“Break barriers, open doors: for an inclusive society and development for all”!
...is this year’s theme of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities on 3rd December. Today over one billion people live with some form of disability, 80% in the world’s poorest countries. This number is compounded by disasters like typhoon Haiyan, which slammed the Philippines on 8th November 2013.
The International Day of Persons with Disabilities is hugely significant for cbm as we are committed to improving the lives of people living with the double disadvantage of poverty and disability. cbm works to ensure that overseas development aid from New Zealand includes, and is accessible to, people with disabilities. This includes disaster relief like our work in the aftermath of the Philippines typhoon.
All over the world, persons with disabilities face physical, social, economic and attitudinal exclusion. They lack equal access to basic resources, such as education, employment and healthcare. Especially in disaster situations, they are frequently the first people to be left behind, and the last ones to receive life saving assistance. It is time to “break barriers, open doors”! Let us not forget about the struggle for acceptance they still face!
Yet for people with disabilities here in New Zealand and around the world, it is a time to reflect on progress in access to basic health care, education, employment, and daily challenges.
cbm will continue working to ensure that no person with disability is left behind and to advocate for the inclusion of people with disabilities as equal members of all aspects of our society. Together we can “break barriers and opens doors”.
People with disabilities affected by the typhoon in the Philippines are faced with whether to die of hunger or to leave their homes in search of food, leaving behind everything they’ve worked to build. Read Jemalyn’s story and find out cbm’s life-changing actions to ensure safety and welfare for a group of women with disability on the Philippines. With your help, cbm can continue to reach people with disabilities still isolated by the typhoon.
Purvanchal Gramin Seva Samiti (PGSS), one of our partners in India, took this special day as an opportunity to hold an event and promote an inclusive society.
PGSS is the Social Service Unit of the Catholic Diocese of Gorakhpur dedicated to the empowerment of the marginalized people of the society, especially women and children.
The event was marked with motivational inputs by Bishops and chief guests as well as by cultural acts. Children with disabilities were the stars of the day performing a cultural dance and participating in a street parade to raise awareness. Suraj, Priyanka and Manju, three representative children with a disability, presented their experience of vulnerability caused by disability and their empowerment as a result of efforts of PGSS.