The CAU was formed in 1989 to aid Ukraine in its democratic development. It was the first Ukrainian-American institution to determine that aid to Ukraine should focus on the dissemination of educational material, enabling a meaningful and lasting transition to a democratic, free-market economy.
The CAU has published numerous books on philosophy, history, culture and geography in Ukraine, and distributed them free of charge to schools, institutions of higher learning and libraries throughout Ukraine. It has also organized numerous conferences and seminars for students. Additionally, the CAU has assisted in making the English language meaningful in Ukraine by delivering over 10,000 Webster's dictionaries to Ukraine's institutions of higher learning.
In the 1990s, the CAU expanded its mandate and began assisting programs of early childhood development by publishing manuals for teachers of elementary school-aged children prepared by outstanding Ukrainian developmental professionals, as well as exceptional children's books.
The CAU has also provided humanitarian aid to victims of the devastating floods in Western Ukraine and victims of mining accidents in Eastern Ukraine. Most recently, the CAU has dedicated much effort to assist Ukrainians who were exiled to Kazakhstan and other countries of the former Soviet Union, including building two churches in Astana, Kazakhstan. Currently the CAU has embarked on an endeavor to provide valuable information about former prisoners of the Kazakhstan Gulag to their loved ones overseas.