Some reflections from Nick, Cord's Fundraising Manager, on Zero Discrimination Day

Zero Discrimination Day is celebrated globally every year. It marks the importance of living life with dignity regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, skin colour, height, weight, etc. The symbol of Zero Discrimination Day is a 'butterfly'.

I was partially sighted from birth, although no one knew there was anything wrong until I stopped making progress with my reading at school. As the size of the print in the books got smaller, I found it increasingly difficult to read. Although the initial diagnosis was for a non-degenerative condition, my vision got worse in my teens, and I eventually lost my sight completely in my late twenties. Coming to terms with all of this has been a long and difficult process. However, I recognise how fortunate I am compared with so many people who are living in extraordinarily challenging situations around the world.

I was able to attend mainstream school, go to university and later complete a Master's degree. Support from my Local Education Authority and the Disabled Student Allowance were two of the things that made this possible. I have worked for all kinds of organisations prior to being the Fundraising Manager here at Cord. I have been able to fulfil these various roles thanks to the government’s Access to Work scheme. There are so many things that I can easily take for granted, including these initiatives that give me the chance to live a full life and reach my potential.

And so, it is an amazing privilege to be at Cord and be part of the peace-building work that is changing the lives of so many people. In all our projects, we focus on the most marginalised groups. These are often women, young people, children, and the disabled. There are so many examples of transformation throughout these amazing schemes:

As an albino young person, vulnerable to violent attack, Sandrine has been empowered by Cord to bring peace to her community in Burundi by helping other young people to understand their rights.

Keo has suffered discrimination throughout his life having been born without fingers on his left hand and losing his left leg in an accident. His work for the Lao Disabled People Association was dramatically transformed when Cord provided him with training.

In all kinds of other ways - promoting freedom of religion and belief in Myanmar, protecting the land and livelihoods of indigenous people in Bangladesh, empowering women environmental defenders across Southeast Asia and helping young people set up small businesses in Burundi, we are building peace, challenging discrimination, and enabling people to live in the fullness of life.

Please consider joining us in this work and making a donation today