Light for the World International
In 1988 a group of dedicated people met in Vienna to mobilize help for blind and otherwise disabled people in developing countries, following the ideals of Ernst Jakob Christoffel. The organisation they founded was initially named Christoffel Blind Mission Austria.
Among the first projects of the young Austrian organisation were eye care units and rehabilitation programmes in Ethiopia and Kenya. In 1996 the Austrian Government started to collaborate with LIGHT FOR THE WORLD supporting a training programme for ophthalmologic staff in Kikuyu, Kenya, as part of Austrian Development Cooperation. LIGHT FOR THE WORLD in Belgium was founded in 1997 under the name of Christian Blind Mission Belgium. One of the first programmes supported was CCBRT – an orthopaedic and eye care hospital and rehabilitation programme in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. In 1999 the initiative “VISION 2020 – The Right To Sight” was launched in cooperation with the World Health Organisation (WHO). LIGHT FOR THE WORLD has been an active member in this global action plan to eliminate preventable blindness by the year 2020 since the beginning. As part of the implementation of a national blindness prevention programme in Ethiopia in 2000 LIGHT FOR THE WORLD established a much needed eye care department, in Jijiga, Somali Region.
Since 2003 LIGHT FOR THE WORLD has been involved in developing the eye care department of the Kabgayi hospital in Rwanda.
In 2006 the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities was adopted. LIGHT FOR THE WORLD has advocated successfully to include International Development Cooperation in the UN Convention. Today, LIGHT FOR THE WORLD is one of the leading European NGOs in their core areas of work. As of 2014, they are supporting 185 programmes in 26 countries.
The vision is an inclusive society for all where no one is left behind and all persons participate equally in the cultural, social, political and economic environment.The mission is to contribute to a world in which persons with disabilities fully exercise their rights. Persons with disabilities living in poverty are amongst the most excluded groups in society. They are at the centre of the work and they drive the change. The goal: an inclusive world
Geographic FocusBangladesh, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, DR Congo, Ethiopia, Mozambique, North-East India, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda
LIGHT FOR THE WORLD is an international organisation specialising in inclusive development. The goal is an inclusive society that is open to all and leaves no one behind. They champion accessible eye care and support inclusive education and basic living conditions conducive to a self-determined life, so that persons with disabilities can participate with equal rights in society. LIGHT FOR THE WORLD works closely with local partners, eye clinics and Disabled People’s Organisations. This enables them to apply donations in a targeted, sustainable way, to create lasting structures and pave the way to an inclusive society.