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David Blunkett introduces CBM UK birthday publication

Posted on: Wednesday, June 28th, 2017

As Britain’s first blind Cabinet Minister, former Home Secretary David Blunkett showed that disability need not hold people back. Introducing CBM’s new publication 21 Stories, he highlights the huge barriers still facing those who are blind or living with other disabilities in the world’s poorest places and urges continued support for CBM UK’s work to create opportunities.

Lord Blunkett standing smilingThe Rt Hon. Lord Blunkett writes:

“In recent decades, we’ve made great strides in tackling global poverty. Thanks to concerted global action towards the Millennium Development Goals, the number of people living in extreme poverty halved between 1990 and 2015. Yet in spite of this progress, and the excellent work by a small number of organisations like CBM, people with disabilities have been left behind.

I’ve faced many challenges in my life as a result of being blind – both practical and in the attitudes and expectations of others. But my career as a Government Minister shows, I think, that with determination and the right opportunities, people with disabilities can achieve tremendous things. And that when we are included and enabled to fulfil our potential, everyone benefits.

But too many people with disabilities in developing countries are unable to fulfil their potential, held back by lack of access to education or healthcare, basic assistive devices like wheelchairs or hearing aids, and crucially by social attitudes that isolate women, men and children with disabilities and can rob them of self-belief. With a billion disabled people worldwide, it’s a devastating waste of opportunity, not just for individuals but for whole families, communities and societies.

So as CBM UK marks its 21st anniversary, I urge you to support their important work creating opportunities for people with disabilities and encouraging other organisations to do the same.

There are positive signs that the world is waking up to disability-inclusion as a crucial development issue, not least in Agenda 2030, which follows on from the Millennium Development Goals. But the need is huge and will need concerted action. Please join me in working with CBM. Together, we can transform lives.”

Since CBM UK was founded in 1996, supporters around the UK along with dedicated doctors, outreach workers, disability experts and volunteers have been transforming the lives of people with disabilities in some of the poorest communities in the world. To mark our 21st birthday, 21 Stories tells CBM UK’s story through the voices of some of the people who have helped shape our work.   

Read some of the stories here and order your free copy (open link in new tab).