Afghanistan and Central Asian Association Employee Reviews

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Severe lack of organisation, direction and professionalism
Political Communications Intern (Former Employee) –  Hounslow, Greater London15 April 2019
ACAA is an organisation that has both positive and negative aspects. The ESOL classes and Women’s Project are really impressive projects and do a lot of good. The organisation has great aims and you meet some very passionate people, but the working environment is not truly conducive to the growth of volunteers.

As a volunteer, you get the chance to work in a diverse and widely skilled volunteer team, so it is very easy to make friends and feel welcomed. The ESOL Manager is giving support to volunteers and feedback on their work and this really helps you settle in a new working environment. Apart from this, working at the ACAA can be only described as frustrating.

There is a severe lack of organisation, direction and professionalism. Volunteers receive no training or mentoring unless you are lucky to meet another volunteer that is going to help you. You will be working in an environment where as an intern/volunteers (there is no real distinction between the two at ACAA) you will not be getting much support. The Director has a habit to come into the office and asks each individual what they are working on, effectively calling on an impromptu meeting, but without an agenda or set-time. If you raise any suggestions or concerns during these meeting, they will not be positively received. The environment lacks overall professionalism and some comments can make you uncomfortable.

Many times I was given work on projects with unrealistic targets and goals. I received work on project proposals and funding applications with factually incorrect background information and budgets
  more... that do not add up, and no matter how many times I raised concerns about this, I was dismissed and my suggestions were ignored. I never received feedback on my work from the Director, despite the fact that they insisted all our work be submitted to them and many times they would forget the tasks they had even given me. It is not uncommon to find out that the work you have done is redundant and it was ignored without any explanation. There were times in which my knowledge on the tasks I was working on or the charity sector in itself was dismissed, despite me doing background research and providing accurate information. From my experience, there is no sense of appreciation of the work volunteers put into the ACAA (and they work on many things - events, festivals, funding, partnerships, Supplementary School). I have been witness to countless times in which the Director would come and tell us that we are not doing enough, or that it is our fault that we are not getting funding and be condescending towards volunteers.

It is your choice of what work environment you want and I encourage everyone to read amongst these reviews when making a choice.
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Pros
Diverse and skilled volunteer team, Easy to make friends
Cons
Unprofessional behaviour, Lack of organisation and direction
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5.0
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Great place to gain experience in a charity
Strategic Development Intern (Former Employee) –  London1 March 2019
I've given 1 star to salary and benefits, because they are exclusively staffed by volunteers and this should not reflect badly on the charity.

Fantastic place to gain experience in administrative work, project planning, fund-raising and outreach. IF, you are self motivated and show initiative you can gain a lot from one of their internships (Unpaid! They are a small charity). If you join to be guided and managed you are likely to not have a great time, but make of it what you can and you will be rewarded with a good taste of what working in a charity is like, and build some good experience.
Pros
Freedom to innovate and take risks
Cons
Quite stubborn management
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Bizarre
Project Coordinator (Former Employee) –  Hounslow, Greater London5 February 2019
I think there are some very talented people but the principal seems to torpedo their ideas. I think we’ve moved on from leaflets and newsletters and politically incorrect comments, that should remain in the 70’s. Perhaps he needs to be reminded that British values include respecting diversity, avoiding stereotypes and equal opportunity employment. Avoid.
Pros
Some employees seem to be very passionate
Cons
The principal - no commercial acumen at all
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No legal work at all.
Legal Intern (Former Employee) –  Hounslow, Greater London20 January 2019
From the moment you walk in, it’s chaos, no space for all the volunteers, there’s no legal work for every legal intern, only a few of the workers, instead you have to do fundraising when that’s not the job we applied to. The advertisement is false from start to finish, I was there for 3 months and did nothing legal based. You kinda had to do everything with no guidance, it was awkward and useless and a waste of time
Pros
Nothing
Cons
Everything
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Strange place.
Legal Intern (Former Employee) –  Hounslow, Greater London12 January 2019
It’s a very strange place.
As soon as you step in, it’s like stepping into the 90s - very worn out material and equipment.

Also, this is a false advertisement. You will NOT be doing any legal work whatsoever.
This is purely charity work and enticing people to give to charity. They require you to work on advertisements and even go out on the streets.

Nothing to do with legal work AT ALL.
Pros
Some of the people are nice
Cons
False advertisement
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Management expect a lot without nothing in return.
Political Communications Intern (Former Employee) –  London, Greater London11 January 2019
The management team are rude and sly. They expect a lot from you by helping their charity and do not give anything in return. I worked there for a while and they want you to prioritize this more than your job outside of this. You do not get nothing in return such as lunches or travel money. Very inconsiderate and unlike any other charities I’ve worked with previously. I would not recommend this.
Pros
Good for cv - but other charities prob better.
Cons
No lunches provided. Long hours. Not flexible. Rude.
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False advertisement
Legal Intern (Former Employee) –  Hounslow, Greater London28 December 2018
I use to be a legal intern and during my time there I haven't done an iota of legal work. Instead I was put doing presentations on fundraising and making business plans for the charity. On the rare chance I did look into their case files, it was done in the most haphazard and unorganised way possible. What they need isn't a legal intern but an actual legal aid worker with professional degree.
Pros
You get to learning about various roles of a charity
Cons
You don't get to learn about law
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4.0
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Productive and fun work place
Political Communications Intern (Former Employee) –  Hounslow, Greater London6 August 2018
A great firm to develop one's legal skills and other relevant interpersonal and creative skills towards the betterment of one's clientele at Afghanistan and Central Asian Association.
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3.0
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great opportunity
Political Communications Intern (Former Employee) –  London15 July 2018
Very good opportunity to gain fundraising experience, however that is what they want from all interns regardless of the position they were hired to do.
Cons
Long commute
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4.0
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Good place to volunteer
Volunteer English Teacher (Current Employee) –  London, Greater London6 July 2018
Good place to volunteer.

Work culture is great.

I teach English here.

The students are highly engaged and make it desirable to engage with and teach
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5.0
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Genuine grassroots charity
Political Communications Intern (Current Employee) –  London10 July 2017
Genuine grassroots charity doing some amazing work; would encourage anyone seeking to gain practical experience and professional credentials while helping others in need to apply.
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5.0
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Fun environment.
Volunteer (Current Employee) –  London6 July 2014
Well, I volunteer at Afghanistan and Central Asian Association on Saturdays. I help the children with homework and other revision related topics. My co-workers are a delight, they're fun and create a comfortable environment. I gained confidence, as I would have to help new children feel like they're fitted with the rest of the children. I mostly enjoy being around the children, helping them and spending time with my co-workers.
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Overall rating

2.6
Based on 13 reviews
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