Cambridge charity raises £2.3 million with Light Up Lives appeal to save sight in world’s poorest places


17-09-2021
Paul from Zimbabwe after cataract surgery that restored his sight and independence. Thanks to the generous response to the Light up Lives appeal, thousands more people like Paul will receive sight-saving treatments. © CBM/Charmaine Chitate

Charity CBM, based in central Cambridge, has raised £2.3 million for its Light up Lives appeal to prevent blindness and restore sight in the world’s poorest places.

The total includes £1,058,862 of match funding from the UK government, which committed to match every pound given by the public between 18 February and 20 May 2021 through its UK Aid Match scheme. CBM will use the UK government match funding to launch a new three-year programme to improve access to vital eye health services in Zimbabwe.

Zimbabwe has one of the highest rates of blindness in the world. A desperate shortage of trained eye health workers, ill-equipped hospitals and an economic crisis have all been worsened by the Coronavirus pandemic. CBM’s new project funded by the Light up Lives appeal will help to scale up access to sight-restoring cataract surgery and other treatments, so that people do not become needlessly blind. The charity hopes to enable more than 44,000 women, men and children with eye health problems to access good quality treatment and support.

Kirsty Smith, Chief Executive of CBM UK, says: “This is an amazing result that will make such a difference to people living with sight problems in the world’s poorest communities – thank you so much to all the wonderful individuals and organisations who supported the Light up Lives appeal. Despite the ongoing pressures of the Coronavirus pandemic, our supporters have responded with huge generosity; it’s been an inspiration to see so many people raising awareness and funds.”

“Worldwide, a shocking three out of four people who are blind don’t need to be – and we know that the situation with Coronavirus is making it even harder for people with sight problems to access treatment and support, especially in countries where the health system is weak like Zimbabwe. But thanks to your incredible generosity and match funding from the UK government, we will be able to train local health workers, equip hospitals and strengthen eye health systems for the future, helping build communities where nobody is needlessly blind.”

Image: Paul from Zimbabwe after cataract surgery that restored his sight and independence. Thanks to the generous response to the Light up Lives appeal, thousands more people like Paul will receive sight-saving treatments. © CBM/Charmaine Chitate

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Driven by Christian values, CBM works in the world’s poorest places to reach those whom others leave behind. Working in partnership with Governments and local partners, we create long-term positive change: treating and preventing conditions that can lead to disability and supporting people with disabilities to access education and healthcare, earn a living and be included in their communities.

CBM UK - The Overseas Disability Charity