KBZ Bank was named the recipient of the Asia Responsible Enterprise Awards (AREA) 2019 under the Health Promotion category for leading medical missions with Smile Asia to provide free cleft lip and palette operations for children and adults in the country. KBZ Bank was announced as an award winner at the 10th AREA awards gala dinner held in Taipei on May 25 2019. AREA is organized by Enterprise Asia, the leading non-governmental organization for entrepreneurship to honour and recognize the top CSR initiatives in Asia and to champion socially responsible businesses.
This is the first time KBZ Bank has received this award and it is one of 60 corporate social programmes and leaders across Asia to be recognised by AREA this year, with more than 200 nominations from 16 countries across the Asia-Pacific region judged according to six award categories. The award recognises the efforts of KBZ Bank, along with Brighter Future Myanmar Foundation (BFM), the social initiative arm of KBZ Group of Companies, and Singapore-based philanthropic group Smile Asia to organise cleft medical missions that impact people’s lives dramatically through the gift of a smile. Since 2016, more than 500 children across Myanmar have undergone successful cleft lip or palate surgeries across six medical missions, with the most recent mission held in Taunggyi, Shan State in March 2019.
KBZ Bank, BFM and Smile Asia will be hosting a further two medical missions this year. The seventh Myanmar mission will be held in Yangon in August 2019 and the eighth will be held in Nay Pyi Taw in November 2019. With the support from Myanmar’s Ministry of Health and Sports, KBZ Bank provides the funding necessary to support travelling expenses, accommodation and food for patients and their guardians, while the Smile Asia Medical Mission mobilizes medical support, along with surgeons and nonmedical volunteers from USA, Germany, China, Singapore, France, Australia, Japan, Korea, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Indian and Myanmar. The AREA award follows after KBZ Bank was awarded the ‘Best Bank for CSR’ by Asiamoney Best Bank Awards 2018: Myanmar.