim now advises companies and organisations who want to invest in Africa alongside several charitable commitments.

During a visit to our office in October Tim said:

I want to represent CBM and speak up for the issues we are highlighting in the world, and I want to celebrate the amazing contribution of CBM’s supporters who make all of CBM’s work possible.

Find out more about Tim


Team ‘Sea to See’ raise £5,418 to save sight

Following his own successful NHS cataract treatment, Mark Greenwood from Norfolk set himself the gruelling 200-mile challenge of cycling from Portsmouth to Hunstanton. Together with three friends, he completed the challenge in 14 hours, raising an amazing £5,418!

Following the challenge Mark said:

We wanted to raise enough money for CBM to carry out 100 cataract operations in remote rural communities, where having sight restored is a life changing moment. Now, we have raised enough for 200 operations – that’s one for every mile we cycled, incredible!

Read more about Mark’s challenge

Find out more about fundraising for us


Actions for Change launch

In October we announced the launch of our new partner-led programme Actions for Change. This innovative three-year programme works with four new partners in Nigeria, Nepal, Kenya, and Bangladesh. Each partner has designed a new project, starting with input from project participants and with guidance and support from CBM. They have all played a key role in deciding how Actions for Change will be managed and run – including selecting the name!

Read more about Actions for Change


Andrew Blaikie wins NHS Scotland Global Citizenship Award 2023

In November we were delighted that our long-term partner Dr Andrew Blaikie won the NHS Scotland Global Citizenship Award for his work with the Arclight!

The Arclight is transforming the way eye care is delivered in low-and-middle-income countries: Dr Blaikie was in Zimbabwe training staff to use this amazing tool when the award was announced!

Read more about Dr Andrew Blaikie’s work with the Arclight


Parliamentary event with The Rt Hon Andrew Mitchell MP

At the end of November, we hosted an event in Parliament entitled: “Building resilient futures to leave no-one behind: harnessing UK leadership in disability inclusive development.” Our message was championed by The Rt Hon Andrew Mitchell MP, Minister for Development and Africa who stated that disability inclusion is “relevant to all aspects of international development.”

Read more about the event


Our Big Give Christmas Challenge exceeds its target!

On Giving Tuesday (28th November) we launched our Big Give Christmas Challenge, to help give the miracle gift of sight. Thanks to your support, just two days later we exceeded our target of £66,000!

The donations received will help reach those in need of the sight-saving treatment through training local doctors, surgeons, and health workers, funding outreach camps, and cover sight-restoring and life-transforming surgery.

Read more about the Big Give Christmas Challenge 2023