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Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

Is there a family connection with Carlos Alvarez and the founding of the school? Or has your relationship with the organization been purely contractual?

Carlos Álvarez is the President of SAMU Spain, SAMU Spain is more than the school… although the school is part of it (It’s actually one of the areas I mange directly) it’s also the company that runs Mobile-ICU’s in Sevilla, Huelva and Málaga and also runs a laundry, book publishing branch… etc. What might not have appeared so evident is that Carlos Álvarez is our father as well.

I see that Carlos (your brother) is Director General of the school. What are your specific roles in the for-profit side of SAMU?

As I said I’m the Headmaster of the School, I also manage the ambulance services. Borja is very active in the social branch of the company actually “Fundación SAMU” which cares for Displaced Kids fom morocco and mentally ill resicences.

What would be some similar businesses like SAMU in the US?

I think our concept is similar to Doctors Without borders but at a much smaller scale. This is good in the sense that we can go to more remote areas, we carry lot less overhead so the money donated has more of an impact. Also we don’t “Generate a need” by setting a huge hospital that will generate a big void once it leaves.

How is the foundation’s work similar or different than that of Doctors without borders or other existing NGOs?

See Above.

What will UN certification give you? How rare/special is this?

UN Certification gives us recognition, in the sense that confirms that we provide Quality Humanitarian Aid. We are seen that in many disasters, countries are asking for a better organized help, many times they even ask everything to be centralized by the UN. And in those case only UN Certified NGO’s are allowed into the country.

Also if the UN asks us to deploy on a disaster, our doctors and nurses are covered to practice directly into the host country as a local doctor. And also, If we are deployed by the UN some of the funds from the mission might be reimbursed which will make a big difference when then next disaster occours.

What are your fundraising goals in the US? What would you consider to be success?

At the moment, our main goal is to send a team to help Venezuelans… on either side of the border depending as security/politics allows… the number we are managing right now is $24410. That will help us put a team of 10 people there for 3 weeks. As we mentioned our biggest cost is the plane tickets, but once we are abroad our biggest expense are de medicines…

Who do you expect your donors to be?

We hope to become some sort o Social Responsibility tool for organizations with interest in the region. I do not expect Individual donors to be able to “Kickstart” one of our missions, that’s why we seek institutional sponsorhip, but I could imagine that once we are in place we could rally people to run a clothes’ drive, a happy our etc… Just in that room on Thursday we had people from Georgetown, IADB, World Bank, IMF, PAHO so we have potential exposure to people from all over the world.