Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Questions and Answers

Here you will find answers to some of the most frequent questions about the work we do at German Doctors.

Why did the German Doctors e.V. (originally Doctors for the Third World e.V.). change its name in 2013?

"Third World" in our former name was not meant to sound derogatory, but we were convinced that, after 30 years, we had to conform to modern language. We decided to call ourselves what our patients in the projects have been calling us for years, ‘German Doctors’. The change of name was also associated with a strategic change in orientation, which aims at a strengthening and expanding self-supporting structures. The German Doctors stands for medical care of the poorest of the poor, but also for medical education and further training of our local staff. Our long-term goal to achieve real sustainability is to be able to turn over our work to local institutions.

Who are German Doctors?

German Doctors is a relief organisation which sends over 300 doctors and physicians to medically deprived areas, mainly slum districts in the big cities of the Third World. It also has the facilities and supplies for providing free medical, social and humanitarian aid to the poor and sick. This enables treatment to be given on a daily basis to a total of over 3,000 people who would otherwise have no possibility of receiving any medical care, some of whom are gravely ill. The doctors work voluntarily and without pay. The organisation which is based in Bonn/Germany was founded in 1983.

Where does German Doctors work?

German Doctors is currently working on ten projects in Bangladesh (Chittagong and Dhaka), in Kenya (Nairobi), in Sierra Leone (Serabu), in India (Calcutta), in Nicaragua (Ocotal) and on the Philippines (Cebu, Manila, Mindoro, Mindanao).

How is German Doctors financed?

German Doctors is financed through general cash and non-cash donations, government grants, revenues from sponsors, money from fines and penalties paid over to good causes, funds raised in special campaigns, and gifts and legacies.

Why has German Doctors sent me a remittance for 1 Euro Cent?

We want to keep up good relations with you and all our other donors. Sometimes a donor’s address is missing, because either the bank or the donor has not provided the information. On the remittance for EUR 0.1 you will find the telephone number of our head office in Bonn. If you need a receipt for your donation please call us at this number, then we can send you a receipt.

What are free donations?

Free donations that are not specifically made for a particular project are used by German Doctors where people most need your and our support. Free donations keep administrative costs down and make it easier for German Doctors to plan. They also enable German Doctors to provide relief in areas that have not yet hit the headlines. German Doctors uses donations given for a certain purpose for that specific project.

What are non-cash gifts?

Non-cash gifts include medicinal products and medical devices.

Do you accept gifts of medicinal products?

Yes, provided the following conditions are met:
1) The medicinal products are on our list of medicines.
2) The medicinal products still have a reasonable shelf-life (“use by” date).
3) We must be able to transport the medicinal products cheaply to the areas where the projects are being carried out. Otherwise, we prefer to try and procure medicines actually in the project countries.

What principles are used for selecting partners?

Partners have to be known to us personally or recommended. We must be able to trust our partners in financial matters. Partners have to share our underlying convictions.

How much of my donation is actually used for the project?

Our costs for administration, PR work and fund-raising advertising are currently between 7% and 8%; by far the biggest part of this is covered by revenues generated by our Support Group. This means that donations are used virtually entirely for the projects.

How can I support German Doctors?

There are various ways you can support German Doctors. You can give a donation for a project. You can launch your own campaign and do fund-raising. You can become involved on a voluntary basis and work in an honorary capacity at our HQ in Bonn. And as a doctor of course you can cooperate in our projects.

Can I do a period of practical training or an internship with German Doctors?

No. For other opportunities, please refer to

Why can only doctors work on the projects?

Our native members of staff ensure the continuity of our projects. They form a valuable link with the patients, because they speak the same language and because – often coming from a similarly humble background – they are familiar with the patients’ living conditions and their culture. That is why we recruit all the other staff (nurses, pharmacy staff, drivers, etc.) at each respective locality. We also give them training and regard this as a further contribution towards development in the countries where we work.

German Doctors help worldwide

We believe in the right of every human being to get medical care no matter their origin. Therefore our volunteer German Doctors offer medical treatments in developing countries for the poorest of the poor. Whether people infected with HIV, undernourished children deficiency syndromes or people with chronic diseases, we help everyone who needs help.

Our doctors work during their annual leave or retirement for a period of six weeks and waive any compensation. More than 7000 missions with more than 3200 doctors were completed since 1983.