STOUFFVILLE, ON, October 14, 2010 – Paul Calandra, Member of Parliament for Oak Ridges—Markham, today marked World Sight Day by announcing that the Government of Canada will support the efforts of the cbm Canada (Christian Blind Mission International) to help persons with disabilities in Ethiopia.
Mr. Calandra made the announcement on behalf of the Honourable Beverley J. Oda, Minister of International Cooperation.
“As an active member of Vision 2020, a global initiative that aims to eliminate avoidable blindness in the next decade, I know the work of cbm and I’m proud of this successful partnership,” Mr. Calandra said. “This organization shares common values with CIDA and has helped millions of people with disabilities of all types for over 30 years. I’m confident that this new initiative will reach the same level of success.”
The Poverty Alleviation through Inclusiveness project supports community-based rehabilitation strategies in Ethiopia that will help persons with disabilities, especially children, to have access to primary health care and basic education. cbm will work with local organizations, government and community leaders to adapt 20 schools for children with disabilities, implement resource centres in 10 other schools and train teachers in special needs education.
“In Ethiopia, an estimated of 4.2 million people with disabilities are trapped in the cycle of poverty and disability,” Minister Oda said. “With this initiative, we can make help make a difference and provide the opportunity to break out of the cycle of poverty.”
The Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) will provide $1.85 million to support this initiative. The work of cbm’s initiative is aligned with CIDA’s children and youth priority, which includes a sub-focus on maternal, newborn and child health. The program responds to needs identified in the Government of Ethiopia’s National Strategy on Health and Education and has the potential to help approximately 4,300 children with disabilities and to benefit 770,000 people, including 350,000 children.
“CBM Canada and CIDA agree that millions of people in Ethiopia are poor because they are disabled, and disabled because they are poor,” says Ed Epp, cbm Canada’s Executive Director. “We’re thrilled with this CIDA grant…it will have a great impact on the lives of people with disabilities in Ethiopia.”
“This program will bring hope and life. We will be working with our partners all over Ethiopia to reach our target of helping 770,000 people, half of them children. “
The three prong approach addresses:
· Children with disabilities will have access to education
· Building healthier communities
· Promotion of disabilities in other Non-government organizations
cbm’s goal is to empower people with disabilities physically, economically and socially; to be self reliant and fully integrated members of their communities.
This month cbm will be performing its historic 10 millionth sight-restoring cataract operation.
To learn more about cbm’s life changing work, visit www.cbmcanada.org
[Source: cbm Canada]