The Kind Cuts for Kids organisation grew from a visit by Professor Paddy Dewan to Russia at the time of a train disaster in 1989. The visit sparked his enthusiasm for assisting overseas surgeons to treat children. In an effort to further this work helping overseas surgeons and children in need, collaboration was arranged with Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), CARE Australia and the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS). Initially, the organisation was developed as a committee of the Paediatric Surgical Association of the RACS, but due to the fundraising component needed, the Kind Cuts for Kids (KCfK) Foundation was set up independently, and a Management Committee was appointed.
The first visits under the KCfK banner were conducted in 1993, to Papua New Guinea, in association with an AUSaid funded program, and to Bangladesh, with support and funding assistance from the International Federation of Surgical Colleges, which had recognised a need. The CARE Australia collaboration resulted in a reconnaissance visit to Cambodia and then four visits to that country to help support their surgeons in the care of children, including working at the World Vision Hospital and facilitating a scholarship for one of the up-and-coming surgeons. Team members have also helped promote surgeons in target countries for scholarships in Australia, following which the trainees have returned to their homelands.
We have been particularly successful in Cuba and Papua New Guinea resulting in the establishment of the Paediatric Urology Society in Cuba and a Paediatric Surgical examination in PNG, which, while principally funded by AUSaid, had Kind Cuts for Kids Foundation as the catalyst for the development of the examination. This has led the University of Papua New Guinea to develop a PNG based diploma.
In 2010, Kind Cuts for Kids was registered as a public company limited by guarantee, replacing the foundation which was wound up in 2011. In 2014, we achieved Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) status from the Australian Taxation Office, which means that all donations of $2 or more to our Developing Countries Relief Fund are tax deductible in Australia.
The organisation has recruited surgeons, radiologists, anaesthetists, theatre technicians and nurses from Australia and has completed more than 120 country visits since 1993. Countries assisted are Mongolia, Thailand, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Solomon Islands, Cuba, Ethiopia, South Africa, Gaza, Papua New Guinea, Ghana, Albania, Kosova, Bosnia, India, Bangladesh and Indonesia. Some of the surgeons trained have also accompanied our Australian teams to other developing countries.