Frequently Asked Questions

Who is CBM?
CBM, formerly called Christian Blind Mission, is the world’s largest development organisation focused on working with the world’s most vulnerable people – those living with the double disadvantage of poverty and disability.

Why focus on disability?
If we’re going to end poverty, we can’t ignore disability. Disability is very common in developing countries and 15 per cent of the world’s entire population, or 1 billion people, live with a disability. People with disabilities are among the poorest in any community, so if we’re going to address poverty we must first include people with disabilities.

What is the poverty–disability cycle?
At CBM, we know poverty and disability are inextricably linked. When you live in poverty, a lack of access to quality health care, clean water and food as well as unsafe working conditions means you are more likely to have a disability. When you have a disability, you are less likely to be able to go to school, have employment or be accepted in your community and so fall deeper into poverty. CBM is working to end this cycle.

Who started CBM?
CBM was founded in 1908 by German pastor Ernst Christoffel, and was known as Christoffel Blindenmission. In Germany, CBM still uses both names.

Is CBM South Africa a Christian organisation?
Yes, CBM South Africa strives to follow the teachings and example of Jesus Christ.

Does CBM South Africa evangelise?
CBM is a Christian organisation. However, our purpose is not to evangelise but to work towards providing practical solutions to issues faced by the people we work with. CBM’s vision is to show Christ’s love in action, and we also often work in partnership with churches and other Christian organisations local to our overseas projects to achieve this.

Does CBM serve people who are not Christians?
Definitely. The CBM family globally serves all people who are blind or have another disability, or are at risk of a disability, in more than 60 of the world’s poorest countries regardless of race, age, gender or religion.

Why should I support CBM South Africa?
One of CBM’s foundational values is to be good stewards of the resources that we are entrusted with. We have to fulfil requirements to qualify for funds, which helps to ensure that all donations reach the places and people that most need them. Specifically, this might mean supporting someone to see, hear or walk again, to feel well in themselves, to participate in mainstream education, society or community life or to earn their own living.

Many of CBM’s interventions are highly efficient, sustainable and can be achieved at relatively low cost. When you give to CBM, you are helping to create a future of equality and opportunity for all.
How can I support CBM South Africa?
There are a whole number of ways you can get behind CBM South Africa’s work: you can:
·Make an online donation;
·Become a monthly donor;
·Host a fundraising event on behalf of CBM South Africa; and
·Consider leaving a bequest to CBM in your Will.

Face to Face Fundraising
Why do I see CBM South Africa staff fundraising at the shopping centres?
Face-to-face fundraising is a safe, secure and cost-effective way to initiate support and raise much-needed funds. This money will help us reach and improve the lives of people living in poverty with a disability. It’s also a great way to raise awareness of issues of poverty and disability and CBM as an organisation, as our fundraisers also carry details for all the different ways we can support people.
How do I recognise a genuine CBM South Africa fundraiser?
Our fundraisers wear CBM-branded t-shirts and carry a CBM identification photo-card. They’ll also be carrying information about CBM’s work, such as brochures and direct debit forms. Our fundraisers will only ever ask for a Direct Debit – they’ll never ask for cash donations. If you have any queries about our fundraisers please contact us on 021 201 1197 and we can confirm if we are fundraising in your area.