about cbr

cbr project‘Community Based Rehabilitation (CBR) is a strategy for rehabilitation, equalisation of opportunities, poverty reduction and social inclusion of people with disabilities. The main goal of CBR is for people with disabilities to live as equal members of the community, to enjoy health and well being, to participate fully in educational, social, cultural, religious, economic and political activities.’ - Joint Position Paper on CBR (2004).

CBR is multi-sector approach that addresses the five areas of health, education, livelihood, social and empowerment. Originally developed in the 1980s to give persons with disabilities access to rehabilitation in their own communities, this strategy uses predominantly local resources. 

To visually represent CBR, the World Health Organisation developed a CBR matrix that illustrates the different sectors that comprise a CBR strategy. 


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UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

Article 3 - General principles

(a) Respect for inherent dignity, individual autonomy including the freedom to make one’s own choices, and independence of persons;

(b) Non-discrimination;

(c) Full and effective participation and inclusion in society;

(d) Respect for difference and acceptance of persons with disabilities as part of human diversity and humanity;

(e) Equality of opportunity;

(f) Accessibility;

(g) Equality between men and women;

(h) Respect for the evolving capacities of children with disabilities and respect for the right of children with disabilities to preserve their identities.


Over the last decades, the ‘disability concept’ has evolved from a medical model to a social and human rights-based approach. The adoption of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, in 2006, was one of the major international milestones in this development, and helps guide implementation of CBR at the grassroots and community level.

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poverty and disability

In Cambodia, 30% of the population lives on less than 5.000 Riel (US $1.25) per day (Worldbank, 2008). At the same time, in any community the poorest of the poor are likely to be people with disabilities and their family members. In fact, the majority of people with disabilities live in chronic poverty in most of the world. There is a strong cyclical link between disability and poverty. Poverty leads to increased disability, and disability in turn leads to increased poverty. 

To enhance the quality of life of persons with disabilities, and to facilitate access to human rights, the root causes poverty must be eliminated. Poverty has many facets—not just about lack of income—and CBR is an intrinsic part of poverty reduction.

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working together

Working towards the inclusion of all members of the community regardless of ability, gender, age or ethnicity demands the active collaboration of many stakeholders. Collaboration with all relevant sectors—from the clients and their families up to national government, and even international levels—is essential to implement CBR successfully.

We unite and work together with our clients, who are always the centre of what we do.


‘CBR is a community driven, community owned and community based inclusive development strategy’ - WHO


Our Donors 

Australian Aid, managed by CBM Australia on behalf of the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

cbr project        cbr project

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