Author: Gordon Platt


Mikhail Nadel, AUB

The mentally disabled children of the Belovodsky psychoneurological boarding institution got new shoes and enjoyed fresh fruits and vegetables on the table for almost a month this summer, thanks to the generosity of AsiaUniversalBank, or AUB, a leading bank in the Kyrgyz Republic, a landlocked nation on the historic Silk Road between China and the West. AUB regularly provides the 250 children of the boarding institution with food, clothes and toys and helps to keep a roof over their heads.

“We focus on social-assistance programs that will have a tangible and lasting impact,” says Mikhail Nadel, AUB’s chairman. “However, there are cases where it would simply be inhumane to refuse aid to a seriously ill child, a war veteran or a single mother who has stumbled on financial hardship,” Nadel says.

In the first nine months of 2006, the bank supported more than 50 social and cultural projects, including the creation of an electronic library of the country’s best literature and art masterpieces. It is helping to restore eight paintings of the country’s most famous artist, Semyon Chuikov. The bank also awards scholarships to college students, donates books to ru- ral libraries, supports an organization for the blind and a boarding school for deaf children and provides housing assistance for the elderly.

Why does AUB do all of this? “It’s our social responsibility,” a spokesperson for the bank says. “We believe in participating actively in the life of the community.” The bank also has a sense of humor. It sponsors the Kyrgyz Comedy Club team, which will compete with teams from neighboring Kazakhstan in Almaty in December. Whoever said bankers don’t have a heart got it all wrong.

Gordon Platt